Reporting a Criminal Charge to the Arizona Board of Nursing
Arizona law holds that any licensed or certified health care professional (this includes nurses) who has been charged with a misdemeanor involving conduct that may affect patient safety must notify the Arizona Board of Nursing (“Board”) in writing within 10 working days after the charge is filed. Being charged with a crime means that a police officer has issued an arrest or citation and has sent copies of their report to the prosecutor’s office for review.
Failure to report the criminal charge within 10 working days can result in an act of unprofessional conduct and the Board may impose a fine of not more than $1000, in addition to disciplinary action.
- Do not rely on your criminal defense attorney to advise you in matters regarding licensing board matters.
- Facilitate communication between your criminal defense attorney and your licensing board attorney.
- Do not contact any representative from the Board in regards to your criminal matter.
- Do not discuss your criminal matter with supervisors, administrators or colleagues.
- Document everything in detail. Your memory regarding the incident will degrade over time, so it is important to document names, dates, places, etc.
- Do not withhold past crimes or fail to list new convictions on your re-application.
There are a large number of crimes that must be reported to the Board if a licensee has been charged. However, most licensed behavioral health professionals tend to conceal the charge rather than self-report. Unfortunately, if the Board does find out, not only will the professional face discipline if ultimately convicted of the charge, but they will also receive discipline for concealing the charge as well. Remember, a charge is not a conviction and it is better to reveal the charge at the beginning rather than face a sanction from the Board for failure to disclose. Many professionals are given bad advice from their criminal defense attorney and are told they only have to report a conviction. This is not true.