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Protecting your nursing license during an Arizona State Board of Nursing investigation
You may have always wanted to be a nurse, but at some point in your nursing education or in the first few years on the job, you realized you had a passion for the work. The satisfaction of helping people in a personal and meaningful way often made the long, exhausting hours worthwhile. Nursing for you is an ideal way to achieve personal fulfillment and to support your family at the same time.
However, you are only human. As much as your profession expects you to be a superhero, some days you just can’t be everything for everyone. Now that you are facing disciplinary actions following complaints of professional misconduct, the job you love and need may be on the line.
Complaints to the Board
The list of reasons why a nurse may be reported to the Arizona State Board of Nursing is extensive, and anyone, including your coworkers or patients, may submit a complaint against you. The Board also obligates you to self-report if you face criminal charges for DUI or drug offenses, but someone on your staff may file a complaint if they suspect that substance abuse has compromised your abilities as a nurse.
A disciplinary investigation into the complaints and the hearing that follows may result in one of several outcomes. The Board may dismiss the complaint, or you may receive a letter of concern in your file. However, stronger disciplinary actions range from the imposition of a civil fine to the revocation of your license and denial of renewal for up to five years. Because of the serious consequences that are possible, you would benefit from legal assistance from the earliest moments of the process.
Alternatives to disciplinary action
If you have self-reported a DUI or drug arrest or have received notice that someone has filed a complaint against you with the Board, you may be uncertain about what to do next. It may seem as if your career is over and your life is on hold indefinitely. Fortunately, there are options available to minimize the damage a complaint and subsequent hearing can have on your future. This may include admission to the Chemically Addicted Nurses Diversion Option program.
CANDO is completely confidential and offers a variety of benefits for those who successfully complete the program. Besides obtaining help you may need for a substance abuse issue, you may also be able to avoid a disciplinary hearing and retain your privileges to practice nursing. For answers to your questions about eligibility for CANDO and for aggressive defense if you face a disciplinary hearing, the advocacy of an experienced attorney can be to your advantage.