Arizona is Where Educating Patients is Bad, Bad, Bad: An Amanda Trujillo Update

Just a few words about Amanda Trujillo.  Jennifer Olin at has detailed at the latest twists and turns of her case. I won’t repeat everything, but I want to comment instead on the Arizona State Board of Nursing’s latest action. The BoN has added a further charge that Trujillo has misrepresented herself as “an end of life” specialist because she counselled and educated patients about end of life care, using the materials provided by her employer, Banner Health.

This is pretty outrageous, and I think, an abuse of process. Let me elaborate from my point of view as an Emergency department nurse. In the course of any shift I may give advice and education on:

  • wound care and dressing changes — but I am not a nurse specialist on wound care and dressings
  • casts and splints — but I am not a specialist in orthopaedic nursing
  • diet for cases of gastroenteritis — but I am not a dietitian
  • prescriptions — but I am not a pharmacist
  • preparation for diagnostic imaging — but I am not a radiography tech
  • advise first time pregnancies on the benefits of breastfeeding — but I am not a lactation nurse
  • head injury routine — but I am not a nurse specialist in neurology
  • treatment of fever in children — but I am not a paeds nurse

Now according to the Arizona State Board of Nursing, I am representing myself as a specialist in all of these areas, and probably a few score more that I haven’t listed. By the considered, professional judgement of the nursing leadership inhabiting the halls of the Arizona State Board of Nursing, I should just shut up, because I am clearly qualified to do squat.

The Arizona State Board of Nursing evidently believes nurses educating patients on anything is beyond their scope of practice. And by extension, nurses educating patients puts patients in danger.


Absolutely. And this is why this latest charge is a trumped-up nonsense. Nursing as a profession would cease to exist in Arizona if nurses had to meet the stringent requirements the BoN now apparently requires, if nurses need some sort of official certification as “specialist” before providing education of any sort. The “position” now put forward by the Board of Nursing is contradicts widely accepted nursing practice. Providing health teaching is the standard of care around the world. This is what nurses do. In my jurisdiction, you can be disciplined for not providing appropriate education.

Jennifer Olin puts it this way:

This just makes no sense. Trujillo may be interested in end-of-life issues, she admitted herself that she had provided such information to patients previous to the one involved in this incident with no objections from physicians or hospital management. In fact, that evening, she even cleared her plan of care with the clinical manager.

This is not claiming to be a certified specialist. We are nurses. We are expected to know quite a bit and, more importantly, how to find information for our clients and ourselves. The information Trujillo provided was pulled straight from the information banks of the hospital’s own computer system.

Exactly. This is what we know as nurses. We educate. To claim otherwise is to run against the experience and practice of millions of fully qualified and competent nurses. The Arizona Board of Nursing knows this too. They are nurses, after all. You can only conclude the Board is grasping at straws at this point, hoping to harass or intimidate Trujillo into submission.

The next step is an evidentiary hearing, for which the Board of Nursing has not yet set a date. As of next month it will be a year since this business started. The wheels of justice grind slowly, it’s said. Let’s just hope they grind as finely as advertised.

One more note: I spoke at length with Amanda yesterday, and she is very well and in good spirits. Her lawyer has asked her not to comment publicly further on her case, so I can’t relay what she told me. However, I will say the story grows more convoluted by the day and there is far more going on than can be publicly mentioned. So stay tuned!

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  1. #1 by Lynda M O on Monday 26 March 2012 - 1420

    This case gets weirder by the week. I appreciate that you bring to us timely and thoughtfully prepared information. You demonstrate no bias which is helpful to readers. Thanks very much.

  2. #2 by jess6577 on Monday 26 March 2012 - 1429

    Just so sick to my gut over this whole situation…for Amanda, and for nurses as a whole. These shenanigans are being demonstrated by those whom we have previously looked up to as leaders of our profession…what utter disillusionment we have been under.

  3. #3 by Beenthere! on Tuesday 27 March 2012 - 1535

    The story gets twisted and convoluted as the days go on??? Hey guys we are dealing with Banner Del Webb. I’ve met the Administrators from there………….wow! You have no idea. Shenanigans is a nice way of putting things. Now what they are telling the present staff is a whole different story. My money is on, they are painting a picture of a totally radical nurse. Probably stating how unstable they are. Calling it “she has issues” yada yada yada. How do I know this? Trust me, I’ve Beenthere! I know how they operate.

  4. #4 by CC on Wednesday 28 March 2012 - 2319

    My sister is moving very close to that hospital and I have already told her to steer clear of that hospital and it’s affiliates as a patient and customer. Unbelievable. If Amanda loses this case… it will change nursing care in the USA forever.

    • #5 by Anonymous on Tuesday 03 April 2012 - 1322

      AZ hospital Assoc. was suied 22 million for violating the sherman act, Banner health was at the top of the list. Go to the web page below and see for your self.

    • #6 by Anonymous on Monday 28 January 2013 - 1640

      I worked at Del Webb as a charge nurse in the ICU. The whole Banner system uses fear and intimadation as a means to try and control nurses. Find a new place to work. I say all of us go back to working registry so the hospitals have no choice but to use nurses they don’t have their thumb on.

  5. #7 by gregmercer601 on Friday 30 March 2012 - 1152

    I advise Nurses to avoid work in Arizona, for their own protection as professionals. Here’s why:

    Under current leadership Arizona has credibly been listed as among the worst States in America for ethics in Government:
    At present, Arizona rates a D+ on The Center for Public Integrity grading scale for corruption, with F scores in State Civil Service Management and Ethics Enforcement, 27th among the 50 states overall, and far worse than that in these particular areas.
    (See )
    Civil service management and ethics both reflect poorly on AZ BON, as do findings of significant conflicts of interest between Banner Health, AZ BON, and AZNA. Regulatory bodies operating without accountability or transparency in the context of such evidence of problems require public discussion and efforts at reform.

    A loosely organized group, we have published two petitions on
    One calls on Arizona to show substantive improvements in the currently unsafe and hostile working conditions for Nurses.
    To read more about this petition – maybe even sign the it! – click here:
    I can be reached for any further information at
    Another petition focuses specifically on Amanda’s case:

    There is also an excellent web page, and a FB page of the same name:

    We offer you thanks for your consideration in these matters, and invite you to take a stand between Nurses and patients on one side, and profits at any cost on the other.

    Greg Mercer, MSN

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    • #10 by Anastasia on Saturday 16 July 2016 - 0306

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