Can a Felon Become a Nurse in Arizona?
One question our attorneys are frequently asked is whether state law allows a nursing professional with a felony criminal conviction to get a license with the Arizona State Board of Nursing? The short answer is, yes.
A past 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 their website which covers the details of under what circumstances a nurse with a case that resulted in a criminal conviction can get a license.
Arizona Nurse Felony Bar
If a nurse discloses a criminal conviction on their application, Board policy and state law holds 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.
Of note, if enough time has passed since the conviction, state law may allow a nurse to have the conviction reduced to a misdemeanor (due to an undesignated designation), dismissed, expunged, set aside or something similar. The felony 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.
Criminal Charges for Nurses with the Board
When a professional applies to the Arizona State Bd of Nursing, they must disclose a felony criminal court conviction (and other similar offenses) on their application. A nurse must self report a felony no matter how much time or how many 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 in the time 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.
Chelle Law assists nurses with past felony convictions obtain their license from the Arizona Nursing Board.
Arizona Board Nursing Attorney
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 Attorney reach out to us today.