ALL NURSES MUST REPORT CRIMINAL CHARGES FILED AGAINST THEM WITHIN 30 DAYS OF ARREST.

Effective October 17, 2015 The Pennsylvania Nursing Board rules now require all Pennsylvania licensed RNs, LPNs, CRNPs, LDNs, and CNSs to report being charged with any misdemeanor or felony criminal charge, regardless of which jurisdiction the charges originate. The same practitioners must also within 90 days report any discipline from another jurisdiction.§ 21.29a. Reporting of crimes and disciplinary action.(a) A registered nurse shall notify the Board of pending criminal charges within 30 days of the filing of the criminal charges or on the biennial renewal application under § 21.29(c)(4) (relating to expiration and renewal of license), whichever is sooner.(b) A registered nurse shall notify the Board of a criminal conviction, plea of guilty or nolo contendere, or an admission into a probation without verdict or accelerated rehabilitative disposition program within 30 days of the disposition or on the biennial renewal application under § 21.29(c)(4), whichever is sooner.(c) A registered nurse shall notify the Board of disciplinary action in the nature of a final order taken against the registered nurse by the licensing authority of another state, territory or country within 90 days of receiving notice of the disciplinary action, or on the biennial renewal application under § 21.29(c)(4), whichever is sooner.http://www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol45/45-42/1827.html§ 21.156b. Reporting of crimes and disciplinary action.(a) An LPN shall notify the Board of pending criminal charges within 30 days of the filing of the criminal charges or on the biennial renewal application under § 21.156 (relating to renewal of license), whichever is sooner.(b) An LPN shall notify the Board of a criminal conviction, plea of guilty or nolo contendere, or admission into a probation without verdict or accelerated rehabilitative disposition program within 30 days of the disposition or on the biennial renewal application under § 21.156, whichever is sooner.(c) An LPN shall notify the Board of disciplinary action in the nature of a final order taken against the LPN by the licensing authority of another state, territory or country within 90 days of receiving notice of the disciplinary action or on the biennial renewal application under § 21.156, whichever is sooner.The Board is specifically concerned with the fact that practitioners were being charged with criminal acts and then enrolled in and completed the ARD program, with an expungement, between reporting periods. As such, the Board found that:Background and PurposeThis final-form rulemaking accomplishes two goals: (1) amends current continuing education regulations for registered nurses; and (2) requires licensees to report criminal and disciplinary actions sooner than currently required. The Board published continuing education regulations implementing section 12.1 of the RN Act at 38 Pa.B. 3796 (July 12, 2008). To ease implementation, the Board provided registered nurses with a grace period of 6 months to cure deficiencies. Now that licensees have had an opportunity to obtain the continuing education and seek renewal, this grace period is no longer warranted and, in its place, the Board is implementing a procedure for continuing education compliance identical to that applied by the other licensing boards within the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs. Additionally, the final-form rulemaking provides the Board with the flexibility to require licensees to complete continuing education on a specific topic as the necessity arises. This is particularly important when there are advances or changes in practice that affect the entire profession or significant modifications to the Board's regulations.Regarding the reporting of criminal and disciplinary actions, § 21.29(c)(4) (relating to expiration and renewal of license) requires registered nurses to report these actions on their biennial renewal. Similarly, § 21.723 (relating to license renewal) requires licensed dietitian-nutritionists to report criminal and disciplinary actions at biennial renewal. Conversely, § 21.156 (relating to renewal of license), which applies to practical nurses, formerly did not require reporting of criminal and disciplinary actions at all. In many circumstances, especially in cases when licensees enter into an Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) Program, licensees avoid notifying the Board of the criminal action because the matter has been expunged by the time of renewal. The Board is authorized to discipline licensees who receive ARD, disposition instead of trial or probation without verdict in the disposition of felony charges. In addition, licensees who receive ARD or other pretrial disposition of DUIs and other drug offenses may suffer from mental or physical illnesses or conditions or physiological or psychological dependence on alcohol, hallucinogenic or narcotic drugs, or other drugs which tend to impair judgment or coordination, authorizing the Board to require mental and physical examinations under section 14(a)(2) and (2.1) of the RN Act (63 P. S. § 224(a)(2) and (2.1)) or section 16(a)(6) of the PN Law (63 P. S. § 666(a)(6)). It is therefore imperative that the Board receive these reports in a timely manner. Call to discuss your criminal case and your reporting requirements.

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