Does the Arizona Nursing Board Investigate Every Complaint? | Complaints Investigation
Nearly every complaint that is filed with the Arizona Board of Nursing is thoroughly investigated. Generally, if the allegations contained in a complaint, if proven true, would be a violation of the Arizona Nurse Practice Act, the Board would investigate. There are two scenarios where the Board does not investigate a complaint:
- The Board lacks jurisdiction over the target of the complaint
- The allegation contained in the complaint would not be a violation of the Nurse Practice Act
How Long Does an Investigation Last?
So, How Long Does an Average Investigation from the Arizona Nursing Board Last? A current investigation with the Arizona Board of Nursing is taking (on average) around 18 months from beginning to end. However, the speed with which an investigation is completed is dependent upon the severity of the case. Each case, when assigned to an investigator, is given a priority level. Higher priority level cases are generally completed faster than lower priority cases. Some cases are so severe that the Board can attempt to suspend a nurse’s license. Some examples of low-priority cases would include:
- Low-level criminal charges
- Patient complaints
- Documentation errors
Arizona Nursing Board 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. While 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.
Arizona Nursing Board Investigations
After receiving a complaint or self-report, a nurse receives an Investigative Questionnaire and notice from the Board requesting additional information as well as a response to allegations found in the complaint. From here, the AZBON assigns an investigator to the complaint and they begin to collect evidence. The documents and evidence collected includes:
- 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.)
When a nurse receives a Board of Nursing Investigation Notice it’s important for them to understand the process and how an attorney can help. When the Board of Nursing receives a complaint against a nurse, they will launch an investigation into the problem. This allows them to fully determine whether or not they need to discipline the practicing nurse. Depending on the results of the investigation, the Board can suspend, limit or revoke the nurse’s license or certificate.
Formal Written Notice
After receiving a complaint, the Board of Nursing will send a formal written notice to the nurse also known as an Arizona Nursing Board Investigation Notice. This notice lets him or her know their case is under investigation. The notice contains facts that have been gathered by the investigator as well as the rules or statutes that were possibly violated. The Board wants the nurse to explain why the Board shouldn’t take disciplinary action. After receiving their notice, the nurse should request a hearing within 30 days.
What Does the Arizona State Board of Nursing Do?
The published Mission Statement of the Arizona Board of Nursing states:
“The mission of the Arizona State Board of Nursing is to protect and promote the welfare of the public by ensuring that each person holding a nursing license or certificate is competent to practice safely. The Board fulfills its mission through the regulation of the practice of nursing and the approval of nursing education programs. The mission, derived from the Nurse Practice Act, supersedes the interest of any individual, the nursing profession, or any special interest group.”
AZ State Nursing Board License
The Arizona State Board licenses and disciplines the following:
- Certified Nursing Assistants
- Licensed Nursing Assistants
- Licensed Practical Nurses
- Registered Nurses
- Advanced Practice:
- Nurse Practitioner
- Certified Nurse Midwife
- Clinical Nurse Specialist
- School Nurse
Arizona Nurse Practice Act
The 5-Year Plan of the Arizona State Board of Nursing includes:
- Assure governance framework supports the Board’s mission and vision
- License/certify only qualified nurses and nursing assistants that assures public safety
- Investigate unsafe or incompetent nurses and licensed/certified nursing assistants; remediate or remove from practice
- Review and approve or sanction nursing education programs consistent with Board rules
- Ensure nursing regulations are up-to-date and reflect state of the art & science of practice.
Consultation with Chelle Law
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Nursing Board Complaint services and how to protect your rights, set up a consultation with Chelle Law and our Arizona Nursing Attorney reach out to us today.