Arizona Nursing License Suspension
Nurses contact our office and frequently ask our attorneys, does state law allow the Arizona State Board of Nursing to suspend a nurse’s license? The short answer is yes. The Board can issue a license suspension based upon ARS 41-1092.11. That statute states nurses can be suspended (and ultimately have their license revoked):
“B. Revocation, suspension, annulment or withdrawal of any license is not lawful unless, before the action, the agency provides the licensee with notice and an opportunity for a hearing in accordance with this article. If the agency finds that the public health, safety or welfare imperatively requires emergency action, and incorporates a finding to that effect in its order, the agency may order summary suspension of a license pending proceedings for revocation or other action. These proceedings shall be promptly instituted and determined.”
Nursing Board Discipline
So, in short, yes. The Arizona Board of Nursing has the power to suspend your license if it determines you are an immediate threat to the health, safety and welfare of the public. Some usual reasons for a nursing license suspension include:
- Diverting narcotics.
- Healthcare problems.
- Criminal issues (felony, misdemeanor).
- Past disciplinary issues.
- Substance abuse (alcohol, prescription medications, illegal drugs).
- Sexual misconduct.
- Mental health disorders necessitating immediate action.
AZ Nurse Complaint for an RN, LPN or LNA
Many ask Can a Nurse Continue to Work if Suspended by the Arizona Nursing Board? No, a nurse cannot work as a nurse if their license is suspended. The Arizona State Board of Nursing (“Board”) protects the medical welfare of the people of Arizona. They do this by ensuring each professional who holds a license as a nurse in Arizona can practice safely. If the Board believes a nurse is not able to practice safely, they can initiate a summary suspension.
A summary suspension can occur when the Board believes that the public health, safety or welfare imperatively requires emergency action necessitating the immediate suspension of a nurse’s license. Examples of actions that can lead to a summary suspension:
- Substance Abuse
- Sexual Misconduct
- Mental Health Concerns
- Refusal to Follow Board Order
Board grants the summary suspension of a nurse’s license; the nurse must immediately cease providing care as nurse. A hearing will then be scheduled (within 60 days) in front of an Administrative Law Judge at the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings.
A misdemeanor criminal charge would likely not reach the threshold needed for the Bd to initiate a summary suspension (such as a misdemeanor DUI or Disorderly Conduct charge).
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Nursing Board Appeals services and how to protect your rights, set up a consultation with Chelle Law and our Arizona Nursing Attorney reach out to us today.