Background checks

  1. At the end of our last semester, they announced that all nursing students will be required to have a criminal background check done...at their own expense. The reasoning, they say, is because several students apparently had felonies and were unable to take the state boards. They also stated that if there were any felonies found, the student would be dismissed from the program with no recourse whatsoever.

    I went and got my background check without any problems but my concern is, what if a student had a felony 10, 15, even 20 years prior. Is this really a fair way to do things?

    In our state, when a background check is done for boards and a felony is found, the person has the option of meeting with the board and explaining the circumstances. This gives the board the option of giving a probationary liscense, permanent liscense, or telling the person sorry.

    Does your school have a requirement like this and if so is there any recourse for the student who may have "messed up", but is now on the right road? Your opinions would be appreciated!
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   NurseWeasel
    Pretty devious of the schools to wait til the END of the program to do such a thing... after they've had your money for all that time. I would think if it was really such a big deal they'd do the reports before you started. Grrr.

    I would think there would have to be an appeals process in all states. If it wasn't for this board I wouldn't even know that there was such a law or rule about criminal history. Pity the poor person who doesn't find out til the last minute that they may not be allowed to sit for the boards.
  4. by   RNFROG3
    Is that legal?
  5. by   essarge
    In most states a background check is required for a person to take state boards, but (I am a junior) for the school to require it (at the students expense) I feel, is going a little too far!
  6. by   howie122832
    We had to have a background check done b-4 we started clinicals. I think it was so that the hospitals felt better about us being there, they were assured that the students weren't convicted felons.
  7. by   FullMoonMadness
    We had to submit background check forms Monday night. This was known upfront and the cost is incorporated into tuition. Our instructor said that it is done at the beginning so that if there is anything that needs to be cleared up, we will have 12 months to take care of it before graduation. She gave example, a student graduated last August, but had an old DUI that she had not addressed. She still has not been able to sit for her boards
  8. by   caroladybelle
    Actually, considering that the hospitals in Florida require fingerprints, and background check to work in them, and students do clinicals in them, it would make sense to do the checks before the students were accepted.

    As to legal, I've never seen anyone sue over it. But given that people threaten suits when they cannot obtain employment, following graduation, well......................
  9. by   llg
    The hospital where I work requires background checks of all employees AND all students who do clinicals here. There is no way we would give access to "our kids" to someone who had not been checked out. (Yes, we do have a process whereby some people with criminal records can be hired in certain cases -- but that process takes time.)

    Some of the schools balk at our requirement, saying that the possible criminal backgrounds of their students is none of their business -- but I think they have their heads in the sand (or stuck somewhere else). How would they feel if one of their students molested a child while doing a clinical at a day care center, or a clinic, etc.? -- and how much would it cost their school in the subsequent law suit and in damage to their reputation?

    I am surprised that all schools don't require a check before they accept a student -- like most schools and other places children may be found.

    Children are at exceptional risk to be taken advantage of by people such as nurses. Children in the health care system are told by their parents that it is OK for a nurse to see their "private parts" and even that it's OK for the nurse to touch and/or examine them. Also, a nurse (or nursing student) may be alone in a room with a child when such legitimate activities are happening -- and may legitimately take the child off the patient unit for tests, for a walk, etc. All these things make children particularly vulnerable to victimization. Everyone in health care should be sensitive to this and supportive of employer's desire to protect the kids (and other vulnerable people.)

    llg
  10. by   RNIAM
    Haven't heard about having it done and honestly don't know if it is required.
  11. by   Venti Cappucino
    We had to have a background check done, at our own expense, as part of the admissions application, along with the full physical, PPD, immunization records, etc. Lord, I almost needed financial aid just to complete the admissions requirements!!!

    It seems pretty ridiculous to wait until the last semester do require that.
  12. by   RN2B2005
    My application to one nursing school required: criminal backround check, TWO negative PPD's, Td vaccination, MMR titer, Hep B titer, and a varicella titer.

    I don't take offence at this; it makes more sense to reject a prospective student because he/she failed or refused to take a criminal backround check than it does to let him/her become a potential liability in the clinical setting.
  13. by   Lausana
    Criminal backgrounds are required before clinical and need to be update each school year. It's based on state/fed regulations re: working with "vulnerable populations", but I'm sure it varies between states. It's not really a big deal, and it makes me feel safer knowing who's allowed to care for me since sometimes I'm a patient too!
  14. by   subec
    We had to provide a criminal background check, at our own expense (around $4), before our first semester of clinicals. We have also been told that we may need to do more background checks as required by the different places we will be doing our clinicals.

    I don't have a problem doing this, and personally, I think that all schools should require a background check before their students have contact with patients. Just my opinion.

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