Quote from tiak41
I'm curious, did you have a hard time getting a job once you had a criminal past in the nursing field?
I'm not an attorney, so the following is for informational purposes only. For legal questions, contact an attorney.
Having said that, it depends on the criminal "past" involved. If you are convicted of certain felonies it can prevent an employer from billing medicaid and medicare for your services. Obviously it would make finding a job difficult in that situation.
Check your board of nursing's web site (you can find links to the different boards here
). They may provide helpful info on the site. If not, contact your board and ask them directly, or contact an attorney familiar with the nursing law in your state and ask them. I know in Ohio, there are specific rules, including the discussion of criminal records which have been expunged. I was under the impression that expungement meant you didn't have to worry about anyone finding out about the record(s). Wrong! In certain cases you might be guilty of lying to the board of you tell them you don't have a conviction despite expungement. The lie might interfere with your ability to renew your license or practice.
That's why any time I'm contacted by a nurse facing a board inquiry or must actually face the board during an investigation, or has ANY legal concern regarding their nursing license, the first question I ask is DO YOU HAVE AN AN APPROPRIATE ATTORNEY REPRESENTING YOU? If the answer to that question is no, then get one. If you say or do the wrong thing, even out of ignorance, it could have significant consequences on your license, which means your ability to practice and put food on the table and a roof over your head might be compromised.
But I can't afford an attorney! Can you afford NOT to have one? If you have your own professional liability insurance, the costs associated with a board action (or other legal action brought against you professionally) might be covered. That may not be true with coverage by your employer (example: a suit brought whe you weren't working).
What's an appropriate attorney? Well, for criminal charges get a criminal attorney. While that might seem to be common sense, we don't always think logically when we're frightened or under duress.
For board actions get an administrative attorney familiar with nursing law and legislation, and experienced in actually dealing with the board of nursing
in the state in which you are licensed. Just as we don't expect our family doc to do a craniotomy or CABGs, criminal attorneys may be out of their territory facing the board. Hopefully they would tell you that themselves. You'd be surprised how many folks want to "kill 2 birds with one stone" by asking the same attorney to represent them for both situations. NOOOOOOO! And don't ask uncle Joe to do it because he's your divorce or tax attorney. A nurse attorney may be the best choice. Contact the Bar association in your state for assistance if finding a criminal defense attorney. Contact The American Association of Nurse Attorneys
for help finding a nurse attorney in your area. Again, we don't always think logically when we're frightened or under duress, so facing the board alone may not be wise.
Again, for legal questions talk to an attorney.