Jaded past in AZ... Need advice, please?

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    hi, my question is complicated and i would appreciate even judgment. i don't want a character assassination. i want to be a nurse. once i get my mind stuck on something, it is extremely hard to deter me. however, i want to be realistic. okay, so i have a felony charge for possession and a couple misdemeanors ranging from 2006-2008 (however, the last time i actually commited a crime was in 2007, it took them a while to charge me). i made some very bad decisions in my life starting at age 20 and now at 26 i have almost 3 years of sobriety. i am off probation on all charges (all community service done, fines paid, counseling done, and treatment done) and i am applying to have my rights restored as we speak and that shouldn’t be an issue because in the state of az (where i live) the first felony will always be expunged. i have applied for my fingerprint clearance card and i have been denied, obviously. i do have all of my information to send in and get a good cause exception. however, i will have a restriction on the card because one of the misdemeanors was dui. this will stay on the card 5 years from the time of conviction (in 2008, however it took them a year to charge so it was 2007 when it actually occurred). this means that it will be 2013 before i can get an unrestricted fingerprint clearance card, which is what is needed to go to maricopa community college nursing schools. i spoke to them and they told me if i can get an unrestricted card, i could attend their schools. however, will i be able to go through the clinicals required? i know the hospitals do their own background checks. so, does anyone know about this? i’ve already contacted the az bon and they say it has to be at least 5 years from the time of conviction to get a license. by the time i can even apply to school in 2013, i will probably have to wait 2 years to actually start (2015) and two years to complete (2017). therefore, it will have been 9 years since my last conviction before i can even apply for licensure. i may even have the opportunity to go to a private school so i don’t have to wait, even though they are more expensive. second question: do private nursing schools require fingerprint clearance cards? even if they do, i can maybe cut down the 2-year waiting list once i’m all cleared to go. i know i threw a lot of information at you but this is something i wrestle with all of the time and just writing about it helps! however, i would like some information from people that have been through it in az if at all possible. i am trying to cover all of the bases.
    Last edit by _phaedra_ on Jun 30, '10
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    You need legal advice which cannot be provided by anyone on this sight. Consider contacting The American Association of Nurse Attorneys for names of qualified attorneys in AZ. Taking out loans for school plus all of the time invested is huge if you find out you won't be able to practice. Sadly, not all nursing programs will tell you there may be serious difficulties in finding clinical sites or even being able to take the NCLEX exam. Some folks balk at hiring an attorney and try to get through all of this stuff on their own. I've seen to many people end up making big, expensive mistakes that ruin their chances of ever getting into nursing.

    American Association of Nurse Attorneys referral hotline: 866-807-7133

    Keep us posted and good luck!

    Jack


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