Nursing School admit policies.

  1. 1 I am currently in a "Nursing Trends and Issues" class for my RN to BSN program. I'm trying to get some research done on our topic of choice.

    While I was researching our topic, a question came to mind that might be of interest to my group. Our topic has to do with nurses who divert narcotics. We are looking at different ways we can reduce the incidence of this occurring. My specific area of focus is how some nurses begin their path towards addiction while in school (via dependence on anti-depressants and/or anti-anxiety medications).

    The question that popped into my mind was:

    "Are the rules regarding acceptance into a nursing program universal in regards to having a criminal record?"

    What I am interested in is, if a student has a prior record that is drug related, they may be denied admittance to the program. But are the rules for who can and can't be accepted universal? Or are there some schools that are tougher than others? Are there different rules for this in different states, or are the policies nationally accepted?

    Reason I'm asking is..........well, I just don't want to be caught with my pants down while giving the presentation. I know how my school regarded applicants with a record. I remember a friend who told me how close he was to being denied entry into the program for something he did when he was a teenager. I also remember having to submit to a drug test myself prior to acceptance to the program. I just assumed it was that way everywhere. It might now be though. Mostly I'm just curious, it never dawned on me that there may be schools that handled it very differently than mine.
  2. Visit  PennyWise profile page

    About PennyWise

    PennyWise has '6' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Pulmonary, Transplant, Travel RN'. From 'Pittsburgh, PA, US'; 42 Years Old; Joined May '12; Posts: 158; Likes: 361.

    19 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  HouTx profile page
    0
    I would advise you to review the "nurses in recovery" forum under the Career tab. This is a valuable source of first-hand information. It would appear that there is a wide variation between states in how this issue is viewed by BONs, I would imagine that it is for schools also.
  4. Visit  PennyWise profile page
    0
    Quote from HouTx
    I would advise you to review the "nurses in recovery" forum under the Career tab. This is a valuable source of first-hand information. It would appear that there is a wide variation between states in how this issue is viewed by BONs, I would imagine that it is for schools also.
    Hmm. No info there, not on this topic anyway. Nurses in recovery is more for people who already have a license but are recovering from an addiction.

    I actually thought about posting this in the education forum but picked here instead. I would post something in the recovery forum but they don't like multiple posts on the same topic/question.
  5. Visit  Okami_RN profile page
    0
    So your thesis is stating that you believe strict nursing school admittance policies will lead to lower narcotic diversion among professional nurses because many of those at risk would be selectively removed in the school phase?

    To prove your thesis you would first identify who are at risk students and what are their characteristics, next you would have to identify specific policies in school admittance deter possible diverters from being registered. Do certain accreditations alter admittance policies?

    You will have to talk to admission representatives at multiple schools across the country to get a general feel (Northeast, Southwest, West, etc)

    I honestly think this is the possibility to be a huge research project and may be very difficult to do without seeming subjective and opinionated.
  6. Visit  OB-nurse2013 profile page
    0
    I live in metro-detroit area and all teh nursing schools by me do criminal record and background checks. Not sure if that helps but I hope
  7. Visit  BBFRN profile page
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    You might get official data on this from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing: https://www.ncsbn.org/index.htm
  8. Visit  harleyz profile page
    0
    Same in Colorado, the schools require background and drug screens, at least the ones I am familiar with!
  9. Visit  kylee_adns profile page
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    I think that most if not all schools require a criminal background check. I know the schools in my area do, as it is required by the facilities that we did clinicals at. None of the schools in this area do a drug screen, though. I think that the policies probably vary state by state and school by school. I had a friend with a criminal background, and she was accepted by our school. Each facility she did clinicals at had to review her background check, and approve that she could do clinicals there. The school did say, that even though they accepted her, they could not guarantee that the BON would grant her a license. She then had to go through a special process with the BON, but did end up obtaining her license. Of course in my state anyone can look up anyones criminal background check on the circuit court access site at any time.
  10. Visit  Syrenia profile page
    1
    "My specific area of focus is how some nurses begin their path towards addiction while in school (via dependence on anti-depressants and/or anti-anxiety medications)."

    I honestly had trouble getting past this assumption that antidepressants and anti anxiety med are gateway drugs.
    Wet Noodle likes this.
  11. Visit  Skips profile page
    0
    I don't understand the antidepressant/anti-anxiety drug correlation to diversion. However, my school is similar to kylee_adns's school. The clinical sites wanted us to get the drug test, but it wasn't the school's policy itself. We had to do a background check for this reason, too. If we were caught positive, we couldn't go to clinical.
  12. Visit  llg profile page
    1
    Not all schools require a criminal background -- and even some who do are not allowed to look at the results or consider them in student selection. In some schools, the background checks are simply turned over to the clinical facilities who make the decision as to whether the student can come there for clinicals or not. I know that because I am the person in the hospital who checks them for those schools who have policies against the faculty seeing the background checks.

    So the answer to your question is clear: No, the "rules" are not universal. It varies from place to place.
    PennyWise likes this.
  13. Visit  Grey Lady profile page
    0
    The University of Maryland does not use background checks or drug screens to determine admittance. HOWEVER, we warn students that in order to do clinicals most sites require one or both. The school never receives results, only the sites do, and they (the sites) decide whether they will accept a student at their site. If they do not, the school will attempt to find another site who may accept them and that is a very, very difficult thing to accomplish. If a student cannot be permitted by any clinical site to do the required clinical, they will not pass the course which requires that clinical and therefore they cannot graduate. That having been said, there have been cases where a student, particularly as a result of drug screen results, has been able to negotiate directly with the clinical site to be allowed to attend clinical there. That decision is totally out of the school's hands.
  14. Visit  PennyWise profile page
    0
    Quote from llg
    Not all schools require a criminal background -- and even some who do are not allowed to look at the results or consider them in student selection. In some schools, the background checks are simply turned over to the clinical facilities who make the decision as to whether the student can come there for clinicals or not. I know that because I am the person in the hospital who checks them for those schools who have policies against the faculty seeing the background checks.

    So the answer to your question is clear: No, the "rules" are not universal. It varies from place to place.
    I finally broke down and called my local BON. This is pretty much what they said. Another poster above also said the drug screens and background checks were for the clinical sites not the school. Thats exactly what my BON said.

    The answer I got: Schools have nothing at all mandated to them concerning who they can admit to the program. Any policies they have in place with regards to drug screens and background checks are implemented by the school by choice. Indirectly though, the state does control entry into nursing school programs through two avenues:
    1. The drug screens and background checks required by the facilities that accommodate clinical hours for the school. If a student can not pass either of these two requirements, they can not complete the clinical course work.
    2. The rules governing who can sit for state boards. If someone has something in their background that would prevent them from being allowed to gain licensure, why bother going through the schooling?
    These are very indirect means of control though.


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