California Nurse Licensing Delays Frustrate Applicants

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By The Gypsy Nurse Staff

March 14, 2014

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California Nurse Licensing Delays Frustrate Applicants

What’s going on with California Nurse Licensing?

RN license

There has been a lot of news lately regarding the delays in licensure for nurses attempting to license in CA. What’s causing these delays?  Who is this affecting?

What’s Causing the Delay?

According to the California Board of Nursing Website:


“Due to circumstances beyond the control of the Board of Registered Nursing, we are experiencing some delays in processing applications. If it has been less than 90 days since your payment has cleared through your bank, please refrain from contacting the Board for application status. We are committed to continuing to provide quality evaluation of applications as quickly as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience and we appreciate your patience.”

We hear that you are sorry California, but that doesn’t explain what’s causing the delays. According to the LA Times, a new $52 million dollar system called BreEZe, which was designed to improve efficiency for licensing boards and bureaus is the monster behind these delays.

According to reports, the system isn’t allowing the online submission of application information, and this is resulting in the hand input from thousands of paper applications. New Graduates who before the transition were told 6-8 weeks for licensing are now facing a wait time of up to 90 days.

How is this affecting the Travel Nursing industry?

I wanted to know how the staffing agencies are handling these delays so I reached out to a few random companies.  The companies all appear to be taking a pro-active approach.

According to Crystal Lovato, Senior Recruiter at Expedient Medstaff,

“We aren’t booking anyone in who doesn’t currently hold an active license. It’s a nightmare not knowing if/when a license will issue. I have several candidates wanting CA that are on hold until their license issues are resolved.”

Rachel Schafer, Senior Recruiter from RNNetwork states;


“our goal is to get the most qualified nurses to hospitals/patients in need. As state boards go through challenges from time to time, we utilize our expertise to find nurses with current licenses.”

Justin Federico, Recruiter at Core Medical Group reports;


“These delays are having a noticeable impact on nurses who have their sights set on California. CoreMedical Group has decided to stay proactive in this situation. If a nurse expresses an interest in California, we explain that the process can take anywhere from 3 to 4 months to get licensed – about the length of one contract. If you wish to travel to CA, we advise you to first take a contract in a place where the licensing process is quicker and apply for a CA license while on that contract. We can include it in your contract to reimburse you for the California Nurse license right away, so you don’t have to wait for the money to come in on your next contract in CA.

This is an important time for agencies to partner with travel nurses and come up with creative solutions, such as taking a contract in a walkthrough, compact, or quick licensure state (at least until California catches up). I have found a lot of success recently by working with my nurses to find an alternative to California in one of the other 49 beautiful states until their CA license comes in.”

Becoming Frustrating

As you can see, the staffing agencies are doing their best to work around these issues but the travelers that are hoping to get to California are becoming increasingly frustrated. In reading through some of the discussions via our Facebook network group, travel nurses are becoming very frustrated with not being able to secure a position in the much sought after the state of California.  California likely has one of the largest percentages of travel nurses in the nation. With mandated state ratios, combined with a large percentage of travel nurses, these licensing delays may cause some issues for several months.

If local nurses can’t license, and travel nurses can’t fill the gaps…what happens next? For an update on the current status and some tips, check the follow-up article.

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