The Lento Law Firm Defends Alaska Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs)
Alaska offers a spectacular natural environment in which certified nurse aides (CNAs) in good standing in Alaska's Nurse Aide Registry can pursue abundant employment opportunities in locations like Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Badger, and Knik-Fairview. Hospitals or clinics, including the Alaska Regional Hospital, Alaska Psychiatric Institute, Bartlett Regional Hospital, Alaska Native Medical Center, Central Peninsula Hospital, and Children's Hospital at Providence, offer substantial CNA employment opportunities. Home health agencies like Alaskan Home Health, TLC Home Care, Comfort Keepers, and Visiting Angels offer further residential employment opportunities for rewarding CNA practice.
Alaska-certified nurse aides can also seek to advance their nursing careers and earn an RN, LPN, or other advanced nursing degree at nursing schools in the state at the University of Alaska Anchorage and Charter College and through online providers to obtain nursing licensure through the Alaska Board of Nursing.
You can, though, lose those employment and nursing education opportunities in Alaska if you do not effectively defend against professional disciplinary charges. If you face the Alaska Board of Nursing disciplinary charges under an Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing notice, then retain the skilled and experienced representation of the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team. Our attorneys are available to you in Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks, Minot, West Fargo, Williston, or any other Alaska location. Call 888.535.3686 or chat with us now for Alaska-certified nurse aide defense.
Alaska CNA Discipline's Nationwide Stakes
Alaska is among the many states recognizing CNA reciprocity. CNAs registered in other states may gain CNA registration in Alaska without repeating their training and examination simply by completing the state's Endorsement Application. Likewise, CNAs with Alaska registration can gain registration in other reciprocating states without the time, trouble, and expense of CNA training and examination. The drawback to reciprocal endorsement is that discipline in any reciprocating state may prevent registration in all other reciprocating states. If you suffer CNA discipline in Alaska, that discipline may bar you from CNA registration and nurse aide practice in many, most, or even all U.S. states. Your best move is thus to effectively challenge your CNA disciplinary charges in Alaska rather than ignore those charges, expecting to gain CNA registration in another state.
Alaska CNA Registration
Alaska Statute Section 08.68.331 requires the Alaska Board of Nursing to certify nurse aides when qualified according to the statute and related regulations. Alaska Statute Section 08.68.333 further requires the Board of Nursing to maintain the state's Nurse Aide Registry available to the public to confirm the identity of certified nurse aides. Alaska Statute Section 08.68.360 requires nurse aides to register. Alaska's Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing states that nurse aides who fail to register, “Alaska statutes prohibit unlicensed practice. Specifically, AS 08.68.360 states that the practice of professional or practical nursing for compensation by a person who is not licensed or whose license is suspended, revoked, or expired is declared to be inimical to the public welfare and to constitute a public nuisance.”
Alaska CNA Registration Purposes
Alaska's Nurse Aide Registry has two purposes. The primary purpose is to protect patients, residents, and the public against incompetent nurse aide practice and the physical, mental, and social harms that flow from it. Employer and public access to the Nurse Aide Registry ensures that nurse aides without the training and examination that certification requires do not work in the state, exposing patients and residents to risk of injury. The Nurse Aide Registry's secondary purpose is to satisfy federal regulations requiring states to adopt and implement nurse aide training, examination, and registration, if healthcare and nursing facilities and services are to receive federal funding. Your CNA registration and the registration of other CNAs in the state help ensure that nurse aide employers receive federal funding and reimbursement through which they can retain and compensate nurse aides.
Alaska CNA Qualifications
Alaska Statute Section 08.68.331 requiring the Alaska Board of Nursing to certify nurse aides also requires the Board of Nursing to adopt regulations for nurse aide training and examination that will satisfy the federal funding regulations. The Board of Nursing has adopted those regulations beginning at 12 Alaska Administrative Code Section 44.800 et seq. Those regulations require nurse aides to complete at least seventy-five hours of training to receive certification. The training must include both classroom and clinical instruction in basic personal care, basic nursing skills, basic restorative care, communication skills, resident rights, mental health, care of the cognitively impaired, social service needs, health delivery systems, and many other subjects. You studied long and worked hard to qualify for CNA registration. Don't let your CNA credential slip away. Instead, retain our Defense Team to help you defend disciplinary charges.
