Felony Bar for Arizona Nurses

The number of applicants in Arizona that applied for nursing licenses or certificates between 1995 and 2008 increased by 1400%. The sheer volume of nursing applicants caused the Arizona Legislature to take action and create Senate Bill 1096 (“SB1096”) that bars nursing applicants from certification and licensure if they have prior felony convictions. However, the felony bar is lifted five years after their felony sentencing has been completed successfully.

Through this bill, the Arizona Board of Nursing (“Board”) may initiate disciplinary proceedings to revoke their application, renewal or reactivation against nurses who failed to disclose a felony conviction. SB1096 also give the Department of Public Safety the right to finger print nurses in order to obtain any state or federal criminal history on the person. The reasoning behind a five year bar from nursing is to allow the individual enough time to prove they are safe to practice, in addition to, handling restitution issues with their victim(s) resulting from their felony conviction.

In 2010 the state of Arizona made a slight change to SB1096 and Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) § 13-604(A). The change allows the Board to treat an undesignated offense that occurs/occurred after 23 July 2010 as a felony until the court actually enters an order designating the offense a misdemeanor.  See the Arizona Board of Nursing Felony Bar update.

If you have questions regarding the Felony Bar for Arizona Nurses with the Arizona Board of Nursing contact us today.

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.