convicted felons becoming RN's

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    I am a 35 yo male who made a mistake 16 years ago and now I would like to go to school for my R.N.I have also been a E.M.T fo 12 years without any problems.I spoke to the state board of nursing and they say I can go to school but they are not sure if I would be able to get my license.I also live in New Jersey where a R.N just confessed to killing 40+ patients.Now the state is looking at more strict guidelines for getting your nursing license.What do you think? I need advice.
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    I do know they do background checks on us in nursing school. If they find a felony charge against us we can't get our license.
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    i think it all depends on what the offense is and the degree of the felony.some nurses i know have had felonies and have ontained nursing licenses.
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    It depends also on the nature of the felony. Bouncing checks and smoking pot are considered less serious than say armed robbery or homicide. Some felonies are very problematic, such as child abuse/molestation, violent behavior, rape, murder or major drug trafficking - those will frequently bar one from ever becoming a nurse.

    You should check with the Board of Nursing in your state.
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    the state laws in UT state that a felon cannot. However, after 7 years of having completed your probationary period, you can have the courts 'expunge' your record. Simply put, it wipes your slate clean and you have a fresh start. So, when they look at your record, it's as if nothing ever happened. On an application if it asks if you've had any problems, you can check off no. I've spoken to a lawyer about it and that's what he told me, so I'm assuming you have to go through a lawyer for them to get it wiped off.
  9. 0
    Originally posted by EMT3690
    I am a 35 yo male who made a mistake 16 years ago and now I would like to go to school for my R.N.I have also been a E.M.T fo 12 years without any problems.I spoke to the state board of nursing and they say I can go to school but they are not sure if I would be able to get my license.I also live in New Jersey where a R.N just confessed to killing 40+ patients.Now the state is looking at more strict guidelines for getting your nursing license.What do you think? I need advice.
    You did what I would advice talk to the BON. Based on the answer they gave you have a choice. Go to nursing school and try for your license. There is a risk that you may not (as they told you) get your license. Or not go to nursing school.

    It is unlikely the BON will give you more infor than this at this time because they will not tell you that they sometimes grant licenses to past fellons depending on the individual situation then have to say no to your application.

    Lets take a seniero I am familiar with. I worked with one RN who had been in prison a year (he said for growing pot.) He went through hell and high water before the BON would grant a license. It took a year or two after graduation before he actually got them to agree to grant a license.

    His license was restricted. He could not work nights, he had to have constant supervision, he could not be a charge nurse or in any simular position. He had to submit to monthly drug testing.

    He lost his license forever because he failed a mothly drug test. He was a good nurse but that did not matter. Overnight he was without a license. I am guessing there were more restrictions on his license that I was not knowlegeable of.

    I understand a felony can be many things. I know someone who once had a felony conviction that was nothing more than a paperwork oversight involving a gun sale. It did not matter that no criminal intent existed it was still a felony. The felony is now expunged but it was a very long time before that could be done. It did not get expunged until he gave up his federal firearms license.

    So felony cases cover a wide range of offences. There is no way the BON can tell you about your case just like that. Ever one is different and they will not do an evaluation until you apply for a license.

    So bottom line is evaluate your own case and deside if you want to got to school and take the chance they will refuse you.
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    i think some of the above posters are correct...

    it depends on what type (class) of a felony.
    it depends on the action you did... was it violent, molestation, sexual in nature.

    if you have a DWI (DUI depending on the state), minor drug possession, etc, you may be able to talk to your BON and get a waiver.

    However - DO NOT LIE

    if they find out (and they will) that you lied on either your application for licensure, or on your school application, they have the right to take it all away from you.

    I would recommend one thing... nursing is very stressful. I would not go to school, spend the money, study and have the daily stress if I was not sure that I would be able to graduate and sit for boards. That would be a lot of wasted resources for nothing.

    good luck!

    BrandyBSN
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    hey DustinRN, i saw that u were from greenville,s.c.
    i live down towards clemson,sc. i thought that was cool to see a local person on the board. adios!!
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    I am a 35 yo male who made a mistake 16 years ago and now I would like to go to school for my R.N.
    Might also check on getting a pardon from the governor.
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    I had a friend that was an RN until last week for a felony poblem.Let's just say she had taken money from the state that she was not qualified to get involving social services.she was in the midst of paying it back during nursing school and has been paying it back for 8 years.She never told the school or the BON because it was reduced from a felony as long as she paid it back.She stopped her payments for a couple of months due to finances and they charged her.Now her attorney and the BON told her that if she had been honest and upfront way back,shhe probably would have been able to keep her license.So because she lied,it is gone forever.Whatever you decide,just tell them everything.


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