Alaska CNA Disciplinary Authority
Just as the Alaska Board of Nursing has the statutory obligation to certify the training of nurse aides for the Nurse Aide Registry, the board also has the statutory obligation to discipline CNAs and remove their names from the Registry while recording the discipline for public inspection. Alaska Statute Section 08.68.334 states that “the board may deny a certification to, or impose a disciplinary sanction authorized under AS 08.01.075 against,” a nurse aide whose misconduct constitutes grounds for discipline. The Board of Nursing carries that disciplinary authority into effect with its own regulation, 12 Alaska Administrative Code Section 44.870, authorizing the board to discipline CNAs violating the board's standards. Don't doubt the Board of Nursing's legal authority, commitment, and resources devoted to your discipline. Instead, retain our Defense Team to challenge those disciplinary charges for your best outcome.
Alaska CNA Disciplinary Decisions
If the Alaska Board of Nursing determines that you have committed misconduct, the board must enter that finding in the Nurse Aide Registry for employers and the public to see. Alaska Statute Section 08.68.333 states, “If the board finds that a certified nurse aide has committed abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of property in connection with employment as a nurse aide, the board shall revoke the nurse aide's certification and enter the finding in the registry.” The Board of Nursing's own regulation, 12 Alaska Administrative Code Section 44.865, confirms that “the board will retain in the registry information regarding a finding under AS 08.68.333 or AS 47.05.055 that a person has committed abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of property in connection with employment as a nurse aide.”
Disputing Alaska CNA Discipline
You have the right to disagree with a disciplinary finding and let the public know of your disagreement. An Alaska Board of Nursing regulation 12 Alaska Administrative Code Section 44.865 provides that “[a]t the request of the individual found to have committed abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of property, the board will also retain in the registry a statement by that individual disputing the finding.” Employers must generally follow the finding, not the CNA's explanation for the finding. But your context for a violation may help in certain situations. Let our Defense Team help you evaluate your right to dispute, appeal, and overturn a disciplinary finding.
Alaska CNA Disciplinary Sanctions
The Board of Nursing has important discretion in deciding the sanction to impose for a CNA's misconduct. Alaska Statute Section 08.68.333 appears to require that the board revoke the CNA's registration, stating, “If the board finds that a certified nurse aide has committed abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of property in connection with employment as a nurse aide, the board shall revoke the nurse aide's certification and enter the finding in the registry.”
But the Board of Nursing's own administrative rule 12 Alaska Administrative Code Section 44.870 instead refers “to the disciplinary penalties listed in AS 08.01.075.” That statute Section 08.01.075 permits the Board of Nursing to permanently revoke a license, suspend a license for a specified period, censure or reprimand a licensee, impose limitations or conditions on the professional practice of a licensee, require a licensee to submit to peer review, impose requirements for remedial professional education to correct deficiencies in the education, training, and skill of the licensee, impose probation requiring a licensee to regularly report to the board on matters related to the grounds for probation, or impose a civil fine not to exceed $5,000.
The breadth of these penalties and the Board of Nursing's discretion to impose them may give our Defense Team attorneys the opportunity to negotiate an early voluntary resolution by consent agreement. We may be able to help you qualify for remedial education and training or other alternative relief while preserving your CNA registration and job.
Removing Alaska CNA Discipline
You may have an opportunity to remove your discipline from Alaska's Nurse Aide Registry. Alaska Statute Section 08.68.333(e) requires the Board of Nursing to “establish procedures under which a finding … that a certified nurse aide has committed abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of property … will be removed from the registry if the certified nurse aide requests a hearing and can establish mistaken identity or the finding has been set aside by the reporting agency or by a court of competent jurisdiction.” The Board of Nursing's regulation 12 Alaska Administrative Code Section 44.865 confirms that the nurse aide seeking the finding's removal “must apply in writing to the board, specifying grounds that meet the requirements for removal under AS 08.68.333(e).” Section 44.865 grants the Board of Nursing the power to decide whether to remove the finding while granting the CNA an Administrative Procedure Act appeal of any denial. Retain our Defense Team for your petition to remove your disciplinary finding on one of the above grounds.
