Arizona Nurse License Defense

Attorney Joseph Lento Can Help If Your Arizona Nurse's License Is in Jeopardy

Facing Arizona nursing license disciplinary charges is certainly not easy, especially when the charges mystify, confuse, and concern you. You are right to be concerned, even stressed, by your notice of Arizona State Board of Nursing disciplinary investigation or formal proceedings. License disciplinary proceedings present serious risks for any professional, but especially for nurses, given the care they must show for their patients' health and safety. You thus know or should know that you must respond timely, accurately, truthfully, and strategically to disciplinary charges for your best possible disciplinary outcome.

Don't lose everything for which you have studied and worked in your Arizona nursing career. Don't hire unqualified local criminal defense counsel. Instead, retain the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team and national license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento for your best defense of Arizona nursing license misconduct allegations. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now to retain the best Professional License Defense Team available in Arizona.

Arizona State Board of Nursing License Proceedings

Don't doubt the Arizona State Board of Nursing's authority or willingness to suspend or revoke your nursing license. Section 32-1606 of Arizona's Nurse Practice Act creates the Arizona State Board of Nursing not only to license nurses but also to “limit, revoke, or suspend the privilege of a nurse to practice in” Arizona for violating the Board's standards. Section 32-1663 authorizes the Board to take disciplinary action against any nurse licensed in Arizona who commits unprofessional conduct violating the Board's nursing standards. The Arizona State Board of Nursing publishes in quarterly reports the names of the dozens of nurses it disciplines every quarter.

The Board won't hesitate to discipline you if it finds you committed nursing misconduct. Indeed, the FBI's Operation Nightingale named thousands of licensed nurses nationwide, including Arizona nurses, who allegedly fraudulent nursing credentials and thus face discipline. If you are among those Arizona nurses with suspect educational credentials, or if you are among the hundreds of nurses annually whom the Arizona State Board of Nursing has served notice of disciplinary charges for any other reason, retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team for your strategic and effective defense.

Arizona State Board of Nursing Rules and Standards

When you face Arizona nursing disciplinary charges, the Arizona State Board of Nursing will resolve those charges under its own statutory authority and regulatory standards and procedures. States regulate their own nurses, state by state. For your most effective defense, cooperating with your retained Lento Law Firm license defense attorney team, you need to know something about Arizona's nursing rules and standards. Those rules and standards tell you why you need to retain license defense counsel and why your retained counsel will need certain information, evidence, and authority from you. Know Arizona's nursing rules and standards. Your highly qualified Lento Law Firm license defense attorney has the substantial skill and experience to help you understand and follow those rules and procedures. Serve yourself well in defense of disciplinary charges.

Confidence in Your Defense of Arizona Nursing Charges

For your most effective defense of Arizona State Board of Nursing disciplinary charges, you also need confidence that your actions and the strategic defense representation of your retained counsel can make a difference in the favorable outcome of your charges. Your actions and the actions of your retained counsel make a difference. If you don't already believe that, then you need to learn why and have confidence in that belief, or you won't participate to the full extent that your effective defense may require. Above all, don't default in answering Arizona State Board of Nursing charges. Your default will establish the allegations against you, leaving in question only how severe your disciplinary sanction should be. Instead, retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team to answer and strategically defend your disciplinary charges. You must believe it before you see it.

Valuing Your Arizona Nursing License

For your most effective defense against Arizona State Board of Nursing disciplinary charges, you must also highly value your nursing license. If you don't appreciate what your Arizona nursing license is worth to you, your family, and your employer, then you may not devote the appropriate time, effort, and resources to your disciplinary defense. You worked extraordinarily hard to get where you are today in Arizona nursing practice. Your education alone took substantial time, effort, and resources, as did your passage of the NCLEX and your Arizona licensure. You have proven your value as a practicing nurse through your employment. You know the financial, personal, and professional rewards that your nursing job and career bring. That value far exceeds the cost of a strategic and effective defense to disciplinary charges. Protect your investment in your Arizona nursing license by retaining the Lento Law Firm for the best available professional license defense attorney team.

