Can You Work Registry While on Probation with The Arizona Nursing Board?
Arizona State Board of Nursing (AZBN) Probation
No, unless the Board agrees to allow the nurse to work the registry 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 may not work for a nurse’s registry, home health, traveling nurse agency, any other temporary employing agencies, float pool, or position in which they cannot maintain the supervision requirements.
Supervision by Another RN
Another RN must supervise each nurse on probation. Nurses working registry cannot fulfill the supervision requirements because they must be supervised by the same RN each shift (or another under certain circumstances).
Every Consent Agreement contains one of two supervision requirements:
- Direct Supervision: Another RN must be on the unit with the nurse during the shift.
- On-Site Supervision: Another RN must be in the building with the nurse during the shift.
Will Your Boss Know About Probation?
Yes, any probation (via a Consent Agreement) from the Arizona Nursing Board requires that your employer knows the terms of your probation.
In fact, any Arizona nurse on probation must provide a copy of the entire Consent Agreement and Order on or before the hire date. If the nurse is currently employed when signing the Consent Agreement, they must provide a copy within three days from the Order’s effective date.
Arizona Nurses’ Actions to Take
If currently employed, the nurse shall cause their immediate supervisor to inform the Board, in writing and on employer letterhead, acknowledgment of the supervisor’s receipt of a copy of the Consent Agreement and the employer’s ability to comply with the conditions of probation.
Probation on Employed Nursing Students
If the nurse attends a nursing program, the nurse shall provide a copy of the entire Consent Agreement to the Program Director before beginning the program.
Or, if already a student, within three days of the Order’s effective date.
The nurse shall cause the Program Director to inform the Board within three days of the notification, in writing and on school letterhead, acknowledgment of the program’s receipt of a copy of the Consent Agreement and the program’s ability to comply with the conditions of probation during clinical experiences.
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.
Arizona Nursing Board Appeals
It’s always disappointing when a nurse receives an unfavorable decision from the Arizona Board of Nursing (AZBON). However, nurses in Arizona can benefit from understanding the process that goes along with Arizona Board of Nursing appeals and hearings after an Arizona Nursing Board Complaint is heard.
If you are facing an unfavorable AZBON outcome due to an Arizona Board of Nursing disciplinary action, you can always appeal the decision (for instance, after LPN discipline).
Nurse Responding to Complaints and Investigations
After receiving a complaint or self-report, a nurse gets an Investigative Questionnaire and notice from the Board requesting additional information and a response to allegations found in the complaint. From here, the AZBON assigns an investigator, and they begin to collect evidence.
The documents and evidence collected include the following:
- Patient medical records
- Employment files from the nurses’ employer and business
- Criminal records
- Interviews of people associated with the Board Complaint or nursing program. (These interviewees can include the patient, nursing director, colleagues, etc.)
Criminal History Considerations
Arizona Nursing Board Criminal History is an important consideration. The nurse must report a felony within ten days of being charged.
The following types of misdemeanors or other criminal offenses/charges are crimes that the Nursing Board has determined to be reportable according 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
Nurses’ Criminal Record and Convictions
People frequently ask our attorneys whether state law allows a nursing professional with a felony criminal conviction to get a license with the Arizona State Board of Nursing.
The short answer is yes.
An Arizona Felony for nurses will not necessarily prevent a nurse from obtaining a license or a career in the medical field. However, the Board has a public policy on its website covering the details of under what circumstances a nurse (like an RN) can get licensed while having a case that resulted in a criminal conviction.
Can a Nurse Continue to Work if Suspended by the Arizona Nursing Board? | License Suspension
The answer is No.
A nurse cannot work as a nurse if their license is suspended. The Arizona State Board of Nursing (“Board”) protects the medical welfare of the people of Arizona. They do this by ensuring each professional who holds a license as a nurse in Arizona can practice safely. If the Board believes a nurse cannot practice safely, they can initiate a summary suspension.
Actions that Can Lead to Summary Suspension
A summary suspension can occur when the Board believes that public health, safety, or welfare imperatively requires emergency action necessitating the immediate suspension of a nurse’s license.
Examples of actions that can lead to a summary suspension:
- Substance Abuse
- Sexual Misconduct
- Mental Health Concerns
- Refusal to Follow Board Order
Arizona Nursing License Suspension
Nurses contact our office and frequently ask our attorneys if state law allows the Arizona State Board of Nursing to suspend a nurse’s license.
The short answer is yes.
The Board can issue an Arizona Nursing License Suspension based upon ARS 41-1092.11.
That statute states nurses can be suspended (and ultimately have their license revoked):
“B. Revocation, suspension, annulment or withdrawal of any license is not lawful unless, before the action, the agency provides the licensee with notice and an opportunity for a hearing in accordance with this article. If the agency finds that public health, safety, or welfare imperatively requires emergency action, and incorporates a finding to that effect in its order, the agency may order a summary suspension of a license pending proceedings for revocation or other action. These proceedings shall be promptly instituted and determined.”
Reasons for a Nursing License Suspension
So, in short, yes.
The Arizona Board of Nursing can suspend your license if it determines you are an immediate threat to the public’s health, safety, and welfare.
Some usual reasons for a nursing license suspension include the following:
- Diverting narcotics.
- Healthcare problems.
- Criminal issues (felony, misdemeanor).
- Past disciplinary issues.
- Substance abuse (alcohol, prescription medications, illegal drugs).
- Sexual misconduct.
- Mental health disorders necessitate immediate action.
Criminal Charges for Nurses with the Arizona Board
When a professional applies to the Arizona State Board of Nursing, they must disclose a felony criminal court conviction (and other similar offenses) on their application. A nurse must self-report a felony no matter how much time or years have passed since the conviction.
After self-reporting occurs, the Board contacts the nurse and initiates an investigation utilizing the law of the AZ Nurse Practice Act. The investigation helps to determine whether the nursing professional is a danger to the public, has any medical or mental health problems and whether the nurse has rehabilitated since the criminal incident occurred. Simply put, the Nursing Board wants to know whether the RN, LPN, or NP applicant can provide safe nursing care.
Arizona Nurse Felony Conviction Bar
Suppose a nurse discloses a criminal conviction on their application. The Board policy and state law hold Arizona nursing professionals are ineligible to apply for a license or certificate with the State Board of Nursing—until three years after the absolute discharge of the court sentence.
An absolute discharge from the sentence is the completion of any sentence, including imprisonment, probation, parole, community supervision, or any form of court supervision (no committee instructions are given).
Of note, if enough time has passed since the conviction, state law may allow a nurse to have the conviction reduced to a misdemeanor (due to an undesignated designation), dismissed, expunged, set aside, or something similar.
The bar of three years may not apply. In this instance, a nursing professional can contact an attorney to assist the applicant in obtaining these reductions if they haven’t already pursued these options in the state where their case occurred.
Consultation With Chelle Law
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Nursing Board Complaint services and how to protect your rights, set up a consultation with Chelle Law and our Arizona Nursing Attorney. Reach out to us today.