Arizona Nursing Board Hearing
It’s always disappointing when a nurse receives an unfavorable decision from the Arizona Board of Nursing (AZBON). However, nurses in Arizona can benefit from understanding the process that goes along with Arizona Board of Nursing appeals and hearings after complaints are heard. If you are facing an unfavorable AZBON outcome due to an Arizona Board of Nursing disciplinary action, you can always appeal the decision (for instance after lpn discipline).
Filing an Appeal after a Board Meeting
The investigatory process and the appeal process work like this: The AZBON receives a complaint or initiates an investigation into the conduct of the nurse (like a ucna, lna, cna). Once the board receives a complaint or self-report they will then initiate an investigation (like if a patient in Phoenix files information putting a nurse certificate at risk). The purpose of this investigation is to give the AZBON evidence to make a decision on whether or not a nurse should face disciplinary action (for instance, due to reporting a misdemeanor charge or conviction). If the nurse receives an unfavorable decision it is at this point they can then file an appeal and request a hearing with the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearing. An Administrative Law Judge will then oversee the appeal and the nurse may need to attend a hearing. However, sometimes the investigation is automatically sent to hearing or an informal settlement conference can be held.
Nursing Administrative Appeal and Hearing
Any professional nurse licensee may request a legal appeal of an Arizona State Board of Nursing disciplinary action to an administrative law judge with the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) which is located in Phoenix. In some instances, a case is sent automatically to OAH. The OAH hearing is conducted before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The administrative process is not as formal as a trial, but is similar. Each party presents evidence using documents or sworn testimony. Each party also gives an opening and closing argument which should explain why the judge should rule one way or the other. A nurse’s attorney can cross examine witnesses and testify on his or her behalf. After it is completed, the ALJ reviews the transcripts, evidence and makes a recommendation. However, the Board makes the decision to either accept, reject or modify the ALJ’s decision. If an individuals feels there has been a mistake they can request a rehearing.
Nurse License Suspension
Nurses contact our office and frequently ask our attorneys, does state law allow the Arizona State Board of Nursing to suspend a nurse’s license? The short answer is yes. The Board can issue an Arizona Nursing License Suspension based upon ARS 41-1092.11. That statute states nurses can be suspended (and ultimately have their license revoked):
“B. Revocation, suspension, annulment or withdrawal of any license is not lawful unless, before the action, the agency provides the licensee with notice and an opportunity for a hearing in accordance with this article. If the agency finds that the public health, safety or welfare imperatively requires emergency action, and incorporates a finding to that effect in its order, the agency may order summary suspension of a license pending proceedings for revocation or other action. These proceedings shall be promptly instituted and determined.”
So, in short, yes. The Arizona Board of Nursing has the power to suspend your license if it determines you are an immediate threat to the health, safety and welfare of the public. Some usual reasons for a nursing license suspension include:
- Diverting narcotics.
- Healthcare problems.
- Criminal issues (felony, misdemeanor).
- Past disciplinary issues.
- Substance abuse (alcohol, prescription medications, illegal drugs).
- Sexual misconduct.
- Mental health disorders necessitating immediate action.
Committee Meetings Minutes
Nurses who hold a license or certification in Arizona can face disciplinary actions by the AZ Board of Nursing. If the Board determines formal disciplinary action is necessary it will happen after the completion of an investigation. It’s the job of the Board to review any complaint alleging a violation of the Arizona Nurse Practice Act and Arizona law. Thus, at an Arizona Nursing Board Meeting the Board will vote to determine the outcome of each investigation, thus, a defense attorney may be needed. The Board can vote on a non-disciplinary outcome or vote to offer the nurse formal discipline at the meeting. A nurse can always review the minutes of a Board Meeting.
LNA and CNA Attorney
For individuals who wish to file an appeal it is crucial to retain qualified legal counsel to represent you. Having an attorney with experience working on your behalf means having the help you need to draft an appeal. It also means having an attorney on your side that will help to ensure all avenues of defense are explored. Having a complaint against you or working with the Board’s Investigator is challenging enough. Our attorney’s to help you to protect your professional license and maneuver these complex legal proceedings.
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Nursing Board Appeals services services and how to protect your rights, set up a consultation with Chelle Law and our Arizona Nursing Attorney reach out to us today.e and have questions about how Arizona Board of Nursing appeals and hearings work or if would like to set up a consultation with Chelle Law, contact us today.