Grounds for Alaska CNA Discipline
Alaska's Board of Nursing must have statutory or regulatory grounds on which to discipline you. The board cannot make up grounds as its investigation proceeds. Alaska Statute Section 08.68.333 on nurse aide misconduct lists only “abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of property in connection with employment as a nurse aide” as disciplinary grounds. But the Board of Nursing's own administrative rule 12 Alaska Administrative Code Section 44.870 adds many other grounds under the category of “unprofessional conduct … that could adversely affect the health and welfare of a client.” Consider each listed ground in turn, along with examples of the prohibited misconduct and defenses that our attorneys may be able to raise to help you defend and defeat the charges.
Abuse as Grounds for Alaska CNA Discipline
Alaska Statute Section 08.68.333 lists “abuse” as a ground for nurse aide discipline. Abuse generally means a deliberate or intentional wrong leading directly to physical or mental harm. Shoving, slapping, slugging, kicking, or biting a resident, confining or restraining a resident unduly for a prolonged time, threatening to withhold services or family contact, and deriding, demeaning, intimidating, and harassing a resident are examples. Defenses are generally difficult, requiring substantial evidence that the conduct did not occur, the complainant is a retaliatory or deluded witness, the complainant misidentified the accused nurse aide, or the conduct was in reasonable self-defense, defense of others, or for the safety of the resident.
Neglect as Grounds for Alaska CNA Discipline
Alaska Statute Section 08.68.333 also lists “neglect” as a ground for nurse aide discipline. Neglect does not generally involve intentional misconduct but instead reckless or careless inattention to duties leading directly to significant harm. Examples include failing to assist with toileting resulting in soiled bedding or clothing, failing to turn, resulting in bed sores, failing to provide nutrition and hydration, and failing to report a severe decline in health to supervisors for prompt action. Defenses tend to require substantial evidence that the accused nurse aide was unaware of the need for services, was not assigned to those duties, and did not neglect assigned duties or lacked the supplies and equipment to complete assigned duties after notifying supervisors of the need.
Misappropriation as Grounds for Alaska CNA Discipline
Alaska Statute Section 08.68.333 also lists “misappropriation of property in connection with employment as a nurse aide” as a ground for nurse aide discipline. Misappropriation may involve outright theft of money, credit cards, gift cards, jewelry, or other valuable items, coercing gifts of those valuable items by threatening to withhold services of family contact, deceiving a vulnerable resident into making gifts or transfers with tales and lies, or claims for payment when no payment was due. Defense may involve proof that the accused nurse aide did not ask for or receive anything of value, that the resident did not own the things claimed, that others took the resident's property, or that the nurse aide moved the property for security according to the facility's rules without depriving the resident of the property.
Incompetence as Grounds for Alaska CNA Discipline
Board of Nursing rule 12 Alaska Administrative Code Section 44.870 adds “failing to competently perform the duties of a certified nurse aide” and “failing to perform acts within the certified nurse aide's scope of competence that are necessary to prevent substantial risk of harm to a client” as grounds for discipline. Incompetence charges can involve wrong methods of moving, resulting in injury; wrong methods for bathing or other hygiene resulting in infection; and improper food preparation resulting in food poisoning or allergic reactions. Defense may require expert testimony that the accused nurse aide's methods were within the standard of care or proof that the accused nurse aide did not commit the allegedly incompetent acts, witnesses misidentified the nurse aide, or the nurse aide acted according to reasonable instructions of a supervisor.