What Arizona Nursing License Disciplinary Charges Mean

For your best outcome to Arizona nursing license disciplinary charges, you should also understand what disciplinary charges both mean and do not mean. Disciplinary charges are only allegations of nursing misconduct. Disciplinary charges do not mean that any disciplinary official has firmly and finally determined that you committed misconduct. Indeed, the disciplinary officials notifying you of the charges may expect you to produce evidence and information exonerating you from the charges or mitigating any potential penalty. Disciplinary officials know that every story has two sides and that they won't have heard your full side of the story until they see the evidence that you and your retained Lento Law Firm license defense attorney put forward.

Telling Your Side of the Story to Arizona Nursing Officials

Nursing license disciplinary officials know the challenges and hazards of nursing practice, caring for confused patients who already face disease or disability and who do not know your nursing standards. Disciplinary officials see more than anyone else how circumstances can conspire to unfairly implicate competent, compassionate, and committed nurses. You may just need to give those disciplinary officials the explanation they already expect. Trust your Arizona disciplinary process, and trust the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team for your best possible outcome.

The Nature of Arizona State Board of Nursing Charges

You likely know more about criminal court and civil court proceedings than you do about administrative license disciplinary proceedings. Don't confuse your administrative license proceeding with a criminal or civil court proceeding. Arizona State Board of Nursing disciplinary charges do not generally go to court. They certainly don't start in court. Disciplinary charges proceed in an administrative forum, not a judicial forum. The administrative forum has its own rules and procedures, different from and generally less formal than court rules and procedures. Administrative disciplinary proceedings also have different outcomes from criminal or civil court proceedings. In your administrative proceeding, only your nursing license is at risk, not, as in a criminal case, your freedom from incarceration, and not, as in a civil case, your monetary liability. But while the forums, procedures, and stakes are all different, disciplinary matters are still hugely important to you, in some instances more important than criminal charges or civil liability. Give your disciplinary proceedings their due.

Increased Stakes of Arizona Nursing License Charges

By the Arizona legislature's statutory action, Arizona is among the thirty-nine states participating in the national Nurse Licensure Compact. The Arizona State Board of Nursing cooperates with the Compact to share licensing information on licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs) whom Arizona licenses. Arizona's Compact participation means that you can take your Arizona nursing license to other participating states for nursing practice without needing to get a new license in that other state. But Arizona's Compact participation also means that if Arizona suspends or revokes your nursing license, that status goes right into the Compact's national Nursys database. Every other participating state, every potential employer, and any non-participating state referring to the public Nursys database will know of your Arizona license discipline. You face high stakes in your pending or anticipated disciplinary matter. Your nursing practice anywhere in the U.S. may be at stake.

What Allegations Put an Arizona Nursing License at Risk?

Professionals in all fields can face serious license disciplinary issues that nurses may also face. Nurses, though, face their own nursing license issues peculiar to their particular healthcare field. The Arizona State Board of Nursing exercises its statutory authority to define those nursing standards in Arizona Administrative Code Section 4-19-403. Section 4-19-403 lists no fewer than thirty-one separate grounds for nurse discipline. Some of those grounds are narrow, while others of those grounds are broad. Many of the grounds can take significant interpretation, making it all the more important that you retain the Lento Law Firm's highly qualified license defense counsel. Here is a list of the primary grounds for nurse discipline in Arizona:

