Receiving notification of a complaint or investigation with the Arizona Board of Nursing can be a scary. After receiving a complaint, the Board initiates an investigation to help determine whether the claim has merit or not. The Investigator then sends a letter and questionnaire seeking additional information regarding the circumstances behind the complaint. You should not answer this questionnaire without seeking legal counsel.
How an attorney at Chelle Law can help
Having an attorney who has Arizona Board of Nursing complaint experience is vital. Your legal counsel can help you write a response describing the circumstances in the most favorable way. It’s important to remember a complaint can lead to disciplinary action, probation, suspension or even the revocation of a nursing license. Thus, a nurse must take a complaint very seriously.
Here is a general time-line regarding the first stage of an Arizona Board of Nursing Complaint:
- The Arizona Board of Nursing receives a Complaint/Self-Report.
- The Board determines if they have jurisdiction over the complaint.
- When the Board has jurisdiction, the nurse is given a status of “Complaint/Self Report” on the verification section of the website.
- An investigator is put on the case and a case number is given. Depending on the complaint type, the person investigating my vary. For example, Nurse Practice Consultants are put on cases where the complaints involve a patient care issue. While a Senior Investigator will investigate a complaint involving criminal conduct.
- The investigation begins when the investigator sends a notification letter and questionnaire to the nurse.
- After receiving this letter the nurse generally must respond in 14-30 days.
Retaining legal counsel gives you the best chance of minimizing disciplinary action from the Board. Individuals under investigation should not speak on the phone with an Investigator or submit any written response without legal counsel.
Tips in regards to a licensing board complaint:
- Politely refuse to speak to any representative from the board asking you questions about the complaint. State that your attorney has instructed you not to speak to any representative from the Board. Instead, inform them they can contact your attorney.
- Do not discuss the events surrounding the complaint with co-workers or the administration of your facility.
- Document the events surrounding the complaint in detail. Your memory will degrade over time, so make certain to list dates, times, names and events around the event as soon as possible.
- Any witnesses familiar with the incident who are willing to testify on your behalf should write down their recollection of the events in an affidavit (a sworn statement).
Hiring an attorney ensures the Board receives your side of the story. If you have received a notice, contact Chelle Law today to schedule a consultation.