Arizona Nurse Fingerprint Clearance Cards
Many occupations require a fingerprint clearance card, and nursing is one. In Arizona, nurses must obtain a fingerprint clearance card to practice. It 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.
Fingerprints for Nursing License
Fingerprints are an essential component of the nursing license application process, as they are used to conduct a thorough background check to ensure the safety and well-being of patients. Many state boards of nursing require applicants to submit their fingerprints as part of a comprehensive background check, which includes a review of criminal history records. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing endorses fingerprinting as the most reliable and accurate method for identifying past convictions and maintaining the integrity of the nursing profession. By using fingerprint-based background checks, state boards can effectively screen applicants and uphold high standards of care within the healthcare industry.
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 and a set of fingerprints help 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 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. The DPS will deny the fingerprint clearance card if there is a conviction.
Fingerprint Clearance Card Denial and or Suspension
Applicants face fingerprint card denial if the DPS finds child abuse, welfare fraud, theft, or robbery 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 receives 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
After denial, the only way to get a fingerprint card is by applying for 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 the following:
- A personal statement describing how lifestyle changes have been a positive factor
- Two letters of reference
- Evidence that the nurse met all sentencing requirements (such as probation, fines, etc.)
- Any police reports and any other items an attorney may think necessary.
Arizona Criminal Charges Nurses Must Report
There are several Arizona Nurse Misdemeanor criminal charges a nurse, nursing student, or applicant for a nursing license must report.
- Assault and similar offenses such as battery, the threat of violence, harassment, striking another, touching with the intent to injure, etc. It 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 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, obtain a personal criminal-history review, representation at a hearing, and a compelling personal statement. Contact Chelle Law today if you have questions about fingerprint clearance cards for nurses or legal services available to nurses.
Suppose 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 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 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 policy does not apply to criminal conduct involving misdemeanor DUI charges or convictions. Once a nursing professional applies for a license to practice with 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. The Board does this 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 the results of a healthcare 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 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 the nurse professional isn’t a danger to the health, safety, and welfare of the public and can provide safe patient care.
Criminal Record and Convictions
Nurses 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 that resulted in a criminal sentence can get licensed.
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 conviction (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 conviction on their application. The Board policy and state law hold Arizona nursing professionals are ineligible 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 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.