How Do I Keep My Nursing License Active When Not Working in Arizona? | Nurse License Renewal
Registered Nurse (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) renewal of licensure is required every four years.
However, Arizona is a Nurse License Compact State. If your Primary State of Residency is in another Compact State, you should only apply for licensure in Arizona if you declare Arizona as your Primary State of Residency.
The Primary State of Residency is where you vote, pay taxes and hold a driver’s license.
Nursing Board RN/LPN Renewal Requirements
Renewal applicants must meet one of the following practice requirements:
- Practiced as a nurse for 960 hours or more in the past five years OR
- Graduated from a nursing program and obtained a degree within the past five years OR
- Completed an Arizona Board approved refresher course in the past five years OR
- Obtained an advanced nursing degree in the past five years (i.e., LPN to RN, RN to BSN, masters, or doctorate).
Can you keep your nursing license active when not working?
You can keep your nursing license active even when not working, provided you continue to renew it according to your State Board of Nursing’s requirements. Some states may necessitate a minimum number of working hours for renewal, so it’s crucial to review your state’s specific guidelines. To maintain an active license, ensure compliance with any continuing education requirements and stay informed about any changes to licensure regulations. Check your State Board of Nursing’s website for detailed information on maintaining your nursing license.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Renewal Requirements
APRNs must submit a separate application from their RN application to renew their APRN certificate. APRNs must review their RN license first.
APRN Renewal applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Practiced as an advanced practice registered nurse for 960 hours or more in the past five years
- Hold an active Arizona RN OR current RN license with multistate privileges in another compact state.
- Hold active national certification. (Your certificate will expire when your RN license expires)
- APRNs who hold an active DEA license MUST have completed a minimum of three hours of opioid-related, substance use disorder-related, or addiction-related continuing education (as required by Arizona Revised Statute 32-3248.02)
- Can Probation Require Drug Testing?
- Can You Work Nights While on Probation?
- Can You Work Registry While on Probation?
- What Does It Mean When a Nurse is on Probation?
- Will Your Boss Know if You are on Probation?
Arizona Nursing License Probation | Nurse Licensure
Probation for licenses of nurses in Arizona 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.).
Nurse License Probation can affect the following:
- Registered Nurse (RN)
- Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN)
- Nurse Practitioners (NP)
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA)
- Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNA)
State Board Licensing Action
Nurses who hold a license or certification in Arizona can face license actions by the AZ State 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.
Criminal History Considerations
Arizona Nursing Board Criminal History is an important consideration. The nurse practitioner must report a felony within ten days of being charged.
The following types of misdemeanors or other criminal histories are crimes that the Board has determined to be reportable under 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
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.
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.
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.)
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.
Consultation with Chelle Law Nursing License Defense Attorney
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.