Is a Decree of Censure from The Arizona Nursing Board Public?
So, Is a decree of censure from the Arizona nursing board public?
Yes, a decree of censure is considered formal discipline, and the Board reports it to NURSYS (the national database verifying 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, one cannot remove past discipline 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 five years.
Disciplinary Actions Imposed by the 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: Arizona Board of Nursing does not offer past disciplinary case expungement. There would need to be a change in Arizona law for this to become an option.
Letter of Concern
Yes and No. A letter of concern is not considered formal discipline and is not reported to NURSYS (the national database verifying nurse licensure). So, a letter of concern would never show up if an employer were to verify your license on NURSYS.
What is a Letter of Concern?
The Arizona Board of Nursing sends a letter of concern to the nurse when that nurse’s conduct is not ideal. However, the behavior does not necessarily violate the Nurse Practice Act.
Remember, a letter of concern is subject to Arizona Public Records Law. If someone were to request a nurse’s disciplinary or non-disciplinary history specifically, the Board would be required to provide it. However, that scenario would be extremely rare and should not cause concern for the nurse.
Why an Arizona Nurse Should Not Voluntarily Surrender
A voluntary surrender will place a permanent mark on a nurse’s record.
Thus, a nurse must make sure they are making an informed decision. Voluntary surrender is when a licensee voluntarily surrenders 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.
Voluntary surrender is considered formal discipline. Any formal disciplinary action from the Arizona Nursing Board is reported to NURSYS and the National Practitioner Database.
Arizona Board of Nursing Administrative Violations
In Arizona law, nurses can receive an administrative penalty from the Arizona Board of Nursing for a few reasons.
These Arizona Nursing Board Administrative Violations include:
- Failure to renew a nursing license or nurse assistant certificate. Nurses must renew their licenses on time while continuing to practice nursing or face consequences.
- Failing to notify the Arizona Board of Nursing in writing within thirty days after an address change.
Details on Administrative Penalties
When a nurse receives a fine from the Arizona Board of Nursing, it can be as much as $1,000.00.
The amount the Board can impose upon a nurse depends on the violation. For example, if a nurse fails to notify the Board of a change in address, the nurse will most likely get a warning or a small fine. Another example is when a nurse is practicing without a license. But they haven’t intended to deceive the Board of Nursing by failing to renew. In this instance, there are specific fines. RNs and LPNs have fines ranging from $100 to $500, while a Certified Nursing Assistant can see penalties ranging from $25 to $75.
It is important to note when there has been a violation, the Board of Nursing will refer the employer of the violating nurse to the Arizona Department of Health Services (DHS).
It generally happens when the nurse fails to renew for two months or more. After being referred to the DHS, the employer can also sanction the nurse.
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.