License surrender vs out of state probation


Hi all. I'm a nurse that works and lives in Arizona that received dui in arizona (and was working/living in az at the time too). At the time, I held a California license (which is now expired). Arizona didn't take action but California wants to place my license on probation. I don't intend to ever work or live in California and I don't even visit the state. I've had very conflicting advice from attorneys and want to find someone with actual experience. Advice#1-surrender my license since I would likely violate my probation because I do not live or work there and cannot fulfill it. In regards to the OIG list, I likely wouldn't be placed on it because my case does not have to do with controlled substances or fraud and is not on the list of mandatory exclusions. Advice#2- probationary term #4 states that my probation is tolled when I'm not living or residing in the state of California however it doesn't state a timeframe as to if and when I'd have to return to cali. some say I don't have to worried about completing probation since it will be tolled and others say that eventually the Board of Nursing will revocate my license because I'm just trying to get out of my probation by keeping it tolled. I cannot find information on either of these options anywhere. I am a happy, functioning, thriving, successful nurse in Arizona and I would like to keep it that way

Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD

8 Articles; 119 Posts

Specializes in Medical Legal Consultant. Has 34 years experience.

I strongly caution nurses not to surrender their license. There are too many collateral issues that can arise. You said that you will not be on the OIG list. That is not true. Anyone who surrenders or has their license revoked can be on the exclusion list regardless of medicare of medicaid fraud.

Orca, ADN, ASN, RN

2,066 Posts

Specializes in Hospice, corrections, psychiatry, rehab, LTC. Has 28 years experience.

It would forever be on your record that you surrendered your license,  which could be a giant red flag for any potential employer. During interviews, we ask an unscored question at the end, regarding whether the interviewee has ever had a license revoked or suspended, or been disciplined by the board of nursing in any state. Depending upon the circumstances, it isn't an absolute exclusion, but it might be the determining factor between two candidates for the same spot.

I suggest speaking with someone in California who can advise you regarding their possible actions and what your options are. Form letters don't contain a lot of detail.


2 Posts

Specializes in ER.

Any update on this?  Interested to know how it went for you.  


1 Post

Specializes in Critical care. Has 9 years experience.

I’m currently facing the same situation with CA. I only took my boards there in which my license has been expired since 2016. I’ve been residing and working in OR where I’ll be finishing probation in Jan ‘23. I’ve been sober for close to 2 years now. I’ve provided documents of treatment, neg UA’s, therapy sessions, letters of rec, etc. I have owned and will always have remorse about not getting alcohol treatment sooner. My attorney and I went to hearing before the board made their final decision but the outcome is looking like revocation. We’ll know for sure in a few months. He plans to file an appeal but I’m  really concerned that it’s too late for a better outcome. My fear is finishing probation successfully in Oregon and coming out of it with a huge mark from CA. If anyone has experience with this, a DM would be greatly appreciated. I’m so grateful to have found this supportive  community!

Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD

8 Articles; 119 Posts

Specializes in Medical Legal Consultant. Has 34 years experience.

Are you represented by an attorney?