Im new to this board and really need some advice, from all nurses. I have been going to school for the past 6 months, completing my courses to get entry into the nursing program.
I just found out some info that really might affect that goal for me. I made a huge mistake about 8 years ago and got into trouble with the law. A friend explained to me that if you have any prior convictions that you can not get registered as a nurse.
I did contact the nursing board and they told me that they need to review the situation, when the application is submitted.
I would really appreciate any feedback on this. If their are any nurses out their that have had prior convictions, but were still able to get your RN, I would love to hear from you.
I just can't see going all the way through school and not being able to take that final step, because of a bad judgement I made, years ago. Any advice would be so great.
Thanks so much...Sherri
Nov 9, '02
Sherri, first off, I have no convictions, but my advice is to talk to a lawyer who specializes in nursing or medical practice issues. Maybe check with Dial-A-Lawyer for the names of some lawyers in that area. If it was a criminal offense; maybe a criminal lawyer would be a better place to start. Be honest with them and tell them what your conviction was for, that you wish to become a nurse, but are concerned that you may be unable to fulfill that wish because of that conviction. Depending on what the conviction was for (say a felony charge for property damage), there is a possibility that the conviction could be reduced (for the above charge re: property damage from a felony to a misdemeanor) if you have paid your debts and served your sentence (if any) and have been upstanding citizen without so much as a speeding ticket since then. You may need to go before a judge to have this cleaned off your record, but it would be worth it for all sorts of reasons (renting apartments, any work where your background is checked, certain types of higher education, etc.).
There are some crimes that can't be removed from the records, however, (I believe murder would probably be one) and I don't think that you could be a nurse if you've done something like that. Good luck.
Nov 9, '02
I agree with Jenny. I believe there are over 60 convictions for which you cannot be in health care. Check with a health care lawyer. Good luck.
Nov 9, '02
I'm surprised that your state BON won't give you some direction. I'd call them and request to speak to a supervisor, then THAT person's supervisor, and so on. Then get it in writing before starting school.
Otherwise, consulting an attorney is a good idea, (and should be inexpensive, if you go through your local BAR association), but that still wouldn''t mean the BON couldn't override his/her advice at a later time.
Nov 9, '02
For what it is worth: this came up in orientation. I am also in California. If you commit murder you can still get your RN license. Yep, been done. First of all, it was the murder of a long time batterer. The individual was tried and convicted, did whatever time was required and then went to nursing school. The BON will require you to list all convictions etc. and you must be able to prove rehabilitation. In this particular nurses case, the board granted her license based on the facts of the conviction and the likelyhood of her murdering again being slim since it was a long time batterer. She was able to prove rehabilitation. She now works in our community and is a fine nurse.
Each case is looked at individually. You did not mention what your problem was. If it was drunk driving / drugs / theft etc. then after 8 years you would most likely be able to prove rehabilitation.
I agree with the other posters though, you should contact the BON and find out what they will require you to do in order to grant the license. MOST important is full disclosure to the board though, because if they run your prints and find any unlisted priors you are toast!
Nov 10, '02
Tell them the truth, show rehab and you'll most likely be fine. Don't tell employers about this unless you still have a problem. The past is the past and you have grown and learned your lesson. Right? But if you don't tell the BON and they find out from finger prints. Yep, toast.
Nov 10, '02
the first day of nursing school we had to fill out a state form which asked about any criminal activty. They nipped it in the begining.
I do not know of anyone who got licensed after a criminal activity. The state board of nursing or a lawyer should be able to help. good luck
Nov 10, '02
DEAR SHERRI, I WAS HONEST WITH THE SCHOOL AND TOLD THEM I HAD BEEN COMITTED UP FRONT, THEIR RESPONSE WAS "NO PROBLEM".. AND IT WAS NOT UNTIL AFTER I GRADUATED, THEN, AND ONLY THEN DID THE BOTHER TO TELL ME THAT OF COURSE IT WOULD BE UP TO THE BOARD OF NURSING EXAMINERS WHEATHER OR NOT I COULD EVEN TAKE THE TEST. YES I DID GO BEFORE THE BOARD AND THEY DID LET ME TAKE THE TEST AND HERE I AM... BEEN IN HOSPICE FOR 11 YEARS SO THEY DID MAKE A GOOD DECESION. HOPE YOU HAVE SOMEONE IN YOUR CORNER THAT IS WILLING TO GO TO THE BOARD WITH YOU.....PLUS I HAD 25 LETTERS TO PRESENT, FROM COMMUNITY LEADERS INCLUDING ONE FROM THE JUDGE THAT COMMITTED ME. THINGS DO TURN OUT THE WAY THEY ARE SUSPOSED TO..........HONEST!
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