Arizona Board of Nursing Complaint
If you are a nurse in Arizona, you may have questions about how the Arizona Board of Nursing (AZBN) handles an Arizona Board of Nursing complaint and investigation.
A registered nurse (RN), nurse practitioner (NP), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), or nursing programs may find themselves at the center of a complaint and or investigation of their license or certificate.
Complaints can come from a patient, employer, or even another nurse. At the same time, investigations can occur because of a criminal conviction, disciplinary action by another state’s nursing board, or the self-report of a substance abuse problem.
CLICK HERE FOR ARIZONA NURSING BOARD ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION
- Can a Nurse Continue to Work While Under Investigation?
- Do They Investigate Every Complaint?
- How Do I Report a Nurse For Unprofessional Behavior?
- How Long Does an Investigation Last?
- Investigation Notice
- Nurse License Compact
- What Does the Board Do?
- Will Having an Attorney Make You Look Guilty?
Responding to State of AZ Complaints and Questions
After receiving a complaint or self-report, a nurse gets an Investigative Questionnaire and notice from the Board requesting additional information and a response to allegations found in the complaint. From here, the AZBON assigns an investigator, and they begin to collect evidence.
The documents and evidence collected include the following:
- Patient medical records
- Employment files from the nurses employer and business
- Criminal records
- Interviews of people associated with the Board Complaint or nursing program. (These interviewees can include the patient, nursing director, colleagues, etc.)
State Board Complaint Appeal
Once the AZ Board of Nursing receives all necessary documents, statements, and evidence, the Board will review the case and vote on a decision. The Board of Nursing members may also close the case or file formal charges.
They will refer the investigation to an administrative hearing if they file formal charges (for instance, due to the denial of a nurse’s application for licensure). This AZ Nursing Board Appeals and hearing is then held in front of an Administrative Law Judge at the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings.
Nurse Licensure Complaints
If the Board determines formal disciplinary action is necessary (for instance, failing to report a misdemeanor charge or conviction), it will happen after the completion of an investigation. It’s the job of the Board to review any allegation of a violation within the scope of the Arizona Nurse Practice Act.
Thus, at an Arizona Nursing Board Meeting, the Board will vote to determine the outcome of each investigation.
The Board (they do not utilize a disciplinary committee) can vote on a non-disciplinary outcome (which is not generally public) or vote to offer the nurse formal discipline, such as:
- CASE DISMISSAL: The Board of Nursing may dismiss a case if they determine there was not a violation of the Arizona Nurse Practice Act.
- LETTER OF CONCERN: A letter from the Board expressing concern that the nurse’s conduct was not ideal. However, the behavior does not necessarily violate the Nurse Practice Act (NPA).
- ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY: The Board may impose an administrative penalty of not more than $1,000.
- REVOCATION: If the Board revokes a nurse’s license, the nurse will be unable to practice for a minimum of five years. After the five-year period has ended, the nurse will need to reapply for their license. Should the nurse reapply for their license, they’ll need to demonstrate that the grounds for revocation (substance abuse, mental health problems, criminal convictions, etc.) are no longer an issue.
- VOLUNTARY SURRENDER: The nurse voluntarily gives up their license. The benefit of a voluntary surrender is that the Board usually reduces the time until a nurse can reapply (between 2 to 3 years).
- SUSPENSION: Suspension stops the nurse from practicing for a while until the Board of Nursing lifts the suspension.
- PROBATION: Arizona Nursing Board Probation is offered through a Consent Agreement. The nurse must do certain things (drug testing, work supervision, counseling, continuing education). Alternatively, the nurse must refrain from doing things (unsupervised nursing like home health, working under the Nursing Licensure Compact, using alcohol, etc.).
- DECREE OF CENSURE: A decree of censure is the lowest level of formal discipline. There are no probationary requirements, but the Order will be listed on the website.
- CIVIL PENALTY: Similar to a Decree of Censure, but the nurse can be fined (up to $1000 per violation). The Civil Penalty is listed.
RN and Business Attorney
If you’re interested in setting up a consultation with Chelle Law or learning more about any of our Board of Nursing services, reach out to us today.