License Discipline and Convictions
Upon renewal of a registered nurse license, the Board requires licensees to indicate if they have had any license disciplined by a government agency or other disciplinary body; or if they have been convicted of any crime in any state, U.S. territory, military court or other country since they last renewed their license.
"Conviction" includes a plea of no contest and any conviction that has been set aside or deferred pursuant to Section 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. However, any convictions in which a plea of no contest was entered and any convictions that were subsequently set aside pursuant or deferred pursuant to Section 1000 or 1203.4 of the Penal Code must be disclosed. "License" includes permits, registrations, and certificates. "Discipline" includes, but is not limited to, suspension, revocation, voluntary surrender, probation, or any other restriction.
The following information must be provided for each license discipline or conviction sustained:
- 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.
- Documents relating to the arrest, such as: police report, arrest report, booking report, complaint, citation or ticket.
- 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.
- Any related mitigating evidence or evidence of rehabilitation that you want to provide.
NOTE: See Important Notice Regarding Your Application for additional information for applicants with criminal convictions or discipline.
- Do you have to report an arrest if you were not convicted?
No. You only need to report an arrest if you were convicted.
- Do you have to report traffic violations and/or automobile accidents?
Yes, if a traffic ticket was issued and you were fined over $1,000.
- What happens if you can't obtain certified court documents and police reports on convictions?
You must submit written proof from the court or police department specifying inability to locate the required documents. The Board verifies this and bases its decision on other substantial information (e.g., letters of recommendation, evidence of rehabilitation, etc.).
- Do you have to report non-payment of child support?
No. However, if your case is in the District Attorney's (DA) Office for non-payment, the DA notifies the Department of Consumer Affairs Family Support Unit. If you are deemed eligible for licensure, your license is issued on a temporary basis for 150 days. If at the end of that time period, you have not established a payment agreement with the DA's Office, your license is suspended.
- Do you have to report a conviction that was expunged (i.e., conviction was stricken or deleted from official records)?
Yes. Pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4, you are required to report a conviction that was expunged. The law specifies that it does not relieve you from the obligation to disclose the conviction in response to any direct questions contained in any questionnaire or application for public office, for licensure by any state or local agency.
- What happens if you fail to disclose all or part of your convictions?
Failure to disclose all or part of your convictions may be grounds for disciplinary action as you falsified information required on your renewal of licensure.
- Do you have to report misdemeanors, felonies and/or convictions which you pled nolo contendere?
Yes. Pursuant to Business and Professions Code, section 2765, a plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere is considered a conviction. Any conviction substantially related to the qualifications, functions and duties of a licensee can be grounds for discipline of a license.
- Do you have to report convictions if you were under 18 years old and tried as an adult?
Yes. If you were under 18 years of age, but were tried and convicted as an adult, you are required to disclose the conviction.
- Do you have to report military convictions or dishonorable discharge?
Yes. Any offense or violation during your military career must be reported to the Board.
- How does the Board determine which violations are substantially related to the applicant's license?
Pursuant to Title 16, California Code of Regulations, Section 1444, a conviction or act shall be considered to be substantially related to the qualifications, functions or duties of a registered nurse if to a substantial degree it evidences present or potential unfitness of a registered nurse to practice in a manner consistent with the public health, safety or welfare. Such convictions or acts shall include but not be limited to those involving the following issues:
- Assaultive or abusive conduct including, but not limited to, those violations listed in subdivision (d) of Penal Code Section 11160.
- Failure to comply with any mandatory reporting requirements.
- Theft, dishonesty, fraud, or deceit.
- Any conviction or act subject to an order of registration pursuant to Section 290 of the Penal Code.
- How does the Board determine satisfactory rehabilitation of an "applicant for licensure" or licensee?
Pursuant to Business and Professions Code sections 480 and 490, and Title 16 California Code of Regulations, Section 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.
- What does the Board look for on the Department of Justice (DOJ) and/or Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports?
The Board reviews the RAP sheets (i.e., criminal record reports) to ensure that the conviction history matches what you provided on your Report of Conviction form and to determine if the violation is related to the qualifications of a licensee.
- How can you get a copy of your RAP sheet ( i.e., criminal record report)?
You may request a copy of your RAP sheet from the Department of Justice (DOJ). DOJ requires you to complete a "Record Review Process" form, complete another fingerprint card and pay a fee for processing. To obtain more information on this process, you must contact DOJ directly.
- How long does a conviction stay on your RAP sheet?
The information contained on your RAP sheet is retained indefinitely. Therefore, you should always report all convictions. Failure to disclose all past convictions may result in disciplinary action.