The California Board of Nursing consists of two licensing agencies: the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) and the California Board of Vocational Nurses and Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT). Both boards operate under the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and have nearly identical disciplinary protocols.
The California Board of Registered Nursing regulates the licensing of RN registered nurses with a mission to protect the health and safety of consumers and promote quality Registered Nursing care in California. California has 458,165 active licensed registered nurses as of 2020.
The CA BRN and BVNPT achieve their mandates by:
- Issuing nurse licenses to eligible applicants.
- Investigating nurse complaints, filing formal accusations and disciplining nurses for violations of the Nursing Practice Act (NPA).
- Monitoring nurses whose licenses have been placed on probation.
- Managing a Diversion Program for nurses, whose practice may be impaired due to chemical dependency or mental illness.
The Board of Nursing can suspend licenses for gross negligence, criminal charges, incompetence and violations of the Nursing Practice Act.
The CA BRN prides itself on vigorously protecting consumers. The majority of the BRN’s budget is spent on enforcement. Enforcement activity increased substantially after the California Board of Registered Nursing reorganized and added internal investigators in 2010. The changes were spurred by media scrutiny of reports comparing California’s enforcement statistics with those of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
After the expansion of investigative resources in 2010, the BRN began an enforcement blitz vigorously filing accusations against individuals that would not have been filed before. Since 2010, it is now much easier for nurses to lose their license for unfortunate mistakes and one-time aberrant behavior. Practice errors, minor drug, nurse DUI and criminal charges can trigger career ending consequences.
It is now more important than ever that nurses consult experienced legal counsel whenever facing a California Board Nursing investigation or criminal charge.
California Board of Registered Nursing
1747 N. Market Blvd, Suite 150, Sacramento, CA 95834
(916) 322-3350 | (800) 326-2297 TTY for Hearing Impaired
California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians
2535 Capital Oaks Drive, Suite 205, Sacramento, CA 95833