Arizona Nursing Board Criminal History
A.R.S. 32-3208 requires that nursing licensees and applicants for a nursing license must report misdemeanor criminal charges involving conduct that may affect patient safety or a felony to the Arizona Board of Nursing within ten working days after the charge is filed. A working day would be considered Monday through Friday.
Failure to report a reportable criminal charge within ten business days violates the Arizona Nurse Practice Act and could result in Arizona Nursing Board Discipline.
CLICK HERE FOR ARIZONA NURSING BOARD ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION
- Can a Felon Become a Nurse?
- Felony Issues
- Fingerprint Clearance Cards
- How Long Does a Nurse Have to Report a Criminal Charge?
- Misdemeanor Issues
- Problems with DUI
- Undesignated Felony Problems
- What Crimes Should a Nurse Report?
- What Shows Up on a Background Check for Nursing School?
- What Would a Nurse be Subject to if Recently Convicted of a Felony?
What Current and Past Crimes Must Be Reported?
The nurse practitioner must report a felony within ten days of being charged.
The following types of misdemeanors or other criminal histories are crimes that the Board has determined to be reportable under A.RS § 32-3208:
- Assault and Related Offenses
- Theft and Related Offenses
- Fraud, Deceit, and Related Offenses
- Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation of a Child or Vulnerable Adult, and Related Offenses
- Sexual and Related Offenses
- Drug and/or Alcohol Related Offenses
- Arson and Related Offenses
- Animal Abuse, Cruelty, and Related Offenses
Failure to report a reportable criminal charge within ten business days violates the Arizona Nurse Practice Act (NPA). It could also result in disciplinary action, which could result in Arizona Nursing Board Probation.
DUI Criminal History
Nurses who contact our office frequently ask our attorneys if state law allows a nursing professional with a DUI crime or conviction to get a license with the Arizona State Board of Nursing. The short answer is yes.
An Arizona Nurse DUI will not necessarily prevent a nurse from obtaining a license or a career in the health field. However, the Board (which handles all complaints) has a public policy (updated as of September 2020) on their website covering the details of under what circumstances nursing professionals with a case that resulted in a felony DUI criminal conviction can get a license.
Nursing License Criminal Consequences
This policy does not apply to criminal conduct involving misdemeanor DUI charges or convictions. Once a nursing professional applies for a license to practice from the Arizona State Board of Nursing, they need to disclose any felony DUI criminal court convictions (from previous years) on their application.
A nurse must report a felony DUI no matter how much time or years have passed since the conviction or case. The AZ Board may also ask about past DUI misdemeanor criminal charges or cases that resulted in a conviction. They do it to ensure a nurse can perform safe patient care and have safe, direct contact with patients or other providers.
Disclosing a Criminal Record for an Applicant
Suppose a nursing license applicant (like an RN) is not required to disclose a legal misdemeanor DUI. In that case, the AZ Board can still initiate an investigation based on fingerprint background check results. The Board will then contact the nursing professional and initiate an inquiry in their practice utilizing the law of the Arizona Nurse Practice Act (current as of October 2020).
This license investigation determines whether the nurse is a danger to the public, has any medical or mental health problems, and whether the nurse has been rehabilitated since the criminal misdemeanor DUI or DUI charges occurred. The Board wants to know whether the applicant can provide safe nursing care with a past criminal case involving alcohol or substance abuse.
The attorneys at Chelle Law assist nurses with interpreting Board policy (generally on the Board website). Our attorneys help the healthcare workers and nurses with their application to show the Board that the nursing professional isn’t a danger to the public’s health, safety, and welfare. And that they can provide safe patient care.
Criminal Record and Convictions
People frequently ask our attorneys whether state law allows a nursing professional with a felony criminal background to get a license with the Arizona State Board of Nursing. The short answer is yes.
An Arizona felony for nurses will not necessarily prevent a nurse from obtaining a license or a career in the medical field. However, the Board has a public policy on its website covering the details of under what circumstances a nurse (like an RN) with a case resulting in a criminal sentence can get a license.
Criminal Charges for Nurses with the Arizona Board
When a professional applies to the Arizona State Board of Nursing, they must disclose a felony criminal court sentence (and other similar offenses) on their application. A nurse must self-report a felony no matter how much time or years have passed since the conviction. After self-reporting occurs, the Board contacts the nurse and initiates an investigation utilizing the law of the AZ Nurse Practice Act.
The investigation helps to determine whether the nursing professional is a danger to the public, has any medical or mental health problems and whether the nurse has rehabilitated since the criminal incident occurred. Simply put, the Nursing Board wants to know whether the RN, LPN, or NP applicant can provide safe nursing care.
Arizona Nurse Felony Conviction Bar
Suppose a nurse discloses a criminal record on their application. In that case, Board policy and state law hold Arizona nursing professionals are not eligible to apply for a license or certificate with the State Board of Nursing until three years after the absolute discharge of the court sentence.
An absolute discharge from the sentence is the completion of any sentence, including imprisonment, probation, parole, community supervision, or any form of court supervision (no committee instructions are given).
Of note, if enough time has passed since the conviction, state law may allow a nurse to have the sentence reduced to a misdemeanor (due to an undesignated designation), dismissed, expunged, set aside, or something similar.
The bar of three years may not apply. In this instance, a nursing professional can contact an attorney to assist the applicant in obtaining these reductions if they haven’t already pursued these options in the state where their case occurred.
Arizona Nursing Background Verification Assistance
If you’re interested in learning more about Arizona Nursing Board Criminal History laws and how to protect your rights, set up a consultation with Chelle Law and our Arizona Nursing Board Attorney. Reach out to us today.