A Recovery and Alternative to Discipline Program for California Registered Nurses

The Intervention Program is a voluntary and confidential recovery and monitoring program for RNs whose practice may be impaired by substance use disorder or mental illness.

The Program protects the public by providing RNs access to effective treatment services, monitoring their recovery through an individualized plan, and returning them to safe practice.

Goal and Objectives

The goal of the Intervention Program is to protect the public. We achieve this goal through the following objectives:

  • Promoting early identification of nurses with substance use disorder (SUD) or mental illness
  • Encouraging intervention of impaired nurses through effective planning and implementation
  • Providing help and hope for nurse participants
  • Effectively monitoring the recovery of nurses who have an SUD or mental illness
  • Ensuring rehabilitated nurses are returned to safe nursing practice
  • Reduce the gap between nurses with untreated SUD or mental illness and nurses rehabilitated through a comprehensive recovery program.

Program History

In 1984, state law established the Diversion Program (now Intervention Program) as an alternative to discipline. The law charges the BRN to seek ways and means to identify and rehabilitate registered nurses whose competency may be impaired due to substance use disorder or mental illness, rehabilitate those nurses, and return them to practice in a manner that does not endanger public health and safety.

Over 2,000 registered nurses have successfully completed the program. The success of the Intervention Program is attributable to the encouragement, support and guidance provided to nurses by other nurses.

Program Benefits

For the Registered Nurse in the Program:

  • Alternative to license discipline: in most situations, the Intervention Program allows RN’s to obtain recovery services in lieu of disciplinary proceedings.
  • Confidential consultation when considering program enrollment
  • Development of a specialized rehabilitation plan
  • Monitoring the nurse’s progress with the rehabilitation plan
  • Encouragement, support, and guidance
  • Successful return to the nursing profession in a safe manner

For the Public:

  • Early intervention of registered nurses impacted by substance use disorders or mental illness, providing an effective alternative to a more time-consuming disciplinary process
  • Confidential consultation with the concerned public, employers, co-workers, family members, friends and consumers
  • Assistance in preparing to talk to a registered nurse about an observed problem
  • Consultation with employers to assure a safe and smooth transition back to nursing practice for nurse participant

How to Enroll

To request admission into the Intervention Program, please call MAXIMUS at 1-800-522-9198 or email RecoveryProgramAssistance@maximus.com.

How to Get Involved

BRN is looking for dedicated individuals who wish to make a difference by serving as Nurse Support Group Facilitators or Intervention Evaluation Committee members. For more information, refer to links for Nurse Support Group and Intervention Evaluation Committee.

For more information about program referrals, entry requirements, and program components, please refer to the Program Requirements page.

For frequently asked questions, please refer to the FAQ page.

For all other questions regarding the Intervention Program or the Board of Registered Nursing's role in protecting public safety and identifying impaired practitioners, contact the Board's Intervention Program staff at (916) 574-7692 or BRN-Intervention@dca.ca.gov.