Any nurses out there hired by a hospital after a minor felony on their record? - page 3

by RN-NewGrad 63,576 Views | 67 Comments

Does anyone know FIRST hand whether or not a hospital will actually consider a candidate with a felony on their record? More than 14 years ago when I was only a teenager, I was charged as an accomplice in a theft. I DID NOT... Read More


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    Thanks you guys for the positive outlook.

    HumptyDumpty: So does that mean you were able to get the job at the hospital with the misdemeanor by putting down that you wanted to explain your actions during the interview?

    NRSKarenRN: For the home health, i called them twice after i turned in my job application, and twice they keep telling me to call back because they haven't done the criminal background check.
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    Just want to update you all on my story. Since starting this thread, I have been applying to jobs like crazy and I did put on all my applications a brief explanation of my felony without too many details. I simply state that is was something that happened when I was young. I have since had several interviews and not one of them brought it up to me. I was actually offered a few jobs and I chose one I am very happy with. So I guess I have answered the question. YOU CAN GET HIRED AFTER A CRIMINAL RECORD!!!!! Just remember to put it on the application when asked and my advice is not to give too many details because you don't want the hiring manager to imagine you doing the crime. State that it was a mistake made long ago that you have learned from it and have no convictions since. Something simple like that. I never brought it up (and neither did they) during interviews. I didn't want that being the focus of conversation and what I was remembered for, so I just made sure I went into the interview showing confidence and enthusiasm. Anyways, good luck to everyone job hunting right now. And thanks for all the support.
    vsnkoolcna, snSally, OH-buckeye25, and 1 other like this.
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    Thank Goodness!!!!!....So many people have done dumb things and life wouldn't be life if we didn't learn from those mistakes. And I bet those people that gave you a chance realize this and probably have kids at home that did something or else they themselves were there once . That is one beautiful thing about nursing: is that there are many caring people involved in the "aspect" of the field!!...I'm so happy for you!!!...
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    RN-NewGrad,

    First off congrats on landing your job!!!! I totally could relate to your story and know how things are in this world. I felt your pain through your posts on this site. I know how hard it must of been, but I am sure it has all paid off now. You kept your faith. Now I am trying to keep my faith in my hard situation. I use to be a pharmaceutical sales rep and sold some major RX medications, but I was let go because of a dui/felony. This was almost 4 years ago and i have turned my life around. I havent done anything more to get myself in any trouble, but now am fighting how hard it is to get back in the medical industry. I have gotten some interveiws with some more pharma companies and medical compaines, but havent landed a job. So I decided to put some time inbetween myself and what mistake i ve made. I done everything good in my life turn myself around and I have told some hr managers and interviews what i did, they kinda are like wow.... thats a felony. But it is what it is.. cant get a expungement because still shows up... I went back to school for nursing. I am now taking my preqs and have them almost done. I have done very well in all my science classes, but now will be facing how do i get into nursing school with a feonly, yet alone with a hospital. How do you get people to listen to you? how do you get an interveiw with a hospital? what did you do? I need help. Am i wasting my time? I have talked with the Ohio State Board of Nursing and they say my felony wouldn't disqualify me from taking the NCLEX... What do I do? what can i do? I want some one in HR to just listen to be and give me a chance. I mean come on I use to sell to doctors, nurses, and other healthcare members. Thanks for all your help
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    I am coming into this conversation late but want to share my story because I can CERTAINLY relate!
    I am 27 and have been a LPN for 4 years and recently got my RN license. I also have a record ( minor felony from 9 years ago that was was eventually reduced to a misdemeanor-Unfortunately my background check still comes up showing a felony though).
    I had ALL the same concerns as you did initially. My first job required something called a "certificate of disposition" proving the felony was reduced and that was it to get me the job
    . My second job listened to my side of teh story and understood. I am now an RN and interviewing for positions. I do live in NYC where there tends to be a more progressive population but I also give the HR representative a really good explanation when given an opportunity. Honesty is DEFINATELY the best option....most HR employees have indeed seen it all and are not going to be so suprised when they see your charge. The more confident you are in yourself that you have changed, the more likely you will get hired( people can sense when you have actually changed rather than you are just giving lip service)...and it sounds liek your charge was WAY in the past.

    Sometimes it is easier if you have a record to get hired in settings like nursing homes, Psych, Detox, group homes etc.
    I have all teh faith in teh world you will be fine.....you do not want to work somewhere that wouldn't understand anyway. You want to work somewhere that is open minded and forgiving and one that will embrace your positive change by hiring you.
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    congratulation on you hard work and persistance, you will make a great nurse and we need those who really want to be one. i have been in nursing for 30 yrs and see many new nurses who are going into the field for alll the wrong reasons. my questions is where did you attend school, many schools are hard to get into with a record, i know someone who is trying much wtih the same isssues you had and cannot get into the clinical part, his grades her 4.0. please help
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    where did you attend school,
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    I went to a community college. I actually did not tell them of my felony because at the time I believed it was off my record. It never came up so I do not know if they actually followed through with the background check or even got the results. Maybe they didn't care, I do not know.

