Can Past Discipline from the Arizona Nursing Board be Removed from Nursys? | Disciplinary Case
So, can past discipline from the Arizona Nursing Board be removed from Nursys? The answer is No. Under current Arizona Board of Nursing (“Board”) laws, past discipline cannot be removed from NURSYS (the national database for verification of nurse licensure). In 2018, the Board moved license verification from the Board’s website to NURSYS. Previous Board policy removed all disciplinary actions from a nurse’s record after a five-year period. This is no longer the policy.
Disciplinary Actions Imposed by Arizona Board of Nursing
- Voluntary Surrender
- Probation (Consent Agreement)
- Civil Penalty
- Decree of Censure
Two Options for Discipline Case Removal
Per Nursys rules, there are effectively only two ways for a discipline case to be removed or deleted from the database:
- Board Error: If discipline has been attached to your license by error, the Board can correct this and delete the incorrect report.
- Expungement of Case: The Arizona Board of Nursing does not currently offer the expungement of any past disciplinary case. There would need to be a change in Arizona law for this to become an option.
Formal Disciplinary Action
A voluntary surrender will place a permanent mark on a nurse’s record; thus a nurse must make absolutely certain they are making an informed decision. A voluntary surrender is when a licensee chooses voluntarily to surrender a professional license or voluntarily agrees not to renew one’s license, usually to resolve an outstanding complaint instead of going through the investigatory process that could lead to discipline, suspension or revocation.
A voluntary surrender is considered formal discipline. Any formal disciplinary action from the Arizona Nursing Board is reported to NURSYS and the National Practitioner Database.
What is NURSYS?
NURSYS is a comprehensive national database that enables nurses to gain access to information about their practice privileges and the state board they are registered with. Employers can use this service as well because it helps them verify whether someone meets necessary requirements on licensing, discipline history, and past employment records all from one source.
Under current Arizona law, once a disciplinary action is reported to NURSYS from the Arizona Nursing Board it can never be removed. Disciplinary actions used to be removed from the Board’s website after 5 years; however, that policy has changed now that the Board no longer hosts its own license verification.
Decree of Censure
So, Is a Decree of Censure from The Arizona Nursing Board Public? No, a decree of censure is considered formal discipline and is reported to NURSYS (the national database for verification of nurse licensure). So, a decree of censure would always show up if an employer were to verify your license on NURSYS.
What is a Decree of Censure?
A decree of censure is the lowest level of formal discipline. There are no probationary requirements, but the Order will be listed on NURSYS forever. under current Arizona Board of Nursing (“Board”) laws, past discipline cannot be removed from NURSYS (the national database for verification of nurse licensure). In 2018, the Board moved license verification from the Board’s website to NURSYS. Previous Board policy removed all disciplinary actions from a nurse’s record after a five-year period.
Allegations that Could Lead To Disciplinary Action
There are certain allegations that can cause a nurse to receive disciplinary action. These include:
- Improper record keeping
- Reporting false information
- Physical abuse of patients
- Sexual abuse of patients
- Criminal convictions
- Substance Abuse
- Disruptive Conduct
Arizona Nurses Complaint
Any form of discipline a nurse receives from the Arizona Board of Nursing depends upon the violation. In fact, there’s a whole range of disciplines that can occur. Not only can a license be revoked, but there can also be a denial of certification or licensure. There can also be civil penalties. Sometimes the board requires a voluntary surrender of license or a probation period.
Can You be a Nurse with a Misdemeanor in Arizona?
Nurses contact our board of nursing attorney and frequently ask, does state law allow a nurse with a criminal misdemeanor conviction to get a license with the Arizona State Board of Nursing? The short answer is yes. A misdemeanor for an Arizona nurse will not necessarily prevent a nurse (like a RN, LPN or NP) from obtaining a license or a career in the health or medical field.
The Board will investigate some past misdemeanor charges that have resulted in a conviction. This helps the Board make certain the nurse can perform safe patient care despite a conviction on their record.
Disclosing a Misdemeanor on a Nurse Application (DUI)
If a nursing applicant is not required to disclose a misdemeanor, the Board can still initiate an investigation based upon the results of a fingerprint background check. The Board then contacts the nurse and initiates an investigation utilizing the law of the Arizona Nurse Practice Act. The 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 misdemeanor or charges occurred. Simply, the Board wants to know whether the applicant can provide safe nursing care. The attorneys at Chelle Law assist nurses with interpreting Board policy (which is generally contained on the Board website). They also help nurses with their application to show the Board the nurse isn’t a danger to the health, safety, and welfare of the public and can provide safe care.
Arizona Nursing Regulatory Journal Disciplinary Action
The Arizona Board of Nursing publishes a report detailing Arizona Nursing Regulatory Journal Disciplinary Action of all disciplinary action regarding licensed nursing assistants (LNA), registered nurses (RN), licensed practical nurses (LPN) and Nurse Practitioners in the Arizona State Board of Nursing Quarterly Regulatory Journal (Journal). The Report not only lists currently licensed or certified nurses, but any applicants or re-applicants that have been denied certification or licensure. The Report lists in detail the:
- Effective date of the disciplinary action
- Nurse’s name
- Certificate number
- Discipline taken
- Nature of the violation
Using a Nursing Title
In Arizona, there are laws that regulate who can use certain nursing titles in the state. These Arizona Nursing Title Restrictions restrictions must be followed exactly. If they’re not they can lead to serious consequences with the Arizona Board of Nursing. Any individual who uses a title they have not legally obtained, can find themselves facing disciplinary actions. People who use a a title of a license or have had their license revoked also fall under this category.
Arizona Licensed Practical Nurse
Only when an individual holds a valid license to practice practical nursing in Arizona may he or she use the title licensed practical nurse, nurse or practical nurse or use the initials L.P.N. after
their name. If they are registered in a state that is part of the Nursing License Compact they may also use those titles.
Arizona Registered Nurses
Only when a person holds a valid license to practice as an R.N. can he or she use the title nurse, registered nurse or professional nurse or use the initials R.N. after their name. If they are registered in a state that is part of the Nursing License Compact they may also use those titles.
Arizona Nurse Practitioner
Only when an individual holds a valid certificate to practice in Arizona as a registered nurse practitioner may he or she use the title registered nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, or nurse practitioner. The person must also indicate their specialty area of certification.
A strong response can put you in the best possible position to avoid discipline and hopefully keep your name out of the Journal. If you have a question about Arizona Nursing Regulatory Journal Disciplinary Action contact Chelle Law.
Consultation with Chelle Law
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Nursing Board Discipline services and how to protect your rights, set up a consultation with Chelle Law and our Arizona Nursing Attorney reach out to us today.