Arizona law states that any licensed or certified nurse who has been charged with a misdemeanor involving conduct that may affect patient safety must notify the Arizona Board of Nursing (“Board”) in writing within 10 business days after the charge is filed. Being charged with a crime means that a police officer has issued an arrest or citation and has sent copies of their report to the prosecutor’s office for review. Failure to report the criminal charge within 10 business days will result in an act of unprofessional conduct and the Board may impose a fine in addition to disciplinary action.
Arizona has released a list of misdemeanor offenses that have been determined to affect patient safety and are required to be reported to the Board. A licensee or applicant to the Arizona Board of Nursing must report the following charges involving (this is not an all-inclusive list):
- Contributing to delinquency
- Possession with intent to use a controlled substance
- Misconduct involving weapons
There are a large number of crimes that must be reported to the Board if a nurse has been charged. However, most licensed or certified nurses tend to conceal the charge rather than self-report. Unfortunately, if the Board does find out, not only will the nurse face discipline if ultimately convicted of the charge, but they will also receive discipline for concealing the charge as well. Remember, a charge is not a conviction and it is better to reveal the charge at the beginning rather than face a sanction from the Board for failure to disclose.
If you have failed to report a criminal charge to the Arizona Board of Nursing or have an investigation pending against you, contact Chelle Law.