    As for how I got hired:
    I put on my applications a brief and non descriptive statement about my felony. I did not go into details because I did not want them picturing me as a criminal. I simply stated that yes I have a conviction that happened many years ago when I was young and that it was not related to drugs or violence and not work related. I stated that I have no other convictions since. I also reminded them in my statement that the state knows of the conviction and issued me a license to practice. I said that it was a learning experience. Again I did not go into details of the actual crime.

    Then I was persistent with calling HR and asking for an interview. I never brought up my conviction when speaking to HR or during interviews. Maybe my applications were passed over because of the conviction but because I actually called and asked for an interview (meaning they didn't necessarily have my application in front of them at the time) I got a chance. I also said to Hr when asking for the interview that I had other job offers but was much more interested in this position before accepting another offer. This worked for me. I think it showed that I someone who is hirable and that other facilities wanted and that I wanted the interview because of a good match and not out of desperation.

    Then, I really did my best at the interview. I prepared a portfolio with a personalized cover letter, I made sure I was early, dressed professionally, came prepared with questions of my own about the department, and answers to common questions that really showed my best qualities. I also showed a lot of enthusiasm/passion for the area of nursing I was applying to. Of course I remembered my manners and I also complimented the interviewer on some work related issue she was telling me about. Then at the end of the interview, I asked when they would have a decision (they said within a week because they had another interview scheduled) so then I said that I actually had another job offer but that this was the position I really wanted. It must have worked, because within a half hour of leaving the interview, HR called me to say, I was hired because they didn't want to lose me. Don't be afraid to be assertive. That is what they are looking for.

    So my advice to everyone is to not focus on the felony or discuss it unless asked, but be honest without telling too much in the application. Be assertive by actually asking for an interview and telling the interviewer that you are very interested in the position and say something positive about the hospital, unit, and/or interviewer (do some research first). Show enthusiasm and passion for nursing, the department, the hospital. You want to stand out as someone who is in it for more than the money and that you have a great attitude and will stay with the company. That's my advice. It is what worked for me.

    Maybe the lack of interviews isn't the felony, but rather this terrible job market. Stay positive! And best of luck to you all.
    Vee18 likes this.
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    Advice for nurse felons:

    Check the magic questions honestly. If they require a separate explanation, hold on to it so you can show your face.

    Explain the briefest of facts focusing MORE on what you've done about it. Don't minimalize it.

    For example:

    "Have you had any felonies, if so explain" answer: convicted and plead guilty of diversion, went to treatment and monitored...my sobriety and my career are the two most important things in my life...blah blahblah.

    If they act unsure, send a contract offering to drug test at any time without question or hesitation at your own cost. Write it all up nice and smooth and say you're offering this so they can focus on what you plan to do for them, not your past (that you learn from it and use it to your advantage motivating you more than a typical counterpart, but that you don't focus on it). Let them know also it's important they feel comfortable with your past so you can feel comfortable and supported excelling at their company. You DON'T want an employer who's not comfy with your past. Also let them know you'll speak candidly about the event and what you've done about it to any supervisor any time but for regular work (patients and coworkers) you'd prefer to keep it confidential.

    You don't have to write a book; these are some of the most common responses I've seen with other nurses with felonies (diversion being the most common) that have been successful converting job seekers to hired felons!

    You can work for the government with a felony. Put at least 5 years between you and it. I doubt you can get a waiver for the military though since it makes you more eligible to blackmail and corruption (says they).

    Given the fact nearly all lives are affected by addiction/alcoholism, many recruiters will be happy to see "one" who has turned their lives around.

    If it's a gun felony or something...tell em you enjoyed shooting and taking care of their wounds afterwards so you decided to be a nurse!
    Joshmiles likes this.
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    Reading your posts is giving me hope! I too have a criminal history. I was arrested once when I was 19 for shoplifting. Stupid, stupid mistake. Then again in 2006 for battery and drug possession. BOTH of the charges were dropped, however...they never made it to court. Basically I was dating "one of those guys" that seem wonderful in the beginning, then when you move in together you find out the "real" them. Abusive, controlling, etc. I am going to hate explaining these charges, because they all stem from him, and it makes me look like I have horrible judgement.

    Anyway...I am currently finishing my last prereq for nursing, Microbiology. I am applying to the RN program for January, but I am TERRIFIED I will finish the next two years of school and not be able to sit for my boards OR get a job.

    I'm also applying to the Respiratory Therapy program and Cardiovascular Therapy. My dream is to be a nurse practitioner though, and I am just so worried that my poor judgement in the past will come back to haunt me. I know I would make a good nurse. THis just makes me want to cry.

    Reading your stories though, it sounds like the board and some employers look at you like a human being who makes mistakes. Thanks for the beacon of hope, guys.
    alicia0090 and BelleMorteRN like this.


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