BRN Changing Rules for Reporting Violations

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BRN Changing Rules for Reporting Violations

By Elizabeth Hanink, RN, BSN, PHN
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Since 2009, state law has required nurses applying for or renewing their licenses to report any traffic offense resulting in a fine of more than $300 or any incident involving alcohol, controlled substances or other drugs. The purpose of the rule is to identify nurses who might be subject to disciplinary action by the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN). However, the board is now seeking to change that regulation.

Fine Inflation
Because fines for traffic infractions have increased dramatically since 2009, the regulation has led applicants to report minor offenses like texting while driving, improper use of the carpool lane or making an illegal turn, none of which is grounds for action by the BRN. Furthermore, while traffic fines are uniform throughout the state, individual counties can add their own assessments and penalties, so a traffic violation that would be reportable in one part of California might not be reportable elsewhere.

To save applicants time and the board needless effort, the BRN wants to amend the regulation to increase the threshold for reportable offenses to $1,000. Nurses would still need to report any traffic incident involving alcohol or drugs, regardless of the amount of the fine.

Moving On
Also on the board’s to-do list is a proposal to cite and fine nurses who fail to report address changes with 30 days as required by law. This requirement is easily overlooked during the tumult of a move, so watch out!

Photo above: Being charged with a DUI can be a career-changing experience for a nurse. Choose your designated driver before the evening begins. 

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