California Board of Registered Nursing Complaint Statistics

Published On: April 20, 2020By

Many nurses assume the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) is on their side. This is not the case. The BRN’s number one priority is protecting health care consumers and promoting high quality nursing care in California. The California Board of Nursing and the Department of Consumer Affairs Division of Investigation take misconduct allegations seriously. They prioritize complaints and quickly investigate and file CA BRN disciplinary actions against LVN and RN nurses.

California Board of Registered Nursing statistics show 9,067 nurse complaints and conviction/arrest notices in Fiscal Year 2019.

Nursing profession statistics:

  • There are 451,934 active licensed registered nurses as of 2019 (1)
  • There are 135,528 BVNPT licensed nurses in 2019
  • A BRN nurse probation study found the grounds for probation were:
    • 51% due to substance abuse or DUI
    • 28% due to practice error
    • 18% due to criminal misconduct
    • 3% practice error and drug/misconduct
  • The BRN Intervention Program had received 5,088 intakes as of 1/31/16:
    • 3,189 (62%) were for substance abuse only
    • 167 (3%) for mental illness
    • 1,650 (32%) for dual diagnosis

What types of complaints does BRN have jurisdiction over?

  • Gross negligence or incompetence, resulting in patient endangerment
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Patient abuse and neglect
  • Practicing nursing without a license
  • Violent, abusive or sexual offenses
  • Fraud or theft offenses
  • RNs on probation who have violated their probation conditions
  • Mentally impaired and unsafe to practice
  • Other acts or convictions substantially related to the practice of nursing

Which complaints are outside BRN’s jurisdiction?

  • Impolite or rude behavior
  • Employer, employee relations
  • Labor issues
  • Disputes over billing
  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • Complaints against healthcare clinics, facilities or agency operations
  • Complaints against non-RN health care practitioners

BRN Complaint Resolution Process - Infographic explaining the steps in the BRN nurse complaint resolution process.

BRN Complaint Resolution Process

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To learn more, call Chudnovsky Law at (844) 325-1444 for a consultation, or visit:

Chudnovsky Law’s team of attorneys have decades of experience representing every type of nurse and licensed health care professional throughout California.

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