Avoid Arizona Nurse Charting Errors

Accurate documentation by nurses is an essential part of providing care.  Errors documented in medical records can be used by licensing Boards and attorneys to assess or prove negligence in the care provided to patients.  Precise and thorough documentation is a key factor in proving that proper care was given to a patient by the nurse.  Here are 5 tips to assure you are charting correctly:

  • Do not chart care that was not given
  • Avoid writing in the margins
  • Chart as soon as possible after care is given.
  • Only use abbreviations that are generally accepted within the industry
  • Simply chart the facts.  Do not include personal estimations of the care given or needed.

Every nurse is best served by keeping simple, legible and accurate charts.  This will help you avoid discipline from your licensing Board in addition to protecting yourself from possible litigation.

If you have more questions regarding how to Avoid Arizona Nurse Charting Errors contact Chelle Law.

Arizona Nursing Unlawful Acts

Arizona Nursing Unlawful ActsThere are many acts a nurse licensed or certified in Arizona can be disciplined for that is not illegal per se according to A.R.S. 32-1666.  In fact, all individuals who are licensed or certified by the state are held to a higher standard than the general public.  However, the laws that deal with nursing in Arizona specifically state a number of illegal acts that any individual may not do unless they are specifically licensed or certified to practice nursing in Arizona.  Read the code regarding Arizona Nursing Unlawful Acts.   Those acts include:

  • Acting as or offering to act as a clinical nurse specialist, registered nurse practitioner, or registered or practical nurse in Arizona.
  • Using any abbreviation, card, device, figure, letter, sign or title that indicates that the individual is a clinical nurse specialist, graduate nurse, nurse practitioner, practical nurse, professional nurse or registered nurse.
  • Using any abbreviation, card, device, letter or sign that indicates the individual is certified to practice nursing in any capacity.
  • Operating a training or educational program to prepare students for licensure or certification as a nurse in Arizona unless it has been approved by the Arizona Board of Nursing.

If you have a question about Arizona Nursing Unlawful Acts contact Chelle Law.

Arizona Board of Nursing Investigation Notice

Arizona Board of Nursing Investigation NoticeThe Arizona Board of Nursing (“Board”) is given wide-ranging investigative powers when determining whether to discipline licensed or certified nurses practicing in Arizona.  The Board has the power to suspend, revoke or limit a nurse’s license or certificate after it has completed an investigation.

If the Board concludes, after an investigation, that reasonable grounds exist to bring disciplinary action against a nurse, the Board will serve the nurse with written notice of the possible disciplinary action.  The written notice will contain:

  • The facts gathered by the investigator along with the specific rules or statutes that the Board believes were violated.
  • A request that the nurse rebuts or explains why the Board should not take disciplinary action.

A nurse must submit a written request for a hearing within 30 days from the service of the notice letter or the Board will consider all of the allegations admitted and the Board will take disciplinary action.

No nurse should fail to ask for a hearing to explain the facts surrounding the investigation.  Arizona law allows anyone under investigation before the Board to have an attorney present at the hearing.  The hearing will give the nurse and their attorney an opportunity to explain their side of the story and hopefully minimize any disciplinary action taken.

Know your rights!  Contact an attorney and request a hearing.  Do not let the Board pass judgment without hearing your side of the story first.

If you have any questions about an Arizona Board of Nursing Investigation Notice contact Chelle Law.

Arizona Nursing Title Restrictions

Arizona Nursing Title RestrictionsArizona law regulates who can use various nursing titles within the state.   The use of these titles by individuals who do not hold a current and valid license can result in a finding of unprofessional conduct by the Arizona Board of Nursing and may result in disciplinary action.  Below is a general discussion about the restrictions on using certain nursing titles in Arizona.

Registered Nurses

Only an individual who holds a current and valid license to practice registered nursing in Arizona or in a state that participates in the Nursing License Compact may use the title nurse, registered nurse, professional nurse or use the abbreviation R.N. within the state.

Licensed Practical Nurse

Only an individual who holds a current and valid license to practice practical nursing in Arizona or in a state that participates in the Nursing License Compact may use the title nurse, licensed practical nurse, practical nurse or use the abbreviation L.P.N. within the state.

Nurse Practitioner

Only a person who holds a current and valid certificate to practice as a registered nurse practitioner in Arizona may use the title nurse practitioner, registered nurse practitioner or nurse midwife within the state.  A person who is certified as a registered nurse practitioner in Arizona must indicate by title or initials the specialty area of certification.

Retired Nurses

A retired nurse is prohibited from practicing nursing, but may use the title registered nurse-retired, RN-retired, licensed practical nurse-retired or LPN-retired if applicable.

It is important to know the various titles that a nurse may hold in Arizona in order to avoid possible disciplinary action.  If you have a question about Arizona Nursing Title Restrictions contact Chelle Law.