As an Arkansas Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), you are among the healthcare field's most multifaceted and respected professionals. You've advanced your training and education with several degrees, certifications, and licenses, as well as with on-the-job clinical experience.
You've earned your way to a prestigious career, all while caring for patients with compassion and precision, whether in a trauma center or acute care setting in a city like Little Rock, Jonesboro, or Fort Smith or in a less populated setting, working most likely as the only anesthesia provider in a hospital serving rural patients.
If you are facing any threat to the vocation you've worked hard to obtain and succeed in, the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team is here for you. We help healthcare professionals nationwide at risk of disciplinary sanctions, including license suspension and revocation, and we want to put our experience to work for you. Call us at 888-535-3686 or contact us online so we can get started.
Your Investment in Your CRNA Education is Worth Safeguarding
You've done your diligence as a top student, earning a coveted grade point average in your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program and a distinguished Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score. Out of the classroom, you've spent countless hours in clinical rotations working toward licensure and your Master's Degree or other post-graduate advanced degree.
Like many CRNAs in Arkansas, there's a good chance you are an alumnus of Arkansas State University's Nurse Anesthesia Program in Jonesboro, the state's flagship CRNA Program, accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) and recognized by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing (ASBN).
After passing the competitive National Certification Examination (NCE), administered by the National Board for Certification and Re-Certification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA), you no doubt have an appreciation for the immutable fact that your accomplishments have involved sacrifices and significant investments in time, tuition, and energy.
When a Patient Complains About a CRNA in Arkansas
Every healthcare professional understands that patients, among other individuals and organizations, have the right, if they feel aggrieved, to report concerns or make complaints or allegations about a provider. Healthcare professionals also have a duty to report their peers when there is an issue. The complaint process is an important tool designed to protect patients, as well as the healthcare profession, from individuals whose behaviors or decisions may be less than professional or ethical.
This also means that there are times when patients report concerns or complaints about CRNAs, putting the CRNA license holder in the precarious position of making sense of the claims and defending them if needed. If you are in such a position, this is no time to let the complaint and possible ensuing investigation run their course without inserting yourself to protect your livelihood.
The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team has defended hundreds of professional licenses nationwide and understands the complex feelings being in this situation can involve – confusion, anxiety, and intimidation, to name a few.
We are here to bring clarity and compassion to the process. Let us represent you, negotiating with licensing agencies to achieve the most just and desirable result possible. If your license is at risk, call us today at 888-535-3686 or submit your details online, and we will contact you.
CRNA Licensing and Certification in Arkansas
As a CRNA, you understand the importance of the federal and state licenses and certifications you hold, whether they are required by law or earned simply because of your commitment to your continued education and constantly improving your practice.
Don't for a second undervalue the hard work you've put in to earn your licenses and certifications, including the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) and your Arkansas state licensure through the Arkansas Department of Health Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Perhaps you are also certified by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. Don't lose sight of your substantial accomplishments in the event of a patient complaint or investigation by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.
Arkansas State Board of Nursing
The charge of the Arkansas State Board of Nursing (ASBN) is to protect the public and act as patients' advocates by regulating nursing practice in the state. In order for the ASBN to take disciplinary action against a CRNA or other licensed nurse, the license holder must be found to have violated the Nurse Practice Act.
The Arkansas State Board of Nursing advises those who suspect a nurse has violated the state Nurse Practice Act to report it, and individuals can file a complaint through the ASBN's Complaint Portal. (Licensed nurses in Arkansas are also mandatory reporters of nurses who they feel have violated the Act.)
Examples of CRNA Misconduct That May Result in Discipline
According to the ASBN, there are numerous professional and ethical violations that could result in discipline for a CRNA. Complaints that could potentially place your Arkansas CRNA license at risk could involve professional misconduct, standard of care violations, ethical violations, criminal charges or convictions, or documentation issues. Violations include:
- Incompetence when using equipment, caring for patients, or conducting administrative work
- Medication errors
- Failure to follow proper protocols or apply proper techniques
- Alcohol or other substance abuse
- Having a physical or mental impairment that affects your ability to exercise proper judgment or properly care for patients
- Improperly delegating procedures to those not qualified
- Fraud, including falsifying personal or patient records
- Misuse of hospital property
- Breaching patient confidentiality
- Not maintaining “professional boundaries,” including having romantic or sexual relationships with patients.
