Arizona Board of Nursing LPN Investigative Questionnaire

The Arizona Board of Nursing (“Board”) licenses, certifies, investigates and disciplines all licensed practical nurses (“LPN”s) practicing in Arizona.  The Board can initiate an investigation during the following situations:

  • During the application process
  • If the nurse self-reports a violation
  • When a complaint is filed against the nurse

Read about the Arizona Board of Nursing Complaint and Discipline process.  Any time the Board proceeds with an investigation into a possible act of unprofessional conduct by a LPN, the investigator will send the nurse a Questionnaire.  There are a number of different types of Questionnaires that the Board will request the nurse to fill out.  This post will examine the Investigative Questionnaire sent to the nurse during an investigation involving possible acts of unprofessional conduct.

The Investigative Questionnaire will ask for a detailed description of the event(s), in addition to, a detailed employment history for the last five years.  It is important to keep detailed records of all documents associated with past employment.

If patient care is at issue during the investigation the LPN will have to give detailed information as to the patient at issue including relevant outcomes, diagnoses, and facility information.

Receiving an Investigative Questionnaire can be a scary thing for any nurse, but it is important that you seek an attorney prior to responding to any request for information from the Board.  A lawyer experienced in dealing with Board investigations can help you prepare a proper and thorough response.

If you have any questions about an Arizona Board of Nursing LPN Investigative Questionnaire please contact Chelle Law.

Arizona Board of Nursing Questionnaire

The Arizona Board of Nursing (“Board”) licenses, certifies, investigates and disciplines all licensed or certified nurses practicing in Arizona.  The Board can initiate an investigation during the following situations:

  • During the application process
  • If the nurse self-reports a violation
  • When a complaint is filed against the nurse

Any time the Board proceeds with an investigation into a possible act of unprofessional conduct by a nurse, the investigator will send the nurse a Questionnaire.  There are different types of Questionnaires that the Board will request the nurse to fill out.

This post will examine the Arrest/Citation/Charge Questionnaire sent to the nurse during an investigation involving possible or past criminal activity of the nurse.  If the nurse was involved in an incident that resulted in a number of different charges/convictions the nurse will have to fill out a different Questionnaire for each offense.

The Questionnaire will ask for the details of the incident, in addition to, all relevant police and court documents.  It is important to keep detailed records of all documents associated with criminal conduct.  Attempting to track down a voluminous amount of documents from different municipalities can take weeks and the nurse generally has 30 days to return the Questionnaire if the nurse doesn’t request additional time.

The Arrest/Citation/Charge Questionnaire will also ask for a list of all of your employers over the last five years (including current contact information).

Receiving a Questionnaire can be a scary thing for any nurse, but it is important that you seek an attorney prior to responding to any request for information from the Board.  A lawyer experienced in dealing with Board investigations can help you prepare a proper and thorough response.

If you have any questions about an Arizona Board of Nursing Questionnaire please contact Chelle Law.

Arizona Board of Nursing Questionnaire

Arizona Board of Nursing Continuing Education Requirements

Currently, the Arizona Board of Nursing (“Board”) does not require continuing education for licensed practical and registered nurses.  However, attempts are being made by Arizona legislators to mandate 20 hours of continuing education per year for each licensed RN and LPN.  Over 30 states currently require some kind of continuing education for licensed nurses.  The goal of continuing education is to enhance the professional competence of the provider with the hope of improved health care.  Here are the Arizona Board of Nursing Practice Requirements.

Arizona does require that any licensed RN or LPN complete 960 hours of practice in a 5 year period to renew or obtain licensure.  The Board has stated that the following activities constitute practice:

  • Teaching nursing
  • Supervising care
  • Consulting
  • Clinical experience
  • Volunteering with a nursing organization
  • Health screenings
  • Caring for family members does not qualify as practice

New graduates must be licensed within 2 years of graduation or they must complete a refresher course once NCLEX has been passed.

If you have a question about Arizona Board of Nursing Continuing Education Requirements contact Chelle Law.

Arizona Board of Nursing Renewal Fees and Penalties

Arizona Board of Nursing Renewal Fees and PenaltiesArizona law specifies the maximum amount the Arizona Board of the Nursing may charge nurses for applications, renewals, certifications, clerical work, fees and penalties.  Here is a list of the current Arizona Board of Nursing Renewal Fees and Penalties.  The amounts for a select number of activities are as follows (all values are current as of 10/21/2013):

Initial Exams and Applications

• CNA Exam with Document $50
• CNA Exam without Document $0
• CNA Endorsement with Document $50
• RN/LPN Endorsement $150
• RN/LPN Exam Fee & Licensure Fee $300
• RN/LPN Exam Fee – 2nd Time $100
• RN/LPN Fingerprint Fee $50
• School Nurse $75
• Nurse Practitioner (NP) $150
• Nurse Practitioner Prescribing/Dispensing $150
• Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) $150
• Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) $150

Application for Renewal (before expiration)

• CNA: Every 2 Years With Document $50
• CNA: Every 2 Years Without Document $0
• CMA: Every 2 Years With Renewal of CNA $65
• RN/LPN: Every 4 Years $160
• SCHOOL NURSE: every 6 years $25

Clerical Work

• COPY OF NURSE PRACTICE ACT $5
• ADVISORY OPINIONS $15
• RESOURCE MANUAL $35
• DELEGATION RESOURCE FOLDER $5
• TRANSCRIPTS FROM NURSING PROGRAMS $25
• VERIFICATIONS: AP/RN/LPN-(AZ sends to another state) $50
• VERIFICATIONS: CNA $50
OTHER:  2010
• FAILURE TO REPORT CHANGE OF ADDRESS $25
• COPYING OF RECORDS .50¢/page if > 50 pages
• COMPUTERIZED DISKETTES $100
• DUPLICATE LICENSE $25
• DUPLICATE CERTIFICATE $25
• DUPLICATE NP, CNS, CRNA, SCHOOL NURSE CERTIFICATE $25
• NOTARY SERVICES $2
• INSUFFICIENT FUND CHECK $50
• REGISTRATION FEE/BOARD CONFERENCES $100
• WORKING ON EXPIRED LICENSE/CERTIFICATE Refer to Policy

The licensure/certification process can be a lengthy and expensive process, so make certain to give yourself enough time to meet the deadlines set by the Arizona Board of Nursing.  Failing to submit the correct fee amounts or meet the stringent deadlines could lead to fines or the loss of your license.

