California Board of Registered Nursing Logo P.O. Box 944210
Sacramento, CA. 94244-2100
Phone: (916) 322-3350



































California Board of Registered Nursing

The Hartnell College Registered Nursing Program is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing.  The Board of Registered Nursing awarded Hartnell College "Continued Approval" status in October 2020.  Nursing faculty was commended for academic and clinical instruction, relationships with clinical partners and community stakeholders, and commitment to students.  Faculty keeps pace with the changing demands of the healthcare industry and community. The nursing curriculum is dynamic and ever-changing. 

What is the Board of Registered Nursing?

The Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) is a state governmental agency established by law to protect the public by regulating the practice of registered nurses. The BRN is responsible for implementation and enforcement of the Nursing Practice Act: the laws related to nursing education, licensure, practice, and discipline. The Nursing Practice Act created a nine-member Board which serves as the BRN decision-making body.

Board Members

The nine-member Board is composed of four members of the public and five registered nurses. The five registered nurses include three direct-client care nurses, a nurse administrator, and a nurse educator. Seven members are appointed by the Governor and two are appointed by the Legislature. Each member serves a four-year term and can be re-appointed, although the member cannot serve more than two consecutive terms.

BRN Regulation 

The BRN regulates California registered nurses. There are over 300,000 registered nurses in California providing health care services in a variety of settings. Regardless of the title or setting, the registered nurse's practice is governed by the Board of Registered Nursing.

BRN Consumer Protection

The BRN performs a variety of activities in its mission to protect consumers, including:

  • Setting RN Educational Standards: The BRN sets educational standards for nursing programs which prepare individuals to become licensed as registered nurses.
  • Approving California Nursing Programs: There are approximately 100 nursing programs which have been approved because they meet BRN educational standards.
  • Evaluating Licensure Applications: Applications are evaluated to determine whether the applicant meets all licensure requirements. To be licensed the applicant must:
    1. complete the educational requirements
    2. pass a national licensing examination
    3. be cleared through a background check for conviction of any crime which might make the applicant ineligible for licensure.
  • Issuing and Renewing Licenses: Licenses are issued to applicants who meet the licensing requirements. The license must be renewed every two years.
  • Issuing Certificates: The BRN issues certificates to eligible public health nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists. The BRN also maintains a list of eligible psychiatric/mental health nurse specialists.
  • Taking Disciplinary Action: If a nurse violates the Nursing Practice Act, the BRN may take disciplinary action against the nurse's license. Grounds for discipline focus on behaviors that place clients at risk of harm. The disciplinary action is dependent on the nature and severity of the violation and what is necessary to protect the public. The disciplinary action becomes a part of the RN's file and is accessible to the public.
  • Managing a Diversion Program: The BRN's Diversion Program is an alternative to the discipline process for nurses whose practice may be impaired due to chemical dependency or mental illness. This confidential Program protects the public while enabling the nurse to be rehabilitated.


SB 466 (Hill)- Military Education and Experience Proposed Regulatory Change

SB 1348 (Cannella, 2016)- Licensure Applications: Military Experience

Who To Contact