- Failing your duties as a mandatory reporter of colleagues' misconduct
- Criminal charges or conviction
How to File a Complaint Against a CRNA in Arkansas
An individual wishing to file a complaint against a CRNA in Arkansas must do so by submitting an online complaint form or mailing a complaint form to the Board of Nursing in Little Rock. The complainant could be a patient, a patient's family member, a colleague, a healthcare facility, or any number of types of people or organizations.
The complainant needs to provide:
- The CRNA's name and
- Their employer's address or
- Their CRNA license number
- The location of the incident
- A description of the incident
The complainant will also have the opportunity to submit:
- The CRNA's email address and phone number
- Patient information
- Additional respondent information
- The date (or date range) and time of the incident
- Contact information for any witnesses
- Supporting documentation (witness statements, correspondence, photos, records, etc.)
When submitting, the complainant will be issued a Complaint Number.
What Happens After a Complaint is Filed Against a CRNA?
If the complaint against you involves alleged allegations of the Nurse Practice Act and/or the Board's Rules relating to nursing education, licensure, and practice, the Board of Nursing has the authority to open an investigation in order to determine whether to levy any disciplinary sanctions.
Arkansas CRNA License Disciplinary Procedures and Processes
If the Arkansas State Board of Nursing (ASBN) is investigating a complaint against you, know that you have due process rights, including the right to be notified about the nature of the complaint and the right to defend yourself.
ASBN investigators will contact you to notify you of the allegations and, if appropriate, request information from you. This could include a written statement, drug test results, or other materials. They may also request information from your employer, such as patient records or names and contact information for any witnesses, in order to interview them.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the ASBN will decide if the case should be closed or if there is enough evidence to levy disciplinary consequences.
Discipline might include:
- A letter of reprimand (more innocuous, potentially involving continuing education that you must complete before practicing under your CRNA license)
- Ann official complaint
In the latter case, a consent agreement must be put in place, or a formal hearing must take place. A consent agreement is a voluntary agreement that typically consists of certain terms and conditions you must meet in order to practice under your CRNA license. This could include classes, anger management, counseling, substance abuse counseling, etc.
If you cannot come to a consensus, a formal legal hearing will take place. At the hearing, the case against you will be presented, along with evidence and testimony. These hearings require esoteric legal knowledge of the laws of evidence, the Arkansas Administrative Code, and the Arkansas Nursing Practice Act. For this reason, you are permitted to have legal representation, and this is advised. The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team's depth of experience in this area can make a remarkable difference in the outcome of your hearing.
After the hearing, you will be notified about the decision. The adjudicator may determine that you did not commit any violations of the Arkansas Nursing Practice Act (ANPA), and no disciplinary action is warranted. This is the outcome we hope for.
If you are found to have violated the ANPA, you may face sanctions. These could include:
- Formal Reprimand: This is a written warning that goes on your permanent record, but you can keep your license, and you may be ordered to pay a fine or complete remedial coursework.
- Probation: You may be able to keep your CRNA license in order to practice under certain conditions. As with a formal reprimand, you may need to pursue additional education or pay a financial penalty.
- License Suspension: You may be able to have your CRNA license reinstated, but not until you have gone through the required suspension period and met any required conditions.
- License Revocation: Hopefully, it doesn't come to this because, in this case, you will no longer be able to work as a licensed CRNA in Arkansas. This is permanent.
All disciplinary findings will be recorded on your permanent nursing record. The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team can walk you through any decision that is made.
If you are not satisfied with the result of your administrative hearing, you may wish to submit an appeal to the circuit court of the county you live in or the circuit court of Pulaski County within 30 days of the decision. If you haven't retained an attorney up until this point, you may want to seriously consider doing so now. Do not regret doing all you can to keep the career you have worked so hard to achieve.
We Defend CRNAs Throughout Arkansas
We serve Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist statewide, including those working at:
- Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock
- Baptist Health Little Rock
- Baptist Health North Little Rock
- St. Vincent North Little Rock
- CHI St. Vincent in Hot Springs
- Conway Regional Health System
- National Park Medical Center in Hot Springs
- NEA Baptist Medical Center in Jonesboro
- Outpatient Surgery Center in Jonesboro
- St. Bernard Medical Center in Jonesboro
- Saline Memorial Hospital in Benton
- White County Medical Center in Searcy
Call the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team Today to Discuss How We Will Protect Your Arkansas CRNA License
We firmly believe in your due process rights, and we want to stand by you as a strong advocate and negotiator. We have experience working with state Nursing Boards and licensing agencies across the country when professional licenses are at stake, and we want to be the team that helps you keep your license and your livelihood.