Applicant Enforcement Webinar
The target audience for the California Board of Registered Nursing Applicant Enforcement Webinar includes pre-licensure students and first-time applicants for licensure in California with a history of criminal conviction or discipline against another professional license.
Questions and Answers
The following is a compilation of questions from the live webinar Q&A and other common questions received by the Enforcement Division:
- Q: As a result of the COVID-19 response, many courts and police departments have closed. How will this affect the Enforcement review?
- A: As of the date of this webinar, the BRN has not received any Governor waivers regarding the evaluation of applications where the applicant has a criminal conviction history. We will be holding applicant enforcement reviews until the documents can be obtained. If there are changes to this procedure, or if additional waivers are issued, the BRN will respond accordingly.
- Q: The BRN has asked for additional information from me. Am I required to provide the information?
- A: The BRN cannot require an applicant to supply documentation regarding a criminal conviction. Any information you provide about your criminal conviction is strictly voluntary. However, this is not true for prior license discipline. The board may require you to provide documentation related to prior discipline against another professional license.
- Q: My criminal conviction was more than seven years ago. Under the new law, should I expect a delayed response from the BRN?
- A: All applicants with a history of criminal conviction, regardless of age, will have their application referred to the Enforcement Division. If the convictions are over 7 years old and/or the conviction was later expunged, the Enforcement review will be very brief and the applicant should not expect a delayed response. Any conviction defined as a “Serious Felony” will have a full enforcement review, regardless of how old it is.
- Q: If my conviction was more than seven years ago, do I still have to mark “Yes” to the criminal conviction question on the application?
- A: Yes. The new law regarding criminal convictions does not start until July 1, 2020. Applicants must still truthfully answer the question on the application. After July 1, 2020, this question will no longer be on the application for licensure.
- Q: I have a conviction that is eight years ago, will my application still be referred for an Enforcement review?
- A: Yes. However, the enforcement review for convictions more than 7 years will be very brief.
- Q: Can my court documents used during my LVN application be used for the RN application?
- A: BRN and BVNPT do not share applicant files and documentation. However, the BRN will accept from the applicant copies of the same documents previously submitted to the BVNPT.
- Q: What if, after 5 years, the agency records have been purged and are no longer available?
- A: The applicant should request a written, certified document from the ARRESTING AGENCY that the arrest record is no longer available. It is uncommon for criminal COURT records to be purged.
- Q: Is scanning all the documents and uploading them with my application the best method of submission or should I mail them to the Board?
- A: Yes, scanning and uploading the documents to your application is the best method. This ensures the documents are included with your application, eliminates any possibility your documents are mishandled or misplaced in the mail process, and ensures the documents are ready for review the day the Enforcement Division is reviewing your application.
- Q: Should I have my record expunged before applying for licensure?
- A: The BRN Enforcement division cannot consider any criminal conviction that has been expunged or dismissed pursuant to Penal Code Sections 1203.4, 1203.4a, 1203.41, or 1203.42., including convictions within the 7-year timeframe. Any applicant may pursue expungement of their criminal record if they are eligible. The applicant will have to weigh the time needed to process an expungement versus the time to obtain the records for the enforcement review.
- Q: The Board sends denial letters by US Mail. Does this also apply to approvals?
- A: Yes. Once approved, the applicant will receive a letter by US Mail with instructions to register for the NCLEX Exam.
- Q: What can I do to best demonstrate my competence with a conviction?
- A: You may submit a Letter of Explanation and/or Letters of Reference. Letters of Explanation should attest to your rehabilitation, education efforts, and life changes that ensure you will be a safe RN. Letters of Reference should come from someone who knows about your past conviction/discipline and can attest to your ability to be a safe and competent RN.