There are hundreds of licensed and practicing Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) in Arizona who work in all types of healthcare facilities. CRNAs must be licensed and have to obtain a master's or doctorate degree to practice. Despite the rigorous educational standards and many years of experience CRNAs develop on the job, many of them unfortunately face sanctions that threaten their livelihoods.
At the Lento Law Firm, we understand how difficult it is to be a CRNA. You spent years working toward your degree, then no doubt more years building up a professional reputation. Getting accused of professional misconduct, malpractice, or another violation can be a crushing blow—especially if it puts your professional credentials at risk.
In Arizona, many CRNAs find themselves facing sanctions from the state nursing board all the time. Anyone can make a complaint about you, and the board must investigate. If even the slightest thing goes wrong during the disciplinary process, you could end up getting your license suspended or even revoked. As soon as you learn that you're under investigation by the nursing board, you should work as much as you can to keep your license.
The best way to fight for your CRNA license is by enlisting the help of the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm. We'll provide you with advice for your situation and devise a defense strategy to help you hold onto your license. Call us today at 888-535-3686 or fill out our contact form, and we'll be in touch.
Actions the Arizona State Board of Nursing Can Take Against Your CRNA License
The Arizona State Board of Nursing (AZBN) is responsible for granting nursing licenses—and for disciplining nurses who have violated the Arizona Nurse Practice Act. Anyone can lodge a complaint against a CRNA in Arizona by using the complaint portal on the AZBN website.
When the nursing board receives the complaint, it reviews it to determine if the board has jurisdiction over the complaint and, if so, starts the investigation process. You have a right to know who filed a complaint against you unless the board determines that revealing their identity will put them in danger.
The AZBN can take disciplinary actions against CRNAs, including:
- Civil penalties of up to $1,000
- Restitution made to an aggrieved party
- Conditional license with a fixed period and terms of probation
- Limited licensure
- License suspension
- Voluntary license surrender
- License revocation
If you receive discipline from the AZBN, your name and disciplinary action will be published online on the AZBN website. Anyone will be able to look up your license and see if the board ever took disciplinary action against you.
Telling the Truth Might Not Be Enough
Many CRNAs facing disciplinary actions or allegations believe that simply telling the truth will suffice to clear their name. However, the reality is that merely presenting the truth isn't always effective in dismissing accusations. Instead of relying on the AZBN to conduct a fair and unbiased disciplinary process, it's better to seek assistance from our Professional License Defense Team.
The truth alone may not be enough to refute allegations against a CRNA. Nursing boards sometimes err in the adjudication process, leading to unjust or incorrect decisions for various reasons:
- Inadequate investigation by the nursing board, resulting in overlooking crucial facts, testimonies, and evidence
- A tendency of the board to favor the accuser, often driven by a desire to show that it takes complaints seriously
- The board's dismissal of certain evidence or testimonies without valid justification, omitting key facts that could exonerate the accused
- The board's failure to arrive at a logical conclusion based on the evidence presented
The AZBN is often quick to discipline CRNAs. Many who have faced sanctions were either innocent or deserved less severe penalties. In dealing with your CRNA licensing issue, it's crucial not to make assumptions. Allow the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm to thoroughly investigate and present all the facts, enhancing your chances of a favorable outcome.
What Actions Can Lead to Sanctions Against Your CRNA License in Arizona?
The AZBN may take disciplinary action regarding your license if you are found guilty of “unprofessional conduct.” Arizona law defines this conduct as any of the following:
- Fraud or deceit in obtaining, attempting to obtain, or renewing a license
- Committing a felony
- Committing a misdemeanor that involves moral turpitude
- Aiding or abetting in a criminal abortion
- Attempting, agreeing, or offering to procure or assist in a criminal abortion
- Conduct or practice that is or might be harmful or dangerous to the health of a patient or the public
- Being mentally incompetent or physically unsafe to a degree that is or might be harmful or dangerous to the health of a patient or the public
- Having a license, certificate, permit, or registration to practice a healthcare profession denied, suspended, conditioned, limited, or revoked—and not reinstated—in another state
- Willfully or repeatedly violating the Nurse Practice Act
- Deceiving, defrauding, or harming the public
- Failing to comply with a stipulated agreement with the board
- Failing to report to the board any evidence that a registered or practical nurse or nursing assistant is or may be incompetent, guilty of unprofessional conduct, or mentally or physically unable to safely practice nursing
- Failing to self-report a conviction for a felony or undesignated offense within 10 days of the conviction
- Cheating or assisting another to cheat on a licensure or certification examination
The Adjudication Process for CRNA License Issues in Arizona
When the AZBN receives a complaint, the disciplinary process goes through three steps: investigation, hearing, and appeals.