If you have a question about Arizona Board of Nursing Renewal Fees and Penalties contact Chelle Law.

Arizona Nursing License Renewal

Arizona Nursing License RenewalRegistered and Practical Nurses

For more information about Arizona Nursing License Renewal.  In Arizona any licensed registered or practical nurse must submit an Application for Renewal of License every 4 years on or before April 1st for $160 or before May 1st for $210.  There is a late fee of $50 assessed for each month the license has lapsed with a cap of $200.  If the licensed nurse fails to renew the license by August 1st, the license expires.

In addition to the Application for Renewal the registered or practical nurse must also submit a verified statement that declares whether the nurse has been convicted of a felony along with the date of absolute discharge from the sentence.

Once the Arizona Board of Nursing has received and approved the Application for Renewal the nurse will receive an active renewal license that will be effective for the following four calendar years.

Nursing Assistant

A nursing assistant in Arizona must renew their certification every two years by the last day of their birth month.  The fee to renew is $25 and a late fee of $25 is assessed for every year that the license has expired with a cap of $100.

In addition to the Application for Renewal of a Nursing Assistant Certificate the nurse must also submit a verified statement that declares whether the nurse has been convicted of a felony along with the date of absolute discharge from the sentence.  Once the Application has been approved the Nursing Assistant will be recertified for two years from the last day of their birth month.

Inactive List

A licensed nurse in good standing may request to be placed on an inactive list.  While on the inactive list a nurse may not practice and does not need to pay renewal fees.  If an inactive nurse wishes to resume practicing they must submit a renewal application with the correct fees and a verified statement regarding felony convictions.  Assuming the nurse is approved by the Board; they may begin practicing again.

If you have a question about Arizona Nursing License Renewal regulations 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.

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.

Arizona Nursing Regulatory Journal Disciplinary Action

Arizona Nursing Regulatory Journal Disciplinary ActionThe Arizona Board of Nursing publishes a report (Report) of all disciplinary action regarding certified nursing assistants (CNA), registered nurses (RN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN) in the Arizona State Board of Nursing Quarterly Regulatory Journal (Journal). The Report not only lists currently licensed or certified nurses, but any applicants that have been denied certification or licensure.

The Report lists in detail the:
1. Effective date of the disciplinary action
2. Nurse’s name
3. Certificate number
4. Discipline taken
5. Nature of the violation

The discipline taken can range from:
1. Revocation
2. Civil penalties
3. Denial of certification/licensure
4. Decree of censure
5. Voluntary surrender
6. Probation
7. Stayed revocation with probation

Besides having your name published for all to see, the detailed listing of the nature of the violation should cause any nurse concern. Patient abuse, criminal convictions, disruptive conduct, and sexual misconduct are just a few of the possible violations listed by the Board.

If a nurse would like to keep their name out of the Journal they have two options. First, obviously, is to not commit a violation. The second option is to avoid disciplinary action after the Board has initiated an investigation. The Board will initiate an investigation after a complaint is received, on its own accord during the certification and licensure process or if the Board has received information about a possible violation. Once the Board has started an investigation the nurse will receive a notice of action and will have the opportunity to respond to the Board (usually within 30 days). Most nurses wait until it is too late to retain an attorney, but I cannot stress how important it is to seek counsel prior to submitting your response to an inquiry from the Board.

A strong response can put you in the best possible position to avoid discipline and hopefully keep your name out of the Journal.  If you have a question about Arizona Nursing Regulatory Journal Disciplinary Action contact Chelle Law.

Arizona Board of Nursing Administrative Violations

Arizona Board of Nursing Administrative ViolationsArizona law holds that a licensed nurse may be sanctioned by the Arizona Board of Nursing (“Board”) with an administrative penalty should they:

1.    Fail to timely renew a nursing license or nurse assistant certificate while continuing to practice nursing or engage in activities or duties related to nursing.

2.    Fail to notify the board in writing within thirty days after a change in address.

The law allows the Board to fine a nurse up to $1000.00 for a violation of the actions listed above, however, a fine of that amount is highly unlikely.  For failure to notify the Board of a change of address a nurse would likely receive a warning or nominal fine.

The Board has specifically defined the penalty amounts for practicing without a license assuming the nurse did not intend to deceive the Board by not renewing in a timely manner.

For RN/LPN’s the fines range from $100-500.00.  However, the Board will refer the nurse’s employer to the Arizona Department of Health Services (“DHS”) if the nurse is more than two months late in renewing their license.  Obviously, no employer likes to be referred to the DHS, so a nurse must be careful that they aren’t sanctioned by their employer as well.

For CNA’s the fines range from $25-75.00.  As with RN/LPN’s the Board will refer the nurse’s employer to the DHS if the nurse is more than two months late in renewing their license.

So, Arizona nurses must be careful and renew their licenses on time!  Failure to do so could not only open them up to administrative fines, but could also put their employer in jeopardy as well.

If you have any questions about Arizona Board of Nursing Administrative violations contact Arizona Attorney Robert Chelle.