will this kick me out of nursing school?!

  1. Hi,
    I've been accepted into a nursing program and will start in December.

    My problem is this-when I was 17, I got into a bit of trouble with the law (a petty retail theft and a disorderly conduct) My lawyer, the court, and a juvenile probation officer have all told me that my record is sealed, no one will ever know about any of this after I turned 18, and even on applications, etc., I could deny the existence of a criminal background.

    During enrollment, my state criminal record check came back completely clean. (Pennsylvania) After seeing this, and following the advice of my lawyer, I told the school I had no criminal background.

    Then, I came on this forum and read that the BON could see sealed records. After contacting the Bon and getting a completely unsatisfactory response, (they just said be honest on my application for a license) my head is spinning. I have no problem being honest with the Bon, or even with the school, I'm just afraid they will not allow me to go there, thinking I was lieing on my application?! I would have told them in the first place if I'd have known it would have come down to this.

    So, Should I tell the school about this?! Can the school view applications sent to the Bon? Has anyone been in a situation similar to this?

    Any input or advice would be SO greatly appreciated.
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  2. 42 Comments

  3. by   Skyetropics
    All I can say is that really sucks and so sad to hear of your predicament. Hopefully someone can give you some good advice on here. Good Luck!!
    Last edit by Skyetropics on Nov 2, '06
  4. by   slou!
    I am also in a PA nursing school. For us, they start doing backround checks the second semester we are there, for us that is the second semester of our freshman year. So we haven't even begun the clinicals part of it, and we are already getting backround checks. They said it was because if anything is on your record, it is better to know early than to know after you graduate! So I think that would give us time to get anything on our record taken care of in time. I'm not sure how it would work with you and your school though. I was under the impression that your slate was actually wiped clean when you turned 18, meaning it wasn't just sealed. I could be wrong, and probably am! I'm sorry for this and I hope you get it straightened out!
  5. by   BSNtobe2009
    Anyone that advises her to disclose something that she did as a juvenile is dead wrong, and I caution her to keep the information private to avoid having it on her admissions record or on any piece of paper at her school

    I cannot emphasize this enough.

    Even the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT won't open a sealed juvenile record if it was handled 100% by the juvenile court. This does not apply if you committed an offense as a juvenile and were tried as an adult.

    This also applies if you received "deferred judgements" or an "expungment", the entire purpose of these types of judgements is so you WILL NOT have to disclose them and you can LEGALLY say you were never convicted as to not impact your ability to get any type of job or professional licensure. This also applies to government security clearance at the state as well as federal level.

    Judge Mathis, whom I'm sure everyone is familiar with, is only a judge because he received a deferred judgement on a FELONY level of drug possession as an ADULT. He had to wait 3 years after graduating from law school before he was permitted to take the bar exam, and then his career progressed from there.

    A deferred judgement means that you were convicted, sentenced, but if you get into trouble again, they will bring the charge and sentence back. If you don't, it's like it never happened.

    An expungement, means that you were convicted, sentenced, but part of the deal in completing your sentence, was the charge was erased from your record, but the court reserved the right to consider it if you get into trouble again.

    Never, ever, ever, to anyone that reads this, disclose any criminal conviction if you were instructed by the judge that it was sealed as a juvenile, expunged or you have a deferred judgement.

    Otherwise, you are defeating the entire purpose and spirit of these legal proceedings.

    To those that might wonder, my undergrad is in Criminology and my professors consisted of Judges, lawyers, a juvenile court DA, and a former Chief of Police. These rules DO NOT vary by state.
    Last edit by BSNtobe2009 on Nov 1, '06
  6. by   slou!
    I don't know if you meant anyone who posted or the person who told the OP to deny it, but I wasn't saying deny it, I was just saying I didn't think it even would show up. If asked about it, I would definitely tell the truth because that could get you into a lot of trouble if not!
  7. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from slou!
    I don't know if you meant anyone who posted or the person who told the OP to deny it, but I wasn't saying deny it, I was just saying I didn't think it even would show up. If asked about it, I would definitely tell the truth because that could get you into a lot of trouble if not!
    No, you can't get into trouble for not disclosing it, that is the point and the purpose of my post.

    It is ILLEGAL for them to hold it against you because it is LEGALLY treated as a non-conviction.

    It doesn't matter what state, what board, the military, what job, nothing.

