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NURSES CHARGED WITH CRIMES

Licensed Vocational Nurses and Registered Nurses can face even harsher scrutiny than physicians. They have a mandatory duty to report any conviction, or plea of guilty or no contest, within 30 days. “Conviction” anything set aside or deferred pursuant to Sections 1000 or 1203.4 of the Penal Code, including infractions, misdemeanor, and felonies. It is not necessary to report a conviction for an infraction with a fine of less than $1,000 unless the infraction involved alcohol or controlled substances.

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The following information must be provided for each license discipline or conviction sustained:

    1. A detailed written explanation describing the circumstances and events that led to your arrest(s) and conviction(s), including: date and place of arrest; arresting agency; court where case was heard; and sentencing information, including fines, courses, counseling, restitution, probation, parole, community service, and jail or prison time.
    2. Documents relating to the arrest, such as: police report, arrest report, booking report, complaint, citation or ticket.
    3. Documents from the court, such as: Notice of Charges, Complaint, or Indictment; Plea Agreement, Sentencing Order, Probation Order, or Judgment; Dismissal, Probation Release, or Court Discharge.
    4. Any related mitigating evidence or evidence of rehabilitation that you want to provide.

The Board determines rehabilitation pursuant to Business and Professions Code 480 and 490, and Title 16 California Code of Regulations, 1444, the Board utilizes the following general criteria to determine satisfactory rehabilitation:

  • The nature and severity of the act(s) or crime(s) under consideration.
  • Evidence of any act(s) committed subsequent to the act(s) or crime(s) under consideration.
  • The time that has elapsed since commission of the act(s) or crime(s) under consideration.
  • The extent to which the applicant has complied with any terms of parole, probation, restitution, or any other sanctions lawfully imposed.
  • Evidence, if any, of rehabilitation.

The Board has jurisdiction to discipline a member pursuant to 2750 of the Business and Professions Code (B&P), which provides for discipline of nurses under the Nursing Practices Act.

B&P 490 a) In addition to any other action that a board is permitted to take against a licensee, a board may suspend or revoke a license on the ground that the licensee has been convicted of a crime, if the crime is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business or profession for which the license was issued.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a board may exercise any authority to discipline a licensee for conviction of a crime that is independent of the authority granted under subdivision (a) only if the crime is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business or profession for which the licensee’s license was issued.

(c) A conviction within the meaning of this section means a plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere. An action that a board is permitted to take following the establishment of a conviction may be taken when the time for appeal has elapsed, or the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal, or when an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence, irrespective of a subsequent order under Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code.

(d) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the application of this section has been made unclear by the holding in Petropoulos v. Department of Real Estate (2006) 142 Cal.App.4th 554, and that the holding in that case has placed a significant number of statutes and regulations in question, resulting in potential harm to the consumers of California from licensees who have been convicted of crimes. Therefore, the Legislature finds and declares that this section establishes an independent basis for a board to impose discipline upon a licensee, and that the amendments to this section made by Chapter 33 of the Statutes of 2008 do not constitute a change to, but rather are declaratory of, existing law.

B&P  493

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in a proceeding conducted by a board within the department pursuant to law to deny an application for a license or to suspend or revoke a license or otherwise take disciplinary action against a person who holds a license, upon the ground that the applicant or the licensee has been convicted of a crime substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of the licensee in question, the record of conviction of the crime shall be conclusive evidence of the fact that the conviction occurred, but only of that fact, and the board may inquire into the circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime in order to fix the degree of discipline or to determine if the conviction is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of the licensee in question.

NURSES CHARGED WITH CRIMES

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As used in this section, “license” includes “certificate,” “permit,” “authority,” and “registration.”

B&P 2761

The board may take disciplinary action against a certified or licensed nurse or deny an application for a certificate or license for any of the following:

(a)Unprofessional conduct, which includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    1. Incompetence, or gross negligence in carrying out usual certified or licensed nursing functions
    2. A conviction of practicing medicine without a license in violation of Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 2000), in which event the record of conviction shall be conclusive evidence thereof.
    3. The use of advertising relating to nursing which violates Section 17500.
    4. Denial of licensure, revocation, suspension, restriction, or any other disciplinary action against a health care professional license or certificate by another state or territory of the United States, by any other government agency, or by another California health care professional licensing board. A certified copy of the decision or judgment shall be conclusive evidence of that action.

(b)Procuring his or her certificate or license by fraud, misrepresentation, or mistake.

(c)Procuring, or aiding, or abetting, or attempting, or agreeing, or offering to procure or assist at a criminal abortion.

(d)Violating or attempting to violate, directly or indirectly, or assisting in or abetting the violating of, or conspiring to violate any provision or term of this chapter or regulations adopted pursuant to it.

(e)Making or giving any false statement or information in connection with the application for issuance of a certificate or license.

(f)Conviction of a felony or of any offense substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of a registered nurse, in which event the record of the conviction shall be conclusive evidence thereof.

(g)Impersonating any applicant or acting as proxy for an applicant in any examination required under this chapter for the issuance of a certificate or license.

(h)Impersonating another certified or licensed practitioner, or permitting or allowing another person to use his or her certificate or license for the purpose of nursing the sick or afflicted.

(i)Aiding or assisting, or agreeing to aid or assist any person or persons, whether a licensed physician or not, in the performance of, or arranging for, a violation of any of the provisions of Article 12 (commencing with Section 2220) of Chapter 5.

(j)Holding oneself out to the public or to any practitioner of the healing arts as a “nurse practitioner” or as meeting the standards established by the board for a nurse practitioner unless meeting the standards established by the board pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 2834) or holding oneself out to the public as being certified by the board as a nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, clinical nurse specialist, or public health nurse unless the person is at the time so certified by the board.

(k)Except for good cause, the knowing failure to protect patients by failing to follow infection control guidelines of the board, thereby risking transmission of blood-borne infectious diseases from licensed or certified nurse to patient, from patient to patient, and from patient to licensed or certified nurse.  In administering this subdivision, the board shall consider referencing the standards, regulations, and guidelines of the State Department of Health Services developed pursuant to Section 1250.11 of the Health and Safety Code and the standards, guidelines, and regulations pursuant to the California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973 (Part 1 (commencing with Section 6300), Division 5, Labor Code) for preventing the transmission of HIV, hepatitis B, and other blood-borne pathogens in health care settings.  As necessary, the board shall consult with the Medical Board of California, the Board of Podiatric Medicine, the Dental Board of California, and the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians, to encourage appropriate consistency in the implementation of this subdivision.

The board shall seek to ensure that licentiates and others regulated by the board are informed of the responsibility of licentiates to minimize the risk of transmission of blood-borne infectious diseases from health care provider to patient, from patient to patient, and from patient to health care provider, and of the most recent scientifically recognized safeguards for minimizing the risks of transmission.

ALERT:

The Nursing Board has become increasingly more and more diligent in following up on each reported conviction, which is why you will need the help of an experienced drug possession attorney.

For more information, contact a drug possession lawyer today.