  • a pattern of failing to maintain minimum standards of acceptable and prevailing nursing practice;
  • intentionally or negligently causing physical or emotional injury to a patient;
  • failing to maintain professional boundaries or engaging in a dual relationship with a patient, resident, or any family member of a patient or resident;
  • engaging in sexual conduct with a patient, resident, or any family member of a patient or resident who does not have a pre-existing relationship with the nurse, or any conduct in the workplace that a reasonable person would interpret as sexual;
  • abandoning or neglecting a patient who requires immediate nursing care without making reasonable arrangements for the continuation of care;
  • removing a patient's life support system without appropriate medical or legal authorization;
  • failing to maintain a patient record that accurately reflects the nursing assessment, care, treatment, and other nursing services provided to the patient;
  • falsifying or making a materially incorrect, inconsistent, or unintelligible entry in any healthcare record, including when obtaining, possessing, or administering any controlled substance;
  • failing to take appropriate action to safeguard a patient's welfare or follow employer policies and procedures to safeguard the patient;
  • failing to take action in a health care setting to protect a patient whose safety or welfare is at risk from incompetent health care practice or to report the incompetent health care practice to employment or licensing authorities;
  • failing to report a licensed nurse whose work history includes conduct that leads to or may lead to an adverse patient outcome;
  • assuming patient care responsibilities that the nurse lacks the education to perform, for which the nurse has failed to maintain nursing competence, or that are outside the scope of practice of the nurse;
  • failing to supervise a person to whom nursing functions are delegated;
  • delegating services that require nursing judgment to an unauthorized person;
  • removing, without authorization, any money, property, or personal possessions or requesting payment for services not performed from a patient, employer, co-worker, or member of the public;
  • removing, without authorization, a narcotic, drug, controlled substance, supply, equipment, or medical record from any health care facility, school, institution, or other workplace location;
  • a pattern of using or being under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a similar substance to the extent that judgment may be impaired and nursing practice detrimentally affected, or while on duty in any health care facility, school, institution, or other work location;
  • obtaining, possessing, administering, or using any narcotic, controlled substance, or illegal drug in violation of any federal or state criminal law;
  • providing or administering any controlled substance or prescription-only drug for other than accepted therapeutic or research purposes;
  • engaging in fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit in taking a licensing examination or on an initial or renewal application for a license or certificate;
  • impersonating a nurse, or permitting or allowing another person to use the nurse's license for any purpose;
  • advertising the practice of nursing with untruthful or misleading statements;
  • practicing nursing without a current license or while the license is suspended;
  • failing to notify the Board in writing within ten days of being charged with a crime likely to affect patient safety;
  • failing to notify the Board in writing of a conviction for a felony within ten days of the conviction; or
  • practicing in any other manner that gives the Board reasonable cause to believe the health of a patient or the public may be harmed.

What Is the Disciplinary Process for Arizona Nurses?

When you retain The Lento Law Firm's highly qualified Professional License Defense Team, disciplinary procedures become your ally and friend. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that Arizona give you constitutional due process, generally meaning notice of the charges and a fair opportunity for hearing, before depriving you of your liberty and property interest in your nursing license. Your Lento Law Firm license defense attorney may thus strategically invoke the investigatory and adjudicatory process for your best defense. Arizona Code Section 32-1664 sets forth the disciplinary procedures governing your case. You and your Lento Law Firm defense attorney can help you strategically invoke the following procedures for your best defense.

Arizona State Board of Nursing Complaints

Arizona Code Section 32-1664 authorizes the Arizona State Board of Nursing's designated disciplinary official to investigate misconduct allegations supplied by anyone against a licensed nurse. Licensed nurses and healthcare employers must report nursing misconduct and may make anonymous reports. The disciplinary director evaluates complaints to confirm that they state misconduct worthy of investigation. The director may dismiss and disregard non-meritorious complaints. Section 32-1664 expressly states the right of the accused nurse to retain and rely on defense counsel throughout any disciplinary proceeding. Retain the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team if you learn of a complaint against your license. You and your Defense Team may determine to supply the director with exonerating or explanatory information before the commencement of any investigation.

Arizona State Board of Nursing Investigations

Arizona Code Section 32-1664 grants the Board's designated disciplinary official the regulatory power to issue and enforce subpoenas to compel witness testimony and production of medical, employment, and other records relating to the nurse's disputed professional practice. The disciplinary director may also seek “any combination of mental, physical or psychological examinations, assessments or skills evaluations necessary to determine the [accused nurse's] competence or ability to practice safely.” Section 32-1664 gives the Board authority to dismiss any matter that the investigation shows is without merit or to enter a letter of concern in the accused nurse's disciplinary file. That authority is another reason for you to promptly retain the Lento Law Firm's highly qualified defense counsel when learning of an investigation against you. Your counsel's advocacy during the investigation stage may lead to an early dismissal of the charges. Otherwise, for complaints that the investigation shows to be meritorious, the Board issues a notice of formal hearing to the accused nurse. The nurse must answer the notice timely or suffer default.

