Arizona Board of Nursing Unprofessional Conduct

The Arizona Board of Nursing (“Board”) specifically designates a number of acts that are considered unprofessional conduct. If the Board determines that a licensed or certified nurse has committed an act of unprofessional conduct the Board may impose disciplinary action. The disciplinary action can include probation, suspension or revocation of a nurse’s license or certificate. The laws specifically state that the acts leading to a finding of unprofessional conduct do not have to occur in Arizona, they can occur anywhere else.  Here is the Arizona Revised Statue (A.R.S. 32-1601) with the acts included in the Arizona Board of Nursing Unprofessional Conduct.

Some of the acts of unprofessional conduct include (this is not an all-inclusive list):

  • Committing a felony or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.
  • Any conduct that is harmful to the health of a patient or the public.
  • Having a license or certificate denied, suspended, limited or revoked in another jurisdiction and not reinstated by that jurisdiction.
  • Failing to comply with a board order.
  • Failing to self-report a conviction for a felony or undesignated offense within ten days after the conviction.
  • Cheating on a licensure or certification examination.

There are some very specific reporting rules regarding self-reporting criminal charges to the Board.  Be aware that you must report most criminal charges to the Board within 10 days or you will likely be disciplined A licensed or certified nurse is held to a higher standard with regards to conduct and it is imperative that you don’t risk your license for simply failing to report an act to the Board.

If you have any questions regarding Arizona Board of Nursing Unprofessional Conduct 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 Nurse Licensure Compact Reporting Requirements

Arizona Nurse Licensure Compact Reporting RequirementsCurrently, Arizona is a participating state in the Nurse Licensure Compact (“NLC”).  The NLC in an interstate agreement between participating states that authorizes Licensed Practical Nurses (“LPN”) and Registered Nurses (“RN”) licensed and residing in a participating state to practice in other states that follow the NLC without having to obtain an additional license in that state.  Under the NLC the nurse is subject to each state’s practice laws and disciplinary proceedings while practicing in that state.

A nurse holding a license and residing in a state that follows the NLC is free to practice in other states that follow the NLC, except when their practice is limited or restricted in their home state.

The states currently participating in the NLC  are as follows:  Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware,  Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.

Arizona law states that any nurse who wishes to practice in Arizona pursuant to the NLC must notify the board if their nursing license has been denied, suspended or revoked in another jurisdiction within the past five years.  Additionally, any felony conviction where the nurse did not receive an absolute discharge from the sentence at least five years before the date that the person applies to practice in Arizona pursuant to the NLC must be reported as well.  The Arizona Board of Nursing will find that any nurse who fails to report these issues prior to practicing in the state has committed an act of unprofessional conduct and will be subject to discipline.

So, it is important that any nurse who wishes to practice in Arizona pursuant to the NLC, even for a single day, notify the Board of past transgressions or risk discipline.  As always, it is much better to report problems at the beginning instead of dealing with a disciplinary act at the end.

If you have a question about Arizona Nurse Licensure Compact Reporting Requirements contact Chelle  Law.