Becoming a Nurse Practitioner - sorry, long post

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    Hi. I want to be a nurse practitioner when it is all said and done with. I was originally going to get my BSN, but became very interested in biology, so I switched my major to Biology. Has anybody else done this (BS in Biology, as opposed to Nursing, and then MSN), and would they recommend it?
    Also. I have several misdemeanor convictions. Most were underage consumptions, disordly conduct, and one DUI; however, I was also convicted of a petty theft and domestic violence (more serious charges). For some reason, my background check (via the State's Attorney General's office) only comes back with two charges: domestic violence and disorderly conduct. I had a problem with alcohol, pharmaceuticals, a bad relationship, and depression for several years. I went to counseling and what not, and am now back to my original self. I haven't had any "occurrences" since November 2005.
    My question is, if I work on a family or pediatric NP degree, will I even be allowed to work? Will there be a criminal background check before I enter the Master's program? And when I move out of state, will the convictions/charges be "picked up" in the other state? I really think I would enjoy (therefore be good at) working with children (the younger the better) and maybe new moms. I would also like to possibly become a lactation consultant, but am I barred due to my convictions? I know I sound and look horrible on paper, that's why I am asking.
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    Sounds like you have really worked to turn your life around - good job!

    Nurses come from all sorts of educational backgrounds - especially from other science disciplines. Especially when they find that their BS degree really hasn't prepared them for a career at all- LOL!

    Professional licenses are controlled by each state so there is no uniform answer that will fit all locations. Some states are much more rigorous than others. Even if you become licensed in one state, that doesn't necessarily mean that you could become licensed in another one if they have different standards. You will need to check with the licensure regulations in the state that you wish to become licensed. You have to report your criminal history each time you wish to become licensed. Failure to do so will probably result in revocation of your license.

    There may also be a problem with "alternative entry" MSN programs in terms of whether they are acceptable in a different state. You may find that you are unable to become licensed in a new state because you did not meet their minimal education requirements for licensure because of shortcuts that were built in to the MSN program. FYI, healthcare employers also conduct very thorough background checks as part of the employment process - this is mandated by Federal law.

    The regulations may may seem very harsh but Nurses function in positions that require very high levels of integrity and trust & we work with very vulnerable people.


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