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Nursing Discipline Terminology

Accusation:
An Accusation is a legal document formally charging a registered nurse with a violation(s) of the Nursing Practice Act, and notifying the public that a disciplinary action is pending against that nurse.

Convicted of a crime substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of an RN:
Can apply to such crimes as embezzlement, child abuse, spousal abuse, battery, theft from a patient or client, or failure to report abuse. This list is for illustration only and is not all-inclusive of the acts for which the Board may discipline an RN's license.

Default Decision:
A decision based on the RN's failure to provide a notice of defense after an accusation has been served, or failure to be present at an Administrative Hearing. All charges are deemed true, and the default decision normally results in a revocation of the RN's license. Board members may vote to adopt or reject a default decision, or discuss it further before making a final decision.

Effective (date):
Indicates the date the disciplinary action goes into operation.

Gross Negligence:
An extreme departure from the standard of practice for RNs. An extreme departure means the repeated failure to provide the required nursing care or failure to provide care or exercise precaution in a single situation which the nurse knew, or should have known, could result in patient harm.

Incompetence:
Lack of knowledge or skill in discharging professional obligations as an RN.

Interim Suspension Order:
A license is suspended by an Administrative Law Judge due to the seriousness of the allegations in advance of the filing of an accusation and pending a final determination of the licensee's fitness to practice and provide nursing care.

License Denied:
The Board denied an initial license application.

Order to Issue Conditional License:
The Board grants an initial license application. Once licensed, the applicant is placed on probation, and must be monitored by the Board for a set period of time.

PC 23:
Under California Penal Code Section 23, during a criminal proceeding, a judge may order that a licensee be suspended from practice as a registered nurse, or restricted in how he or she may practice registered nursing.

Petition to Revoke Probation Filed:
The Board is filing charges to revoke a licensee's probation for violating the terms and conditions of his or her probation.

Probation:
Allows the licensee to practice as an RN under certain restrictions for a set period of time.

Proposed Decision:
A decision rendered by an Administrative Law Judge through an Administrative Hearing. A proposed decision has to be adopted by the majority of the Board's members before it can go into effect. The Board members may vote to adopt or reject a Proposed Decision, or discuss it further before making a final decision.

Public Reprimand:
The Board issued a letter of reprimand for a minor violation the Nursing Practice Act, with no restrictions on the license.

Revocation stayed, Probation:
The Board revoked an RN license, stayed (i.e. temporarily set aside) the revocation, and allowed the licensee to practice as an RN with a restricted license under terms and conditions of probation. While on probation, the RN must be monitored by the Board for a set period of time.

Revocation Stayed, Suspension, Probation:
The Board revokes a license. However, the revocation is "stayed" or temporarily set aside, pending successful completion of probation. If the licensee violates probation, the Board may lift the "stay" and revoke the license.

Revoked/Surrendered License:
The Board revoked the license and the licensee no longer has the right to practice as an RN or to use the title.

Statement of Issues:
A Statement of Issues is a legal document, formally charging an applicant for initial licensure, with a violation(s) of the Nursing Practice Act, and notifying the public that a disciplinary action is pending against the applicant.

Stayed:
The Board has temporarily set aside an order with the understanding that that the order will take effect if the licensee fails to fulfills certain conditions or if the licensee once again violates the Nursing Practices Act.

Stipulated Agreement:
A licensee facing disciplinary action by the Board may negotiate a settlement or "stipulated agreement." The stipulated agreement is similar to an out-of court settlement in civil suits. The Board must vote to approve all stipulated agreements.

Supplemental/Amended Accusation Filed:
Additional information or amendments have been made to a previously filed accusation.

Suspension:
The Board has ordered the licensee not to practice as a registered nurse for a set or indefinite period of time. Suspensions may be imposed in disciplinary actions, prior to a probation term, or may be imposed as the result of a violation of probation.

Voluntary Surrender:
The licensee has surrendered the license as a resolution to a disciplinary matter. The individual can no longer practice nursing in California.

Writ:
A licensee files an appeal in Superior Court asking the court to overturn the Board's disciplinary decision.

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