Juvenile Arrest: Did I ruin my chance to be a nurse?

  1. Dear Daisy,

    You did not ruin your future, and it is highly unlikely you ruined your chances of being a nurse. You were thirteen. You are by no means alone in having an infraction in your past. Someday when you get accepted into nursing school, you’ll find classmates with far more recent and serious convictions.

    Here’s what you need to know:

    In most states, the state Department of Public Health (DPH) or the state Board of Registered Nursing (BON) regulates the certification and registration of nursing assistants.

    You have two applications:

    • One to CNA school for admission to a training program (school performs a background check)
    • One to state/BON for your CNA certification (state performs a deeper background check)

    Both the school and the state/BON conduct background searches. The state/BON search uses the Department of Justice and FBI databases. It goes far deeper than the school search and reveals all court records, expunged, sealed, adjudicated, or dismissed cases.

    Everything is discoverable

    You MUST follow the application instructions and report everything they tell you to report, whether you believe the information is “hidden” or not.

    There are exceptions to reporting, but they will be clearly listed on the application. For example, in California you do not have to report marijuana-related offenses or minor traffic violations.

    Case by Case

    Most states/BONs handle each case individually.

    The state/BON looks for remorse and insight on your part. Did you comply with your community service and everything the court ordered? Have you demonstrated rehabilitation? Do you have insight into what caused you to engage in fighting and what you’ve learned?

    • Gather all documents surrounding the event. All certified arrest and court records
    • Obtain letters of reference to show how you’ve changed
    • Compose a letter of the sequence of events in your own words (no excuses, just facts, can include personal contributing factors/situation)

    I love that you have a big heart and want to role model the best for your daughter. You sound like a natural nurse to me. There is nothing I read in your story that should prevent you from becoming Daisy, RN.

    Do not beat yourself up over this. The truth will set you free. I guarantee that once this is no longer a secret and you take actionable steps, you will no longer feel ashamed and you’ll be back in control of your future.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    note: I practice nursing in California, and this does not constitute legal advice. Check with your own state/ BON, consider an attorney, and please read several threads here about a Criminal Background and Nursing


    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Jun 15, '15
    •  
  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   NicoleAlbertie84
    Hello,

    I have a juvenile record and I never had to provide any explanation or paperwork. I didn't tell the BON about it because they didn't ask about juvenile arrests. I also have a record as an adult for fighting and I did tell them about it and I had to get letters of recommendation and court papers. I am a LPN. I was a CNA. I live in Florida and every state is different but, don't stress. Do some research on your states Board of Nursing website. It should tell you info about arrests and convictions. Florida doesn't look at Juvenile records.
  4. by   stevenchambers.75
    I agree, don't worry about the past. Be truthful, and don't try to hide anything. Hiding it only looks deceptive. Some states do not require you too list juvenile records, because they are sealed.
  5. by   Greenstar1013
    Your best bet with any BON is full disclosure. I too have a prior arrest and with circumstances that are no longer an issue. Full disclosure and as Nurse Beth said documents, documents, documents and did I mention documentation? It's hard not to stress but try not to. Causes premature wrinkles just my 2 cents... Oh BTW I am 2 semesters from my BSN at MSU in Louisiana. Class of 2016 woot!
  6. by   SC_RNDude
    I think we are overthinking this a bit.

    Daisy said she was not convicted, and so she answered no as the application asked her if she had ever been convicted. Now she is worried because she had been arrested.

    Being arrested is not the same as being convicted, so she needn't worry about being accused of lying.

    If it was me, in the future, when completing job applications I would continue to answer that question the same way. It is a truthful answer. Don't bring it up at all when it isn't necessary. In a competitive job market why would one open up that can of worms that is going to get your app moved to the bottom of the pile if not tossed altogether?
  7. by   Nurse Beth
    Quote from SC_RNDude
    I think we are overthinking this a bit.

    Daisy said she was not convicted, and so she answered no as the application asked her if she had ever been convicted. Now she is worried because she had been arrested.

    Being arrested is not the same as being convicted, so she needn't worry about being accused of lying.

    If it was me, in the future, when completing job applications I would continue to answer that question the same way. It is a truthful answer. Don't bring it up at all when it isn't necessary. In a competitive job market why would one open up that can of worms that is going to get your app moved to the bottom of the pile if not tossed altogether?
    You are correct, just answer the question and don't offer additional information.

    If the question is "Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony?" the answer in Daisy's case is a simple "No"

    Thanks for that needed clarification SC_RNDude
  8. by   celia mendoza
    If you are still worried about your record even though you were not convicted, you can petition the court to have it sealed. It is possible in the state of california. One of my friends did that too, it is around twelve hundred dollars but it is really worth it, you can sleep peacefully at night. If you would like I can get the company's contact information for you, so you can do it. All the best.
  9. by   SoCaliCNA
    I have never disclosed anything from my juvenile record and it has not been a problem. I currently work as a CNA and hope to start ADN program within the next year.
  10. by   SamanthaJohnson
    I agree with most of these posts. It is true that on a job application they ask "have you ever been convicted of a crime?" But when the time comes and you apply to take your boards, the question will be "have you ever been charged with a crime?" Be truthful with the board. They will find out. And they will deny you if you lie.
    That being said, I have a criminal record and I was honest with the board. I sent in court paperwork and a letter telling them what happened and why I wanted to be a nurse. They gave me the green light to take my boards when I graduate.

close