Sorry it's taken me so long to respond!! I haven't been on here in awhile. The way I look at it, is everyone makes mistakes. Some people get theirs caught, and many more do not. That's why I don't believe in judging people too harshly. Many people can get into an argument and maybe even push and shove one another, and the next thing you know, you're charged w/ A&B. So I understand where you're coming from. A&B looks bad, because there's a worry about violence toward a patient, but your bigger problem is the possession charge, especially if it was a narcotic. There are so many variables involved, it's hard for me to predict anything for you. And I'm not by any means qualified to give legal advice. I would, however, advise you to do a complete background check on yourself to start with. You need to see what the school is seeing when they look you up. Just because someone at court or wherever said that your stuff was dismissed doesn't mean things aren't popping up. Once you know where you stand background check-wise, you can then see about getting that stuff off of your record.
It also depends on what state you live in, and what their rules and laws are. I'm in Florida and things are strict here. I was very lucky that my misdm was able to be sealed, or I would be totally screwed. I also sealed everything up, and petitioned the BON for an exemption which they granted--BEFORE I ever even attempted nursing school. I really believe that cleared a path for me. I also go to a Community College, which is different here than the private schools. I believe private schools are more strict because they are more expensive. You will owe them out the ears by the time you are finished, and they want to make sure you are employable so you'll be able to pay your loans back. That's why, from where they look at it, they won't take anybody that has any kind of legal issues, even if you stole a piece of gum when you were five, they will reject you because they worry nobody will hire you when you're done, which is not entirely true, but that's how the private schools are seeing it. If you've been in trouble for possession of narcotics, it may depend on how long ago it was and how you've changed since.
Your BON may want to see evidence of how you've stayed clean (it doesn't matter if you had a "problem" or not, the way they see it, you did). You've got to look at how these establishments are seeing you, not how you see you. The BON really likes it when you go to NA or AA, it shows that you are making a concerted effort to stay on the "straight" and narrow path. They are leary of anyone w/ drug or alcohol issues because they worry how a person will handle being around drugs all day, and if you will come to work drunk, high or hung over and maybe endanger patient safety. That's how they are looking at it.
You've got to get with your Clerk of Court, go down there, and ask for a disposition of your charges. You need to determine exactly where you stand in the legal system. Were you convicted? Was adjudication withheld? Did you have to do probation? What many people don't understand is that even if your weren't convicted and the charges were dismissed, you still have an arrest record. An arrest record is different than a conviction record. An arrest record is your mugshot from when you were picked up by the cops. They are two separate things. In Florida, if a person gets arrested, but it's thrown out of court, anyone can google that person and see their arrest record. The person has to petition the Dept of Law Enforcement and pay $75 or more dollars to get that wiped off. It doesn't just go away because they weren't convicted. So I suggest that you first:
1. Google yourself, check at least the first half dozen pages of your name. What do you find? What you find, anyone else can find also.
2. Contact the Clerk of Court in the county where you were arrested. Ask for a disposition of all of your cases. Were you in fact convicted, if so, was adjudication withheld? It makes a big difference if it was NOT withheld, that's bad news. Did you successfully complete probation? If you served probation, you were convicted of something. As far as the BON and everyone else is concerned, even pre-trial intervention is considered a conviction of sorts.
3. Go on the sheriff or police department's websites that arrested you. Search your name, does a mugshot come up, does an arrest record come up? Don't fool yourself into thinking that nobody is doing this to you. The school's do it all the time. Digging up dirt on someone is as easy as 1-2-3 these days with the internet, and it's FREE. You can find out so much about a person in a matter of seconds and it doesn't cost you a dime.
4. Once you know where you stand, contact your state's Department of Law Enforcement and find out if you're eligible for a sealing of charges. In Florida, if a person was merely arrested, but never convicted, charges thrown out, etc...they can go straight for an expungement. Seal and expunge are two different things entirely, everyone thinks they're the same, they aren't.
5. If need be, get a decent lawyer that works with record sealings, although I was able to do mine myself. Much cheaper. But it sounds like your case is a bit more complicated than mine was.
6. Contact your BON and tell them straight up, what you've done, where you stand legally and are you eligible for an exemption? Don't make excuses, blame others or have long-winded explanations. A lot of people think this helps...it doesn't. The BON is all about personal responsibility.
Keep it concise, let them know you want another chance to help others and be a nurse. Consider volunteer work and attending NA. This will look really good when you petition your BON for an exemption. Again, many people think attending NA makes them look guilty, like they're admitting they have a problem. As far as the BON and everyone else is concerned, you already do. You were arrested for narcotics. They are not going to want to listen to stories about how it was someone else's fault etc..not saying you would do that, but many others have and it just makes a person look irresponsible. The BON is big on "How have you changed since you got in trouble? What have you done to rehabilitate yourself?" They are HUGE on rehab. They need to see how a person has changed, improved.
7. Do exactly as you're instructed to do by the DLC, BON and the schools you apply to. Fulfill their requirements and promptly.
Good luck to you! If you need more help, have a question feel free to msg me. I know what a horrible feeling it is to be denied something you really want to do, and feel you would be good at, based on past errors in judgment.