What Crimes Should a Nurse Report to The Arizona Nursing Board?
§ A.R.S. 32-3208 requires that licensees and applicants for licensure report misdemeanor criminal charges involving conduct that may affect patient safety or a felony to the health professional’s regulatory board within 10 working days after the charge is filed.
It is illegal to commit a felony without reporting it within 10 days of committing the crime. The following types of misdemeanor or other criminal offenses/charges are crimes that have been determined by the Board to be reportable pursuant to 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 10 business days is a violation of the Arizona Nurse Practice Act and could result in disciplinary action.
Disclosing a DUI on an Application for Nurses
If a nursing license applicant (like an RN) is not required to disclose an Arizona Nurse 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.
Reporting a DUI Charge to the Arizona Board of Nursing
When a police officer issues a citation or arrest (which usually includes official charges) to a person, Arizona law requires that the nursing professional report any criminal misdemeanor charge that may affect patient safety to the Arizona State Board within ten business days. Nurses must report any and all felony charges. Of note, some jurisdictions will only charge an individual if a complaint is filed with the court. The AZ Board has a page on their health care website which lists what misdemeanor charges must be reported.
The board then reviews the investigators report to determine if any healthcare disciplinary action is necessary. This applies to both licensees and applicants for licensure. It is considered unprofessional conduct if a nursing professional receives a charge by a police department or court and fails to self report it within ten working days. The person can end up with disciplinary action and/or a fine. Failure to self report can result in additional disciplinary actions.
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.