The job of the Arizona State Board of Nursing (located in Phoenix, AZ) is to protect and promote the medical welfare of the people of Arizona. They do this by ensuring each professional who holds a license as a nurse in Arizona is able to practice safely and promote health. This means the Arizona Board of Nursing has the authority to discipline the license and practice of any nurse that comes in contact with Arizona. Chelle Law’s Arizona Nurse License Lawyer has represented over 600 nurses before the Board and have the professional licensing defense experience needed to defend the rights of nurses with Arizona State Board of Nursing healthcare litigation matters. Our office and defense attorney assists:
- Registered Nurses (RN)
- Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN)
- Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
- Nurse Practitioners (NP)
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA)
- Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
Arizona Board of Nursing License Complaint
Who can file a complaint against a nurse? Patients, Health Care Facilities, nurses, other health care professionals, among others can contact the Board and allege legal violations. When the Arizona State Board of Nursing receives a complaint the Board initiates an investigation into the complaint (if the Board has jurisdiction and the Complaint isn’t dismissed) and a case is opened. After this happens, the nurse receives notice and the Board assigns an investigator to the case. Please note, having an attorney during this step can be crucial and can protect your rights. This is because a nurse must submit a response, interview with the investigator while also possibly appearing at a AZ Board of Nursing Meeting. Our office can assist nurses with interpreting Arizona law.
Board of Nursing Application Denial Assistance
Applicants to the Arizona Board of Nursing who have a criminal history from years ago (like a DUI) or previous case discipline by the Arizona Board of Nursing (or any other Nursing Board) may be subject to denial of their application for licensure. Thus, those with a criminal or disciplinary history from other licensing boards will be investigated by the Arizona Board of Nursing after receiving contact of an investigation.
Reporting a Misdemeanor to the Board
Nurses who currently hold a valid license with the Arizona Board of Nursing or pending applicants must notify the board of nursing of any criminal charge that may affect patient safety within ten (10) business days (like a DUI). Nurses should learn what crimes an individual must report and the potential discipline that can come with it.
Alternative to Discipline Program
The Alternative to Discipline Program (ATD) is the Board’s non-disciplinary, confidential monitoring division for Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, Nurse Practitioners and CRNAs licensed in Arizona. ATD is for nurses with medical problems, substance use disorders or mental health conditions. Nurses who wish to participate in the ATD program must voluntarily request entry and meet the certain eligibility criteria without lawyer assistance.
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.
Arizona Nurse Practice Disciplinary Actions
Nurses who hold a license or certification in Arizona can face license actions by the AZ Board of Nursing for any investigatory matters. If the Board determines formal licensing 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 (“NPA”) 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.
Examples of Disciplinary Actions include:
- CASE DISMISSAL: The Board may dismiss a case if they determine there was not a violation of the Arizona Nurse Practice Act or Arizona law.
- LETTER OF CONCERN: A letter from the Board expressing concern that the nurse’s conduct was not ideal; however, the conduct does not necessarily violate the NPA. (Not uncommon for a first time DUI)
- ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY: The board may impose an administrative penalty of not more than one thousand dollars.
- REVOCATION: If the Board revokes a nurse’s license the nurse will be unable to provide care for a minimum of five yrs. After the five year period the nurse will have to reapply for their license after the five year period has ended. If the nurse reapplies for licensure the nurse must must demonstrate that the grounds for revocation (substance abuse, mental health problems, criminal convictions, medical issues) has been rectified.
- VOLUNTARY SURRENDER: The nurse voluntarily gives up their license. The benefit of a voluntary surrender is that the Board is usually willing to reduce the amount of time until a nurse can reapply (between 2 to 3 years).
- SUSPENSION: A suspension stops the nurse from practicing as a nurse for a period of time until the Board lifts the suspension.
- PROBATION: Probation is offered through a Consent Agreement. The Consent Agreement requires the nurse to do certain things (drug testing, work supervision, counseling, continuing education). Or alternatively, refrain from doing things (unsupervised nursing like home health, working under the Nursing Licensure Compact, using alcohol, etc.).
- DECREE OF CENSURE: A decree of censure is the lowest level of formal discipline. There are no probationary requirements, but the Order will be listed on the website for a five year period.
- CIVIL PENALTY: This is similar to a Decree of Censure. The difference is a nurse can receive a fine (up to $1000 per violation). The Civil Penalty is listed for a period of five yrs as well.
Contact Our Arizona Attorney
If you’re interested in learning more about our license defense lawyer services (located in Phoenix) and how to protect your rights, set up a consultation with Chelle Law and our Arizona Nursing Attorney reach out to us today.
Read what registered nurse Jessica had to say about us on Google:
“When I set out to attempt to get an initial nursing license despite having multiple legal issues from partying as a younger adult, someone told me Robert Chelle was THE attorney to hire….With Mr. Chelle’s help, I was able to realize that dream: I am an RN today with a promising career ahead of me…You’ve got so much invested in your career to risk representing yourself. In my case, I had invested 2.5 years of time and tens of thousands of dollars on school before I contacted Mr. Chelle. He and his team were able to provide me results that were essential to being able to start my career..”
Jessica M., Sept 2020, Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