2017 CA BRN and DUI

by jpc.2.jpc jpc.2.jpc (New) New

I just want to share my experience with the CA BRN with you guys since I lurked this site often, and reading others post about getting a license with a criminal background.

I had a DUI in February 2014 at a DUI checkpoint near my house. Blew a 0.16 on a breathalyzer; but blood level was 0.21 on toxicology report.

Here's a quick timeline of the events:

-August 18, 2014 - Convicted of misdemeanor DUI

(Had to do 9 months of DUI school and 9 months of Vehicle breathalyzer)

-June 2016 - Accepted into an LVN to RN bridge program

-June 1, 2017 - Submitted my application to the BRN

-June 8, 2017 - Mailed all the necessary paperwork to the BRN.

This included a copy of my online application; Letter of explanation; Court Documents; A letter explaining that the Arresting Agency would not give me a Certified Arrest Report; Recommendation letters from 2 of my nursing professors. Recommendation letters from 2 of my church pastors; 1 letter from my old D.O.N.; and a letter from the owner of the SNF that I'm currently working at.

-June 16, 2017 - Graduated from RN program

-August 18, 2017 - Completed my 3 year probation with no problems.

-August 21, 2017 - Classmates got their ATTs

-August 24, 2017 - A classmate with a 10 yrs old expunged DUI got his ATT.

September 2017 - I haven't heard from the BRN and my BreEze application date hasn't changed. I was a little worried at this point.

-September 5, 2017 - My BreEze RN application disappeared. This meant they were reviewing my application.

-September 11, 2017 - My BreEze RN application reappeared and application date has changed.

-September 13, 2017 - Got my ATT email from Pearson. This was a good news but I was still worried since I have not gotten the mail from BRN stating they would not pursue any disciplinary action. I heard of people passing NCLEX and getting denied of a license by the Boards.

-September 14, 2017 - Received the good news mail from the Boards.

I hope this timeline will help anyone who is going through the same situation as I did. I didn't go to any addiction specialist or psychiatrist for evaluation. The only rehabilitation I did was the court ordered DUI program and AA classes.

Striving2BG8, BSN, RN

Specializes in Medical Telemetry, SICU. Has 5 years experience. 104 Posts

This is very helpful, thanks so much for sharing! I do not deal with the CA BRN but I have been charged with a DWI recently and am gathering information on the matter.



8 Posts

Thanks for sharing! I will be applying spring of next year for licensure. I will have a 6 year old misdemeanor and another arrest with dropped charges. I am applying to get both expunged.

I was wondering what types of court documents you had to submit and how you went about obtaining them?




1 Post

I am an RN with 2 DUI's. All the DOH and BON wanted to see is that there was nothing pending criminally and that the case was closed. I didn't do any type of addiction program or AA classes. They don't give a damn if you get a DUI unless you are oncall or show up to work drunk in endanger the safety of your patients. Most of the negative stories you will read on here are from nurses who got scared from reading other nurses negative stories and entered themselves into a diversion program in hopes they would protect their nursing license. That is the most idiotic thing you could do unless you actually have and addiction problem and seriously need to be monitored. If you are a nurse and get a DUI, I recommend that you take care of all the court requirements and classes before you go to court, that way when you have to report to the DOH you can prove that you completed everything and are good to go. Hope this helps someone feel better.


medsurgRNCali, ASN

Specializes in med surg. Has 4 years experience. 153 Posts

In California they definitely give a damn!


medsurgRNCali, ASN

Specializes in med surg. Has 4 years experience. 153 Posts

I am in same boat. But I only got a letter from the CA BRN that I was eligible to test. I'm so scared they will still deny me.

Hello there! Congrats on your finding your way through the BRN relatively unscathed. I too am a CA nursing student with a somewhat recent DUI (Conviction will be 6yrs old by the time I attempt the NCLEX. Your situation is perplexing to me, seems to go against everything we read on this site about the CA BRN, 3yr probationary licenses, etc.

I by no means intend to doubt your story, but there seem to be endless people on here who have DUIs at a lower BAC, from a much longer time ago who get hit with the full probation in CA.

Just curious how I can imitate your approach! Thanks


JofAllTrades, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case Management. Has 3 years experience. 2 Articles; 124 Posts

On 5/20/2018 at 8:38 AM, newnurse Fresno said:

I am in same boat. But I only got a letter from the CA BRN that I was eligible to test. I'm so scared they will still deny me.

Did you get your license?



3 Posts

I unfortunately received a DUI in Dec of 2014; I did all necessary classes and paid all fines in a timely manner. I started nursing school in Jan of 2016 and recently graduated in Dec of 2018. In April of 2018, I got off the three year probation and was proactive in getting the conviction expunged (dismissed). I asked instructors, nurses, managers, as well as my parents to write letters (7 letters in all) that I could give to the BRN with my application. I also wrote a letter myself, explaining what happened, taking full responsibility and proving I will not make the same mistake again. I applied for BRN at the end of November (2 weeks exactly until graduation). I turned in all necessary paper work they asked for on the BREEZE website. I was extremely nervous they wouldn't approve me, from reading all blog post about the same issue. I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how fast they wrote me back. On Dec 18th they sent me a letter stating "The Board will not pursue any disciplinary action against you at this time." Thank goodness!!! The school I attended did not send out transcripts until the beginning of January, I as well as all my classmates are still waiting for our test dates. But I am happy that I do not have to wait any longer then they do!


medsurgRNCali, ASN

Specializes in med surg. Has 4 years experience. 153 Posts

On 1/17/2019 at 9:23 AM, AnxiousFutureRN said:

Did you get your license?

