Arizona Nurse Fingerprint Clearance Cards
There are many occupations that require a fingerprint clearance card, nursing is one. In Arizona, nurses must obtain a fingerprint clearance card in order to practice. This is a stringent security measure to ensure it is safe for a nurse to work with the vulnerable public. The job of the clearance card is to ensure there is nothing in a nurse’s background that would put someone at risk.
Application for Arizona Fingerprints Card
In Arizona, nurses apply for a fingerprint clearance card by sending in an application to the Fingerprint Division of the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS). A complete application along with a set of fingerprints helps the DPS to determine if the nurse passes the background check.
With no offenses on record, DPS will issue a fingerprint card without a problem. However, if the applicant has a criminal offense on state or federal records, the Fingerprint Division will then search for the disposition of the case if it is unclear. A disposition indicates if there has been a dismissal of a case or a conviction. If there is a conviction, there will be a denial of the fingerprint clearance card.
Fingerprint Clearance Card Denial and or Suspension
Applicants face fingerprint card denial if child abuse, welfare fraud, theft or robbery are found during the background check. Possession or use of any controlled substance can also result in a denial. These are just a few of the offenses that cause a denial. If a person already holds a fingerprint card, but they receive a new offense they face a fingerprint card suspension. Losing a fingerprint clearance card may also result in the loss of work.
Recover Record of Fingerprint Clearance Card with a Good Cause Exception
The only way to get a fingerprint clearance card after denial is by applying for a Good Cause Exception. Petitioning might be the best solution if the person feels the conviction is no longer a threat or no longer puts anyone at risk. A Good Cause Exception application must include a personal statement describing how lifestyle changes have been a positive factor, two letters of reference, evidence all sentencing requirements (such as probation or fines, etc.) were met, any police reports and any other items an attorney may think necessary.
Arizona Criminal Charges Nurses Must Report
There are a number of Arizona Nurse Misdemeanor criminal charges a nurse, nursing student or applicant for a nursing license must report. These include:
- Assault and similar offenses such as battery, threat of violence, harassment, striking another, touch with intent to injure, etc. This includes domestic violence.
- Theft and similar offenses such as stealing, receiving stolen property, looting, trespassing, passing bad checks, etc.
- Fraud such as identity theft, credit card fraud, misrepresentation, welfare fraud, insurance fraud etc.
- Abuse, neglect and similar offenses such as such child or elder abuse, physical or emotional abuse, abandonment, endangerment, etc.
- Sexual offenses and crimes such as rape, molestation, sexual harassment, unwanted touch, prostitution, pornography, immoral sexual conduct, etc.
- Drug and alcohol offenses such as DUI, theft of drugs, use of drugs, sale of drugs, growing, possession of drugs and/or paraphernalia, etc.
- Arson such as deliberately setting a fire.
- Animal abuse and animal cruelty.
An Attorney Can Help
Retaining an attorney can make a difference in a Good Cause Exception application. It means having the help you need to gather court documents, obtaining a personal criminal-history review, representation at a hearing and an effective personal statement. If you have questions about fingerprint clearance cards for nurses or legal services available to nurses contact Chelle Law today.
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.
DUI Criminal History
Nurses who contact our office frequently ask our attorney’s 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 which covers the details of what circumstances nursing professionals with a case that resulted in a felony DUI criminal conviction can get a license.
Nursing License Criminal Consequences
This specific policy does not apply to criminal conduct involving misdemeanor DUI charges or convictions. Once a nursing professional applies for a license to practice to 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 how many years have passed since the time of the conviction or case. The AZ Board may also ask about past DUI misdemeanor criminal charges or cases that resulted in a conviction. This is done to ensure a nurse can perform safe patient care and can have safe direct contact with patients or other providers.
Disclosing a Criminal Record for an Applicant
If a nursing license applicant (like an RN) is not required to disclose a legal misdemeanor DUI, the AZ Board can still initiate an investigation based upon the results of a health care fingerprint background check. The Board will then contact the nursing professional and initiate an investigation 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 rehabilitated in the time since the criminal misdemeanor DUI or DUI charges occurred. Simply, the Board wants to know whether the applicant can provide safe nursing care with a past criminal case involving alcohol or substance abuse.
The attorney’s at Chelle Law assist nurses with interpreting Board policy (which is generally on the Board website). Our attorney’s help the healthcare workers and nurses with their application to show the Board the nursing professional isn’t a danger to the health, safety and welfare of the public and is able to provide safe patient care.
Criminal Record and Convictions
One question our attorneys are frequently asked is 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 their website which covers the details of under what circumstances a nurse (like an RN) with a case that resulted in a criminal sentence can get a license.
Criminal Charges for Nurses with the Arizona Board
When a professional applies to the Arizona State Bd 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 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.
Arizona Nurse Felony Conviction Bar
If a nurse discloses a criminal record 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 (no committee instructions are given).
Of note, if enough time has passed since the conviction, state law may allow a nurse have the conviction 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.