Arizona Nursing Title Restrictions | Nurse Titles
In Arizona, some laws regulate who can use specific nursing titles. The nurse must follow these Arizona nursing title restrictions strictly. If they’re not, they can lead to severe consequences with the Arizona Board of Nursing.
Individuals who use a title they have not legally obtained can face disciplinary actions. People who use 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 they use the title licensed practical nurse, nurse, or practical nurse or use the initials LPN after their name. They may also use those titles if registered in a state part of the Nursing License Compact.
Arizona Registered Nurses
Only when a person holds a valid license to practice as an RN can they use the title nurse, registered nurse, or professional nurse or the initials RN after their name. They may also use those titles if registered in a state part of the Nursing License Compact.
Arizona Nurse Practitioner
Only when an individual holds a valid certificate to practice in Arizona as a registered nurse practitioner may they use the title registered nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, or nurse practitioner. The person must also indicate their specialty area of certification.
Arizona Retired Nurses
A retired nurse may not practice nursing, but they may use the title RN-retired, registered nurse-retired, LPN-retired, or licensed practical nurse-retired as applicable.
A protected title is a contract between the state and a profession. It assures the public anyone using this title has appropriate training. An example of this is a registered nurse.
Imposters in Arizona State
Unfortunately, the Arizona State Board of Nursing continues to see a rise in the number of people who claim to be a nurse or work in positions which require that licensure. However, these people do not actually have valid licenses or credentials.
The board takes action to stop any and all imposters. After all, patient safety is a critical part of any nurse’s career. Any person who claims to be a nurse or medical professional puts every patient at risk because they do not have the appropriate training to provide patient care.
The Arizona Board of Nursing finds these imposters and puts them on a list on its website so others can be alerted.
Individuals on this list include:
- Those who have tried to get a position without a license.
- Have been employed and practiced without a license.
- Presented themselves as nursing assistant or nurse without certification or licensure.
NURSYS Discipline Removal
No, 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. It is no longer the policy.
What Does the Board Consider Discipline?
- 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 currently does not offer any past disciplinary case expungement. There would need to be a change in Arizona law for this to become an option.
Arizona Nursing Board Discipline
When a nurse faces a complaint or investigation by their nursing board, they may face the Arizona Board of Nursing disciplinary actions. Facing disciplinary action can have vast repercussions on a nursing career.
It can include license probation, suspension, or revocation. It can also jeopardize employment. A nurse under investigation can face termination at their current job after receiving a complaint or after the Board initiates an investigation.
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:
- The 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 State 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 practices without a license but hasn’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.
AZ Nurses Complaint
Any discipline a nurse receives from the Arizona Board of Nursing depends upon the violation. 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 the license or a probation period.
Published Discipline Report (RN, LPN, LNA, NP)
The Arizona Board of Nursing publishes a report every time a disciplinary action takes place. It happens with RNs, LPNs, and CNAs. It also includes applicants denied their certification or licensure.
This report goes into the Arizona State Board of Nursing Quarterly Journal.
The details of the report include the following:
- Date of disciplinary action
- Nurse’s name
- Certificate number
- Discipline taken
- Nature of the violation
It is of concern to any nursing professional to have this detailed listing anyone can see.
Allegations that May Lead to Disciplinary Action
Certain allegations 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
Avoiding Unprofessional Conduct
When a nurse would like to prevent their name from being published in the Journal, they have a couple of options.
The first one would be not to commit a violation in the first place. Being aware of the consequences can go a long way to preventing someone from doing something they will regret.
The second option is to avoid disciplinary action once the Board of Nursing has started an investigation. The investigation begins once a complaint or the Board has received information regarding a possible violation. The nurse will then get notice of action and needs to respond to this, usually within 30 days.
Nurses often can fall victim to unfounded reports, complaints, accusations, or disciplinary issues. Every nurse professional needs to be aware of the availability of legal representation. Many nurses wait too long to retain an attorney. The best time to get legal help is before responding to the Board of Nursing inquiry.
When deciding to represent yourself in the case, you must be familiar with all the regulations and administrative procedures you must follow. It can be complex. You must get legal representation to navigate the issues and present the best defense. Prevent an unfavorable ruling that can have a lasting impact on your professional career.
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 lists currently licensed or certified nurses and any applicants or re-applicants denied certification or licensure.
The Report lists in detail the following:
- The effective date of the disciplinary action
- Nurse’s name
- Certificate number
- Discipline taken
- Nature of the violation
Why an Arizona Nurse Should Not Voluntarily Surrender
Why should an Arizona nurse 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.
What is A Voluntary Surrender?
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.
When to Call a Nurse Attorney
Any nurse who finds their professional license in jeopardy with their board of nursing should contact an attorney. An attorney with experience can help you keep your license and your livelihood.
If you have questions about Arizona nursing title restrictions or Arizona Board of Nursing issues, contact one of the nurse attorneys at Chelle Law or schedule a consultation today.
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.