I agree with DavidKarl 100%. No way is California going to license you, despite work history, excellent grades, letters of recommendation, or anything else. I had a DUI that was 10 years old and my application for licensure was denied (I graduated in 2010). I appealed and then was offered a "Stipulated Settlement" which was so totally impossible to adhere to it was ridiculous; it was designed so that someone desperate enough to sign it just to be able to take the NCLEX would fail one of the 50+ criteria and then get a permanent revocation. I also was informed that, if I didn't withdraw my appeal, the Internet record would be available to the public for 10 years (instead of the 1 year that they ILLEGALLY make it available to the public if you withdraw your appeal).
I have a Bachelor's degree from Notre Dame, a Master's in Clinical Social Work from The University of Chicago, and had worked as a medical social worker for 15 years when I applied for the license. I had (upon appeal) submitted more 'supporting documentation' than you can believe, all for nothing. In addition, the California Board of Registered Nursing FURTHER punishes you by putting the whole thing on the Internet - for all to see: Your denial, your court records, police reports (which, in my case, was absurd because the police report was thrown out of court as being "false" and so I didn't even get convicted for the first item (California DUI's have two separate components)).....an attorney told me the BRN had no legal right obtaining and then publishing that report. AND, then they send your denial to the National Data Bank so anyone who checks can see it. That part never comes off.
I was lucky: I also applied in another state whose criminal criteria only pertains to felonies, and I was approved. Since then, I have endorsed my RN license to two other states whose criteria ALSO pertains to felonies and who don't consider the fact that one has already been denied for a license in something (check the different states for that). Bottom line is DO NOT EVEN APPLY TO CALIFORNIA because you will be punished indefinitely, in one way or another. Apply somewhere else, go and work there for 2 years or more, and THEN apply to California for an endorsement down the line. This is the only way you will be able to have a career as a nurse. Trust me.