Arizona State Board of Nursing Formal Hearings

Arizona Code Section 32-1664 provides for a formal hearing before a state administrative law judge or a panel of Arizona State Board of Nursing members, as the Board determines. The hearing judge or panel may issue subpoenas for witness attendance and rely on court enforcement of those subpoenas. The accused nurse has the right to rely on retained counsel to present defense witnesses and exhibits and cross-examine opposing witnesses. Section 32-1664 expressly grants the hearing judge or Board panel the right to determine the charges, including to impose discipline up to license revocation. Arizona administrative law provides only limited court review of administrative decisions. Your Lento Law Firm license defense attorney's services are plainly critical to effective hearing advocacy including drafting and submitting appropriate legal briefings.

Arizona State Board of Nursing Consent Agreements

As indicated above, the Arizona State Board of Nursing and its designated disciplinary official or director have the authority to resolve complaints by dismissal, including on terms and conditions. If the Board or its representative believes that with appropriate education, counseling, supervision, license restrictions, drug or alcohol testing, or other measures, you can safely practice nursing, then the Board may propose a consent agreement. You could avoid a formal hearing and discipline if consenting to the Board's terms and conditions. Do not, though, enter a consent agreement without advice from your Lento Law Firm defense attorney. Consent agreements can be helpful, but some agreements can prove notorious for setting the professional up for failure and license revocation as a consequence of the agreement's violation. Beware consent agreements. Get skilled and experienced defense counsel.

Why You Need a Nursing License Defense Attorney in Arizona

Two overriding reasons should compel you to retain the Lento Law Firm's highly qualified Professional License Defense Team to defend your Arizona State Board of Nursing disciplinary charges. The first reason has to do with the effectively unlimited resources of the Board to pursue investigation and action against you. When the full resources of the state government stand against you, you need to level the playing field with your own highly skilled and experienced attorney defense team. Keep in mind that Arizona State Board of Nursing disciplinary officials pursue nurse discipline as a full-time practice. They know what to do and not to do to implicate and discipline nurses. Once again, level that playing field with your own skilled and experienced defense counsel.

The other reason you need the Lento Law Firm's highly qualified license defense team on your side in Arizona State Board of Nursing disciplinary proceedings is that the Board need only establish its charges by a preponderance of the evidence. In criminal cases, the state must prove each element of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminal defendants may prevail by presenting no evidence on their own behalf, instead simply raising reasonable doubt about the state's evidence. But in Arizona disciplinary proceedings, you must present at least as much evidence on your own behalf as the Board presents in support of the charges, or you will lose under the preponderance standard. The Board need only prove the charges more likely than not. Without highly qualified license defense representation, the playing field tilts sharply against you.

How a Nursing License Defense Attorney Helps in Arizona

So, what does the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team do to help you? Among its many strategic approaches, tasks, and activities, your Lento Law Firm Defense Team will open lines of communication with Arizona disciplinary officials through which to informally present your defense evidence and arguments. Early voluntary resolution may be possible with sensitive and strategic advocacy. Early dismissal or abandonment of the charges is generally your goal. Achieving that goal may be possible with sensitive negotiations. But your attorney team has many other things to do beyond negotiation, like help you identify, acquire, and organize your exonerating and mitigating evidence, answer the Board's notice of hearing with all of your legal and factual defenses, and attend the hearing to cross-examine opposing witnesses and challenge any incriminating records or other evidence. Appeals and even court relief may also be available.

License Defense Team for Arizona Nursing Charges

Retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team and national license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento for your Arizona State Board of Nursing disciplinary defense, whether you are a licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, nurse midwife, advanced practice nurse, or clinical nurse specialist. Trust the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team, like hundreds of other professionals nationwide. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now.


Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm are committed to answering your questions about Physician License Defense, Nursing License Defense, Pharmacist License Defense, Psychologist and Psychiatrist License Defense, Dental License Defense, Chiropractic License Defense, Real Estate License Defense, Professional Counseling License Defense, and Other Professional Licenses law issues nationwide.
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