RN with a record, need HELP

  1. I am so scared. I made a horrible mistake and need some advice. To make a long story short I became addicted to narcotics after injuring my back during a code. I got in so deep that I ended up getting in trouble with the law. Since this is my first offense my lawyer says i will just get a year's probation which I will have to serve before i can have my record expunged. I am not currently working and do not plan on applying until my probation is over. I am now clean, registered with the tennessee peer assistance program and attending narcotics anonymous meetings 3 times a week. My question is will the board of nursing find out automatically or will it have to be reported. Since i didn't get in trouble on the job it won't be reported my an employer. The BON (didn't give them my name) said when i renew I will have to check that I have been convicted of a felony and then it will be investigated but if i don't renew until my record is expunged I can mark no. Any advice?? Thanks alot.
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   LEL
    Quote from nm1979
    I am so scared. I made a horrible mistake and need some advice. To make a long story short I became addicted to narcotics after injuring my back during a code. I got in so deep that I ended up getting in trouble with the law. Since this is my first offense my lawyer says i will just get a year's probation which I will have to serve before i can have my record expunged. I am not currently working and do not plan on applying until my probation is over. I am now clean, registered with the tennessee peer assistance program and attending narcotics anonymous meetings 3 times a week. My question is will the board of nursing find out automatically or will it have to be reported. Since i didn't get in trouble on the job it won't be reported my an employer. The BON (didn't give them my name) said when i renew I will have to check that I have been convicted of a felony and then it will be investigated but if i don't renew until my record is expunged I can mark no. Any advice?? Thanks alot.
    Are you aware that the person or company that was violated must be notified when you apply for expungement? As a victim of stolen identity I was informed of this by the prosecutor and will oppose it when she applys for it.
    I wish you the best but, I feel you need to be honest as the BON will find out and rightfully so.
  4. by   nm1979
    Quote from LEL
    Are you aware that the person or company that was violated must be notified when you apply for expungement? As a victim of stolen identity I was informed of this by the prosecutor and will oppose it when she applys for it.
    I wish you the best but, I feel you need to be honest as the BON will find out and rightfully so.

    No one was violated. I never took anything from a hospital or from a patient. I can say i never sank that low. Thanks for the reply.
  5. by   bobnurse
    You have to tell the board.......If they find out.....Goodbye nursing license......By checking the no box, you are falsafying your app.....I cant spell, sorry... But you will be better off telling them.........The worse case, you gotta be on probation and do some random drug testing.....BUt its better than losing your license.
  6. by   msonurse
    Quote from nm1979
    I am so scared. I made a horrible mistake and need some advice. To make a long story short I became addicted to narcotics after injuring my back during a code. I got in so deep that I ended up getting in trouble with the law. Since this is my first offense my lawyer says i will just get a year's probation which I will have to serve before i can have my record expunged. I am not currently working and do not plan on applying until my probation is over. I am now clean, registered with the tennessee peer assistance program and attending narcotics anonymous meetings 3 times a week. My question is will the board of nursing find out automatically or will it have to be reported. Since i didn't get in trouble on the job it won't be reported my an employer. The BON (didn't give them my name) said when i renew I will have to check that I have been convicted of a felony and then it will be investigated but if i don't renew until my record is expunged I can mark no. Any advice?? Thanks alot.

    Everyone makes mistakes and it sounds like you are doing a good job correcting yours and getting help. Any Board of Nursing should be satisfied with your progress. But any Board is not your friend. They are there to "police" you. You must tell The Board of your charges. Otherwise, when they find out, and they will, you will never be able to get your license. Bring a good attorney with you. A great one. Because they have the best.

    I have never heard of any State expunging a felony charge. But if it is expunged no one has the right to use the charge against you or even have record of it.

    Good luck with your recovery and with your License.
  7. by   nm1979
    Thanks for all the great replies but could someone tell me how they could possibly find out about it if it is expunged. That basically means it doesn't exist. Like I said earlier everyone from my lawyer to the judge has said to mark no on the renewal app. I can't decide what to do.
  8. by   NRSKarenRN
    If your renewel is like PA's and you answer no, kiss your license goodby!
    Answer yes, explain circumstance will retain license but might have work restriction.

    Good Luck.



    1. Since your initial application or your last renewal, whichever is later, [font=FNJKAO+Arial,Arial]have you been convicted, pleaded guilty or entered a plea of nolo contendere, or received probation without verdict to any crime, felony or misdemeanor, including any DUI/DWI, drug law violations, or are any criminal charges pending and unresolved in any state or jurisdiction?

    [font=FNJKAO+Arial,Arial]

  9. by   misscus
    I thought healthcare was the exception that even though a felony has been expunged, it was still reported to BON, because of the closeness of a nurse to patients, such as in home health or public health nursing where a nurse could take advantage of a patient's property or money.
  10. by   normj
    Clearly, asking your attorney is the right thing to do in this case; every state has different laws. Good luck.
  11. by   msonurse
    Quote from nm1979
    Thanks for all the great replies but could someone tell me how they could possibly find out about it if it is expunged. That basically means it doesn't exist. Like I said earlier everyone from my lawyer to the judge has said to mark no on the renewal app. I can't decide what to do.
    The Judge and your attotrney are correct. But the charges must be expunged BEFORE you reapply for your license. Make sure ALL agencies clear your record off their computers. And make sure you have the expungement papers handy just in case an agency makes an error and the charges are not taken off their computer. If this happens the Board will get ahold of the charges.