Unauthorized Practice as Grounds for Alaska CNA Discipline
Board of Nursing rule 12 Alaska Administrative Code Section 44.870 adds “performing acts beyond the authorized scope or the level for which the person is certified” as grounds for discipline. Examples include the nurse aide administering medications reserved for RN or LPN administration, the nurse aide performing therapy or counseling reserved for other professionals, or the nurse aide altering prescription orders reserved for medical doctors. Defense may involve showing that the accused nurse aide did not practice as alleged or that the nurse aide did as supervisors instructed while reasonably believing that the instruction was lawful.
Confidentiality Breach as Grounds for Alaska CNA Discipline
Board of Nursing rule 12 Alaska Administrative Code Section 44.870 adds “violating the confidentiality of client information” as grounds for discipline. HIPAA violations sharing medical information with family members or others who had no right or need to know would be an example. Defense may involve showing that the accused nurse aide did not disclose information, that disclosures had the resident's authorization, that the information was not confidential, or that disclosures were only to those with a right to know.
Impaired Practice as Grounds for Alaska CNA Discipline
Board of Nursing rule 12 Alaska Administrative Code Section 44.870 adds “using alcohol or other drugs to the extent that the use interferes with nurse aide functions” as grounds for discipline. The rule also includes “violating state or federal laws regulating drugs, including forging prescriptions or unlawfully distributing drugs” and “knowingly misappropriating drugs, property, supplies, equipment, or other resources for personal or unauthorized use” as grounds for discipline. Defense may involve proof that the accused nurse aide did not use, possess, or remove drugs or other intoxicating substances, that complaining witnesses misidentified the nurse aide or the nurse aide's condition due to innocent causes like medication reactions, and that the nurse aide acted reasonably on supervisor instructions.
Falsifying Records as Grounds for Alaska CNA Discipline
Board of Nursing rule 12 Alaska Administrative Code Section 44.870 adds “falsifying, altering, or destroying client or facility records,” “failing to keep accurate or complete records related to client care or action by the facility,” and “failing to maintain current client records that accurately document management of client care” as grounds for discipline. Defense may involve showing the accused nurse aide was not the recordkeeper, did not falsify or alter records, or acted according to reasonable supervisor instructions.
Sexual Misconduct as Grounds for Alaska CNA Discipline
Board of Nursing rule 12 Alaska Administrative Code Section 44.870 adds “engaging in sexual misconduct” as grounds for discipline. Defense must contradict the allegation with substantial evidence while showing the inaccuracy of the complaint.
Disruption as Grounds for Alaska CNA Discipline
Board of Nursing rule 12 Alaska Administrative Code Section 44.870 adds “disruptive behavior by a certified nurse aide at the workplace that interferes with the provision of client care” as grounds for discipline. Defense may involve proving mistaken identity or subjective and incorrect evaluations of the accused nurse aide's conduct.
Criminal Conviction as Grounds for Alaska CNA Discipline
Board of Nursing rule 12 Alaska Administrative Code Section 44.705 adds conviction for “crimes that are substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a certified nurse aide” as grounds for discipline. The rule lists murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, assault, sexual assault, sexual abuse of a minor, unlawful exploitation of a minor, including possession or distribution of child pornography, incest, indecent exposure, robbery, extortion, stalking, kidnapping, theft, burglary, forgery, and several other disqualifying crimes. Defense must show that the nurse aide did not suffer the alleged conviction.
Alaska CNA Hearing Procedures
The Alaska Board of Nursing must conduct disciplinary hearings according to Alaska's Administrative Procedure Act, Alaska Statute Section 44.62 et seq. The Administrative Procedure Act guarantees the accused nurse aide reasonable notice of the disciplinary charges, access to the board's incriminating evidence, and the opportunity to challenge that evidence including by cross-examining adverse witnesses at the hearing. The hearing before an independent hearing officer must afford the accused nurse aide the opportunity to present witnesses and documentary evidence. The hearing officer may only consider witnesses testifying under oath and their evidence presented at the hearing.
Premier Alaska CNA Defense Available
The Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team is available in Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks, Minot, West Fargo, Williston, and any other Alaska location for your certified nurse aide registration defense. Hundreds of professionals nationwide have successfully trusted the Lento Law Firm for defense of disciplinary charges. Call 888.535.3686 or chat with us now.