    Keep in mind, that the lady you spoke with at the BON isn't an attorney, and the majority of the population are not familiar with how these legal proceedings work. You got someone on the phone that was just repeating their policy. But their policy has absolutely nothing to do with what you have to report.

    There is a reason your background came back clean, because under the law, it is.
    Last edit by BSNtobe2009 on Nov 1, '06
  8. by   jennystudent00
    I appreciate the input.

    Does the Bon run their background checks through the FBI? If I ran a check for myself, would the same results show up for the Bon?

    I was just confused because the lady at the Bon said they don't ask if you were convicted of a crime and had it sealed or expunged, they ask if you were convicted of a crime. period.
  9. by   Freedom42
    I suggest you call the lawyer who handled your case, explain your concern and have him or her review BON standards to find out if your record is public. Then -- if it's not -- you'll have true peace of mind. I wouldn't disclose anything before getting that advice.

    The laws governing juvenile criminal records vary from state to state. Although laymen talk about juvenile records being "sealed," they often are not. In my state, if you were convicted of a felony, that is always public, regardless of your age and regardless of the crime. If you were convicted of misdemeanors, that information will remain public. The age at which someone is considered a juvenile also varies; in New Hampshire, for example, a 17-year-old can be tried as an adult without a bindover hearing.

    Your lawyer might be able to answer your question over the phone. If not -- and if you don't have the money for a consultation -- I'd suggest calling the prosecutor who handled your case and asking him or her. Prosecutors who deal with juvenile cases handle this stuff all the time and will often recommend a disposition that will not impact your ability to do certain types of work in the future (e.g., join the military). If you're not comfortable with that, you could call a law school near you to see if there's a free legal aid clinic.
  10. by   Freedom42
    Correction: Misdemeanors in my home state remain private for juveniles, not public. Sorry. Too much caffeine this afternoon!
  11. by   idbeme
    Will having a DUI on your record prohibit you from getting into Nursing school or affect licensing by the board?
  12. by   np_wannabe
    I've heard that anytime a record is sealed, those entities that look into it have the ability to see that you have a record that is sealed, but don't know what its "contents" contains. So, depending on the nature of the record, it may look even worse to have something covered up because they are left wondering what is in the sealed record....
  13. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from Freedom42
    I suggest you call the lawyer who handled your case, explain your concern and have him or her review BON standards to find out if your record is public. Then -- if it's not -- you'll have true peace of mind. I wouldn't disclose anything before getting that advice.

    The laws governing juvenile criminal records vary from state to state. Although laymen talk about juvenile records being "sealed," they often are not. In my state, if you were convicted of a felony, that is always public, regardless of your age and regardless of the crime. If you were convicted of misdemeanors, that information will remain public. The age at which someone is considered a juvenile also varies; in New Hampshire, for example, a 17-year-old can be tried as an adult without a bindover hearing.

    Your lawyer might be able to answer your question over the phone. If not -- and if you don't have the money for a consultation -- I'd suggest calling the prosecutor who handled your case and asking him or her. Prosecutors who deal with juvenile cases handle this stuff all the time and will often recommend a disposition that will not impact your ability to do certain types of work in the future (e.g., join the military). If you're not comfortable with that, you could call a law school near you to see if there's a free legal aid clinic.
    This has nothing to do with the Board of Nursing or laws in different states.

    This is where STATE LAW takes priority over any and all policies the BON has.

    Every state in the United States has a law that protects people who have deferred judgement or expongements from having to disclose this information on employment applications, applications for school, applications for professional licensure. There are very, very few exceptions, and these are ALL limited to Level 3 security clearance or higher with the Federal Government jobs, but NEVER on a routine job search. Even still, you don't have to disclose this on initial application.

    There is no such thing as a record that is thrown away or "tossed out". There is an order by the judge that is sent through the entire state for "non-disclosure".

    Since your question is about a juvenile conviction, you were already advised by the court system on how this will affect your future record.

    Even if you had MURDERED someone as a juvenile, if it was 100% handled by the juvenile court, you are under no legal obligation to disclose it nor can any state application require you to. If someone that knew about it "tattled", state laws bar the board from seeking any remedy such as revoking a license, because you did not lie on your application, the law gave you permission on WHAT YOU WERE REQUIRED TO DISCLOSE.
  14. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from waiting4school
    Will having a DUI on your record prohibit you from getting into Nursing school or affect licensing by the board?
    Only the board can answer that question.

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