Arizona Nursing Board Discipline
When a nurse is facing a complaint or investigation by their nursing board, he or she may also face Arizona Board of Nursing disciplinary actions. Facing disciplinary action can have vast repercussions on a nursing career. This can include license probation, suspension or revocation. It can also jeopardize employment. A nurse under investigation can face termination at their current job after receiving a complaint or after the Board initiates an investigation.
CLICK HERE FOR ARIZONA NURSING BOARD ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION
When Disciplinary Action Can Take Place
There are certain allegations that can cause a nurse to receive disciplinary action. These include:
- Improper record keeping
- Reporting false information
- Physical abuse of patients
- Sexual abuse of patients
- Criminal convictions
- Substance Abuse
- Disruptive Conduct
AZ Nurses Complaint
Any form of discipline a nurse receives from the Arizona Board of Nursing depends upon the violation. In fact, there’s a whole range of discipline that can occur. Not only can a license be revoked, there can be a denial of certification or licensure. There can also be civil penalties. Sometimes the board requires a voluntary surrender of license or a probation period.
Published Discipline Report (RN, LPN, LNA, NP)
Every time a disciplinary action takes place the Arizona Board of Nursing publishes a report. This happens with any RN as well as LPNs and CNA. It also includes applicants denied their certification or licensure. This report goes into the Arizona State Board of Nursing Quarterly Journal. The details of the report include:
- Date of disciplinary action
- Nurse’s name
- Certificate number
- Discipline taken
- Nature of the violation
It is of concern to any nursing professional to have this detailed listing anyone can see.
Avoiding Unprofessional Conduct
When a nurse would like to prevent their name being published in the Journal, they have a couple of options. Obviously, the first one would be not to commit a violation in the first place. Being aware of the consequences can go a long way to preventing someone from doing something they will regret. The second option is to avoid the disciplinary action once the Board of Nursing has started an investigation. The investigation is begun once a complaint is received or when the Board has gotten information regarding a possible violation. The nurse will then get notice of action and needs to respond to this, usually within 30 days.
Nurses often can fall victim to unfounded reports, complaints and accusations or disciplinary issues. Every nursing professional needs to be aware of the availability of legal representation. There are many nurses who wait too long to retain an attorney. The best time to get legal help is prior to responding to the inquiry from the Board of Nursing. When deciding to represent yourself in the case, you must be familiar with all the regulations and the administrative procedures that you will need to follow. It can be complex. To successfully navigate the issues and present the best defense, it is important to get legal representation. Prevent an unfavorable ruling that can have a lasting impact on your professional career.
AZ Nursing Board Criminal History is an important consideration. A felony must be reported within 10 days of being charged. The following types of misdemeanor or other criminal offenses/charges are crimes that have been determined by the Board to be reportable pursuant to A.RS § 32-3208:
- Assault and Related Offenses
- Theft and Related Offenses
- Fraud, Deceit and Related Offenses
- Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation of a Child or Vulnerable Adult and Related Offenses
- Sexual and Related Offenses
- Drug and/or Alcohol Related Offenses
- Arson and Related Offenses
- Animal Abuse, Cruelty and Related Offenses
Nurse Administrative Appeal and Hearing
Any professional nursing licensee may request AZ Nursing Board Appeals legal appeal of board discipline to an administrative law judge with the AZ 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.
Contact an Attorney
Contact an attorney at Chelle Law to schedule an appointment or learn more about how attorney’s can assist you with discipline action. Learn more about the Arizona Board of Nursing’s definition of discipline for nurses.