    I had a charge years ago and got it expunged and the Kentucky Board of Nursing got ahold of it and it took a year for me AFTER I applied to get my license.

    Then I moved to Florida and marked to NO box and they got ahold of the charges. They Told me as soon as I faxed them the expungement papers they would issue me my license and they did. This was a man that knew the law and that it was illegal for them to hold expunged charges against me.

    The charges I had were not Felony charges.

    Also, I went to the court system and got them expunged myself. I did not use an attorney. Soooooooo much paperwork. You could probally do the same.

    Good luck.
  12. by   nm1979
    I called my state BON today and they said it would be ok to mark NO because if a judge says I've payed my debt to the state then that's good enough. They said that in order to get a record expunged you have to meet certain orders by the court especially if they are drug charges and if they judge expunges it then that's same as saying I've meet all requirements for a fresh start. So I guess I have my answer. I didn't give them my name and they didn't ask. They acted like it was no big thing. What all agencies do I need to check with to be sure my name is cleared?? Thanks for all the replies.
  13. by   galaxy781
    Hi all,

    I am a nursing student currently yay. Anyway in 01 or 02 (can barely remember now) I was convicted of a misdemeanor. I was caught shoplifting at a Meijers, a CD or something. I was stupid and 20ish. Last fall before I entered nursing school I had my conviction expunged.

    Lately I have been worrying that I may not get my liscense bc of that one stupid mistake. I called the OHio BON and asked them if I had had my conviction expunged was I still required to check "yes" on the NCLEX (state boards) and If this conviction would stop me from being a nurse.

    This was her response: You absolutely MUST check "yes" for the state boards even if it has been expunged. She says that the board does a different criminal background check than most, its an FBI check, that way they can see convictions even if they have been expunged, therefore if you lie that does not make the board happy.

    We all make mistakes and she relayed to me in so many words that as long as I have not had any other convictions that I should be fine. Keep in mind that violece against ppl and children are considered misdemeanors, (assult etc) also some drug convictions are considered misdemeanors!! My personal thought is that when asked that question, "have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanoR?" they are really looking for cases such as abuse, child abuse, sexual misconduct, drugs, etc.

    Another thing to think about: I know of many nurses that have had drug charges and things far worse than shoplifting and they have never had a problem! Just remember, if you get in trouble after you are liscenced that I have heard is a bigger problem not as much what you did before you were liscneced.

    Thanks all for listening, any responses are welcomed! GOOD LUCK ALL!


    <3nurse to be
  14. by   weezledawg
    Quote from galaxy781
    Hi all,

    I am a nursing student currently yay. Anyway in 01 or 02 (can barely remember now) I was convicted of a misdemeanor. I was caught shoplifting at a Meijers, a CD or something. I was stupid and 20ish. Last fall before I entered nursing school I had my conviction expunged.

    Lately I have been worrying that I may not get my liscense bc of that one stupid mistake. I called the OHio BON and asked them if I had had my conviction expunged was I still required to check "yes" on the NCLEX (state boards) and If this conviction would stop me from being a nurse.

    This was her response: You absolutely MUST check "yes" for the state boards even if it has been expunged. She says that the board does a different criminal background check than most, its an FBI check, that way they can see convictions even if they have been expunged, therefore if you lie that does not make the board happy.

    We all make mistakes and she relayed to me in so many words that as long as I have not had any other convictions that I should be fine. Keep in mind that violece against ppl and children are considered misdemeanors, (assult etc) also some drug convictions are considered misdemeanors!! My personal thought is that when asked that question, "have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanoR?" they are really looking for cases such as abuse, child abuse, sexual misconduct, drugs, etc.

    Another thing to think about: I know of many nurses that have had drug charges and things far worse than shoplifting and they have never had a problem! Just remember, if you get in trouble after you are liscenced that I have heard is a bigger problem not as much what you did before you were liscneced.

    Thanks all for listening, any responses are welcomed! GOOD LUCK ALL!


    <3nurse to be
    Here is my story: About four years ago, I got in a lot of trouble doing drugs. I was arrested for being under the influence 6 times, was in a domestic violence relationship where fighting him back resulted in two assault charges against me, and I also got a DUI. I worked very hard and am accepted to the local ADN program. The first week of school they annouce that they will be doing background checks so that we can work in the clinical facilities. They never told me this would happen until the first week of school. I figured I would be ok, that by the time I had to take the boards, I would be able to disclose to the BRN that my charges had been expunged. But I can't do that now, because it hasn't happened yet. I have completed a treatment program, Anger Management and DUI school. I have been clean for two years and am very active in the recovery community. I can get many many letters of reference. I am very very scared that this will eliminate me from completing my schooling. Is there anything I can do? I want more than anything to be a nurse and have worked very hard to get here. Any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated. I feel like a leper amongst more worthy people, even though I know I deserve to be in this class just as much as they do. PLEASE HELP ME.

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