Registered Nurses, Criminal Convictions, and Expungements

Can an expungement help a California registered nurse keep his/her license or help a registered nursing student obtain a license?  

The answer is yes, despite the fact that registered nurses and registered nursing students have to inform the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) of an expunged conviction.  That's right, even if you expunge a prior conviction, you have to disclose it on an application to become a registered nurse.  

Nonetheless, in reviewing the application of a potential licensee with a prior criminal conviction, one of the "mitigating factors" the BRN considers in licensing the applicant is whether the prior criminal conviction has been expunged or dismissed pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4.  Accordingly, I always recommend to prospective nurses to expunge any prior criminal convictions.  While it's not a guarantee of admission, it certainly can increase an applicant's chances of becoming licensed.  

The same goes for registered nurses in California.  If a nurse suffers a criminal conviction while licensed, and the license is revoked or suspended, in applying for reinstatement an expungement will look favorably with the BRN on such an application.  

Posted by Mike Donaldson.