Can Arizona Nursing Board Probation Require Drug Testing?
Probation is offered through a Consent Agreement.
The Consent Agreement requires the nurse to do certain things (drug testing, work supervision, counseling, continuing education).
Alternatively, refrain from doing things (unsupervised nursing like home health, working under the Nursing Licensure Compact, using alcohol, etc.).
Nurses who hold a license or certification in Arizona can face license actions by the AZ Board of Nursing for any investigatory matters. If the AZBN determines formal licensing action is necessary, it will happen after the completion of an investigation. It’s the job of the Board to review any complaint alleging a violation of the Arizona Nurse Practice Act (“NPA”) and Arizona law. Thus, at an Arizona Nursing Board Meeting, the Board will vote to determine the outcome of each investigation.
Therefore, one may need a defense attorney. The Board can vote on a non-disciplinary outcome or vote to offer the nurse a formal discipline.
Arizona Nurse Drug Testing
The following are standard terms for anyone required to submit to drug testing under a Consent Agreement with the Arizona Board of Nursing.
Program Enrollment: Within seven days of the Order’s effective date and throughout the Order’s term, the nurse shall enroll and remain enrolled in the Board-approved third-party program for random drug and alcohol testing program. Drug testing may include urine, hair, nail, saliva, or blood testing, as determined by the Board or the Board’s designee.
Testing Frequency: For random urine drug testing, the nurse shall submit a urine specimen a minimum of twice per month throughout the term, and for, at minimum, the first 18 months of the term and until the Board or its designee has given written authorization they may reduce the frequency of drug testing. After that, the nurse shall submit a urine specimen at least once per month for the Order duration and may be required to submit a specimen more frequently, as determined by the Board or its designee.
If Traveling: The nurse shall provide at least three calendar days’ written notice to the drug testing program and the Board’s designee in advance of travel or unavailability to test. They must provide notice for any out-of-town trip or another unavailability. All requests to be temporarily excused from drug testing must be approved in advance by the Board or its designee.
Missed Test Due to Illness: Within seven days of a missed drug test due to an unexpected illness, the nurse shall provide the Board or the Board’s designee with written documentation from a medical provider. It should state that the medical provider personally examined the nurse on the day of the missed drug test and that the nurse was physically unable to report to the laboratory for drug testing.
Non-Compliance: At any time during the term of this Order, failing to submit to two or more random drug tests; or failing to submit to a drug test on a day when the Board has requested a drug test, its designee, the nurse’s healthcare employer, or the drug testing program will constitute non-compliance with the Order and the nurse’s license shall be automatically revoked for at minimum five years, NOT subject to further review. A positive drug test showing evidence of any substance (alcohol or drug) other than an authorized drug may result in Board staff notifying the nurse’s employer.
Working Nights While on Probation
No, unless the Board agrees to allow the nurse to work nights for a specific employer. Or if the nurse is granted an amendment after signing a Consent Agreement.
All licensed nurses on probation via a Consent Agreement with the Arizona Board of Nursing have practice-related requirements.
The standard Consent Agreement contains the following terms:
- The nurse shall work only the day or evening shift. An evening shift is a shift that ends before midnight.
- Within 14 days, the nurse shall not work more than 84 scheduled hours. The nurse may work three 12-hour shifts in one 7-day period and four 12-hour shifts in the other 7-day period, but the nurse may not work more than three consecutive 12-hour shifts while on probation.
- The nurse shall not work two consecutive 8-hour shifts within 24 hours or be scheduled to work 16 hours within 24 hour-period.
Thus, if a nurse on probation with the Arizona Board of Nursing wants to work at night, they must first get permission from the Board.
What Shows up on a Background Check for Nursing School?
Nursing schools usually conduct a federal criminal background check on applicants for nursing positions. Before a national criminal registry was created, people with criminal records could move from state to state, and employers would not find out about convictions in other states.
With the new system, an employer can see convictions for crimes committed in any state and the penalty, including prison time, probation, or a fine.
Different schools utilize different background check services, but most of them check for the following:
- Criminal conviction history
- Criminal incidents that did not result in a conviction (usually 7 years back)
- Citations and Fines
- Credit History
- Housing History
Nurse Background Check Information
Depending on the nature of the crime, an applicant might not be able to get a job as a nurse with a criminal record. Laws vary from state to state.
The information from the background check services generally includes:
- Date of birth
- Divorces and marriages
- Current driver’s license or state ID number
- Legal name
- Other names, including criminal aliases
- Property owned
- Tax liens
State Background Check Nursing Students
Some nursing schools conduct a state background check instead of a federal one. It will only show crimes committed in the state where the person is applying for a job. If a person is on probation for a crime committed in another state, that will usually appear in the background check. Some state background checks also include a review of civil cases.
Background Check for Nursing Students
Many states check the backgrounds of people applying for nursing student positions to find out if they have a record of abuse or neglect. A nursing district can also conduct other background checks. It can include a review of education and employment history, military records, and credit reports.
Consultation with Chelle Law
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Nursing License Probation services and how to protect your rights, set up a consultation with Chelle Law and our Arizona Nursing Attorney. Reach out to us today.