I did. Unrestricted.



4 Posts

Did you tell the bridge program director you had something pending on your license?



38 Posts

On 3/7/2019 at 4:53 PM, LFCReds81 said:

I am graduating in May and have a DUI from 15 years ago, as well as an arrest the following year for being drunk in public (I was riding a bike late at night). I know it was very foolish and I no longer drink. I was wondering if anyone has an example of the letter that you write to the BRN, how you state your offenses, etc? Would very much appreciate it.


I followed the advice of many people in this thread & others on allnurses to complete it in this format:

- First, talk about what happened in full detail with facts and not excuses. If there were underlying issues going on which caused you to make poor decisions, you can bring them up, but make sure it doesn't sound like you're making an excuse.They want to see that you know what you did was wrong and are taking accountability for it. Being able to be fully transparent is part of it. Also, you have to send in the police reports & court documents, so they will know everything that happened. There's no point in being dishonest.

- Next, talk about what you learned from the incident(s)

- Then, talk about how you've grown and changed since...did you go to rehab/diversion program...what are your accomplishments...what have you contributed to the community...what have you done differently to ensure those incidents will never happen again...etc

-Finally, close by asking them for the chance to be a nurse, serve the community, repay your societal debt, etc. Talk about how great of a nurse you'd be and how your life has been guided by nursing ethics or something of that nature.

I followed that format to write mine, which I've included here (with the identifying details taken out lol). I hope this helps, and let me know if you have any questions!


Board of Registered Nursing, Licensing Unit

P.O. Box 944210

Sacramento, CA 94244-2100

To whom it may concern;

My name is xx, and I am writing to explain my misdemeanor conviction, which has since been dismissed, and to show proof of rehabilitation in hopes of being approved to take my nursing board exam.

On xx/xx/xxxx... [here I explain in full detail the events that occurred...I gave every single detail so it was like a full page, but long story short, I backed into a parked car at a mall leaving a scratch, then drove away. The owner of the car contacted mall security people to obtain security surveillance camera footage, but they couldn't give him the footage without the police being involved. They brought me in for questioning, I admitted to it, they decided to charge me].... When faced with what I had done, I did take responsibility for my actions by immediately admitting fault to the police, and I was charged with a misdemeanor Hit and Run Resulting in Property Damage. I pled “no contest” because I did commit the crime and wanted to take full responsibility instead of dragging it out by going through court proceedings and wasting everyone's time. I also requested the owner of the car's contact information so that I could immediately start making payments for his car before being court ordered to do so. I was convicted of the misdemeanor and sentenced to three years of probation. Once I received my sentence, all payments of my court fees were on time until my balance was settled, and I successfully completed my probationary period without any incidents or concerns. I then applied for and was granted a dismissal, so my plea was changed to Not Guilty, and the charge has been dismissed from my record as of xx/xx/xxxx.

Although I wish I could have done things differently to begin with, I will say that this incident has taught me so much and made me grow. First, I learned that I need to do the right thing, no matter how big or small I think the impact of my actions will cause. Although I thought the damage to the car was minimal, I should not have driven away because it's the owner of the car's right to determine the magnitude of the damage, not mine. I was completely inconsiderate because I did not think about the effects of my actions and how they would impact others. Next, I learned the importance of taking accountability for my actions and being responsible. Had I immediately taken accountability for my actions and done the right thing, I would have avoided this entire situation and would have only had to pay for the small amount of damage to his car. The owner of the car would have also been able to immediately get his car repaired, instead of having to wait for the criminal/court process to be settled. Since then, I have consistently followed these guidelines in everything I do. I think about the potential impact of my actions and try to ensure that my actions have a positive impact. If I make a mistake or do something wrong, I immediately take responsibility for my actions, identify where I went wrong, and attempt to rectify the issue by ensuring it does not happen again.

Since this incident xx years ago, I have also made many contributions to the community and have demonstrated my purpose and commitment to making change in the community. As an undergraduate at xx, I majored in Community Health, which steered my career path to help serve underserved populations. My community work includes: volunteering at clinics that serve clients may be uninsured or who have no other access to health care services; helping organize, plan, and execute a medical mission in xx, in which we established care for hundreds of residents of a rural mountain community; and I have been a volunteer EMT for the past 5 years. In addition, prior to pursuing a career in nursing, I worked at a children's hospital where I assisted many patients and their families in overcoming issues with healthcare access by helping them obtain health insurance and referrals to other resources.

I am fully aware that committing a crime, especially a crime such as a hit-and-run that involves lack of responsibility and ownership, goes completely against the values of a nurse. Nurses are considered to be one of the most honest and trustworthy professions, and I believe that, despite committing an action that goes against those principles, I am still an honest and trustworthy person at my core. I take pride in my contributions to the community and my commitment to serve others. I am a patient advocate, and I don’t take for granted the trust my patients have in me. Because of my past, I have also become very compassionate and believe that people should not be defined by poor choices they have made. In the same way I don’t want people to judge me for the bad choice I made, I also make sure to treat my patients with a nonjudgmental and open-minded attitude. I believe that as a nurse, I will be able to continue and expand upon my ability to make a positive impact on my community, and I hope that the Board of Nursing can recognize my rehabilitative efforts and allow me the opportunity to continue pursuing my nursing career.