For what it is worth: this came up in orientation. I am also in California. If you commit murder you can still get your RN license. Yep, been done. First of all, it was the murder of a long time batterer. The individual was tried and convicted, did whatever time was required and then went to nursing school
. The BON will require you to list all convictions etc. and you must be able to prove rehabilitation. In this particular nurses case, the board granted her license based on the facts of the conviction and the likelyhood of her murdering again being slim since it was a long time batterer. She was able to prove rehabilitation. She now works in our community and is a fine nurse.
Each case is looked at individually. You did not mention what your problem was. If it was drunk driving / drugs / theft etc. then after 8 years you would most likely be able to prove rehabilitation.
I agree with the other posters though, you should contact the BON and find out what they will require you to do in order to grant the license. MOST important is full disclosure to the board though, because if they run your prints and find any unlisted priors you are toast!