Important Message for RNs from the Board of Registered Nursing:
Submission of Fingerprints to the California BRN
"...an applicant for renewal not previously fingerprinted by the board, or for whom a record of the submission of fingerprints no longer exists, is required to furnish to the Department of Justice, as directed by the board, a full set of fingerprints..." Dr. Joseph Morris, Executive Officer BRN
To practice nursing in California, all registered nurses are required be fingerprinted. This is not a new requirement – and while most practicing RNs are in compliance, there are many who are not – and may not be aware. This important message applies to individuals who do not have both Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI fingerprint results on file with the BRN.
Mandatory fingerprinting of all RNs began in 1990. Practicing RNs who were initially licensed in California prior to 1990 were not required to submit a full set of fingerprints to the BRN. Between 2009 -2010, prior to renewing their licenses, these nurses were required to submit their fingerprints utilizing Live Scan technology. More recently, nurses and first time licensees between 1990 and 2008 who submitted their fingerprints to the BRN via the ink or hard card technology were informed that they needed to resubmit their prints via the LiveScan system. Notification of this requirement was sent to both groups with their renewal notices.
Because practicing RNs wash their hands frequently, obtaining clear and acceptable prints has proven to be difficult. As a cohort, nurses have more rejections when fingerprinted than the public. When fingerprints are rejected by the DOJ, applicants are notified that they must return to a Live Scan site for reprinting. Unfortunately, these notices were sometimes overlooked and a significant number of nurses did not comply with the mandate for reprinting.
The Current Issue
Over the next few weeks, the BRN will be notifying RNs who do not have fingerprints on file. To continue to practice as registered nurses in California, these individuals must submit a new set of fingerprints to the Department of Justice and provide proof of submission to the BRN. Proof of submission of fingerprints is required within 60 days of receiving the BRN notification letter or their license will not be renewed.
Additionally, failure to submit fingerprints within 60 days of receipt of the letter may result in a citation and fine up to $2,500.00 or referral to the Attorney General's Office for possible disciplinary action against the RN’s license. Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations Sections 1419, 1419.1, and 1419.3 require all registered nurses to submit fingerprints upon license renewal.
Although RNs may have submitted fingerprints in the past, current law requires nurses to provide a new submission of fingerprints to the DOJ – via LiveScan if in California or hard card if outside of California. If they are renewing their license to an "Active" status, they must have current DOJ and FBI fingerprint results on file with the BRN. The DOJ and FBI processing fee for fingerprints is $49 + Rolling Fee.