Step 1: Investigation
If the board has jurisdiction over a complaint, it will conduct an investigation by collecting documents, reports, records, paper, books, and materials relevant to the complaint. A board investigator can come to your place of work and ask for evidentiary materials, and the board can issue you a subpoena. The board can also ask you to undergo mental, physical, or psychological examinations to evaluate your ability to practice nursing safely.
If the AZBN doesn't find sufficient evidence to substantiate the claims in the complaint, it can dismiss the matter. If there are reasonable grounds to support the charge, however, you are entitled to an administrative hearing.
Step 2: Hearing
After you receive the board's notice of a hearing, you must respond to the allegations within 30 days. If you don't, the board will assume that you accept responsibility for the charges and will proceed to disciplinary action. At the hearing, either an administrative law judge or a panel of board members will preside. You'll also have the opportunity to present evidence and call upon witnesses. You can have an attorney present with you at the hearing.
The outcome of the hearing determines if the board can take disciplinary action.
Step 3: Appeal
If you disagree with the hearing decision, you can file a motion for a rehearing or judicial review. This appeal process will take place in a court of law, not with the board. The results of the judicial review are final.
Do You Need a Professional License Defense Attorney?
If you're a CRNA facing potential disciplinary actions from the AZBN, you might question the necessity of hiring a lawyer. You might think that since it's not a court case, you could manage it on your own. However, CRNA licensing and disciplinary issues are complex. Without knowing the board's processes or experience in self-representation, you might find the situation overwhelming. The Lento Law Firm is equipped to take charge for you.
Key reasons to engage our Professional License Defense Team include:
- The bar for sanctions against nurses is relatively low. Unlike the presumption of innocence in criminal law, you might have to actively disprove accusations against you. Doing so requires a proactive, well-argued defense, which our team can develop for you.
- The AZBN possesses more resources than an individual CRNA. They have access to legal experts, licensing specialists, and more experience in disciplinary actions. Hiring the Lento Law Firm helps to balance the odds in your favor.
- Lack of experience in license defense proceedings can be a significant disadvantage. If this case is your first encounter with a CRNA license issue, you likely don't know what to expect. Our team can guide you through every stage, ensuring you're well-prepared for any interactions with the board.
- Our proven track record in defending CRNAs speaks for itself. We've successfully assisted numerous CRNAs and medical professionals across Arizona and the nation with their licensing issues, and we're committed to resolving your case effectively.
While dealing with these allegations, you must also maintain your professional duties. Juggling work and life in these circumstances is challenging. By managing every facet of your case, our team allows you to concentrate on your job and personal life.
What Our Firm Can Do for You
Our primary objective is to clear your name and shield you from any sanctions related to your CRNA licensing issue. If sanctions are unavoidable, our focus will be minimizing their impact. To achieve these goals, you can anticipate the following actions from our team in handling your case:
- Determining the optimal outcome: In some instances, CRNAs are accused of actions they weren't even conscious of committing. In others, minor mistakes or brief lapses in professionalism lead to charges. We'll use these specifics to pinpoint the best possible outcome for your case and what you can realistically expect if that outcome is achieved.
- Collecting pertinent evidence and testimony: Our approach isn't limited to just relying on the AZBN's findings. We'll conduct our own thorough investigation. Our efforts will be focused on confirming all details of your case and leveraging them to construct a robust defense on your behalf. The appropriate evidence and witness statements can significantly influence the case's direction.
- Seeking resolutions outside of formal adjudication: When possible, we'll initiate informal discussions with the board to resolve the matter without resorting to the formal adjudication process. Direct negotiations with the board's lawyers or their representatives often lead to case resolutions without the hassle and stress of a formal hearing.
- Accompanying you in adjudication processes: If your case enters formal proceedings, we'll provide continuous support. A member of our team will always be present with you at meetings, hearings, and any related adjudication events. We'll offer guidance, assist in presenting your case, and ensure you're thoroughly prepared for each stage of the process.
- Pursuing further legal action if needed: If necessary, we're prepared to assist in filing a lawsuit concerning your CRNA license. We will discuss legal alternatives as they arise and advise you on the best course of action.
Our team, with nationwide experience in handling professional licensing boards and their legal representatives, tailors defense strategies to the unique aspects and needs of each client's case, maximizing the chances of a favorable outcome.
We Help CRNAs Throughout the State of Arizona
Our Professional License Defense Team helps CRNAs with license issues all over Arizona, including in:
- San Tan Valley
- Casas Adobes
- Casa Grande
Even if you don't see your city listed above, we can provide you with license defense. We're prepared to help you defend your CRNA license so you can keep practicing in Arizona.
Contact the Lento Law Firm for Strong License Defense Today
If you're facing the risk of losing your CRNA license, it's crucial to give your all in its defense. Your career and income are on the line. Our team is prepared to support you in retaining your license. We will assist in getting you ready for interviews, hearings, and appeals while helping you through the legal procedures.