Arrest Record/ Background Check

  1. Background: In 2009 I was arrested for a domestic violence charge in California. My ex-husband continually harassed me in which he came to my personal home several times at which point I had to leave my own house. The time I was arrested I actually drove to the sheriffs department to file a report against him at which time I admitted to FLICKING him in an argument held at my house where he would not leave and they arrested ME because I was the one that admitted to making physical contact. In court the D.A. met with me stating I "did not look like a criminal" and that I would have to deal with him for the rest of my life considering we have child together therefore I should attend a 52 week domestic violence class and after completion the charges would be dismissed, I completed and the program and the charges were dismissed in 2010.
    Now, my question pertains to my want to become an R.N. in California. I am currently 1 semester away from completing my prerequisites to get into a nursing program and have read on multiple forums that I may not be able to pursue and be successful in this position due to the above mentioned run in with the law. I know that many RN programs and hospitals conduct thorough background checks and my arrest record as well as my dropped charges might show up. Will this affect my wanting to become a nurse at a major hospital or hinder my getting a license after the completion of a nursing program? If so, are there any steps I can take to clear my name/ history?
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   elijahvegas
    Howdy. I've read a handful of topics like this and although I'm in fl I can tell you a couple things to expect.

    First, you need to check with the school you plan on applying to. Heir handbook will specify what kind of criminal records will exclude you from being eligible to apply and I hate to say it but violent crimes like assault is almost always on the list on top of any felony charge whatsoever. But like I said, read their handbook and it'll probably be a good idea to speak with the director of the program to see how they handle the situation.

    The usual workaround for that is to have that expunged and/or sealed. That way it won't show up on background and fdle checks, although it will flag you as having SOME kind of record, which will come back to haunt you when it comes nclex time which I'll get into right now.

    If you manage to get cleared and get accepted and complete the program, when you apply for your ATT (approval to test) with the board, you will have to disclose prior arrest records along with the date of their occurance. In Florida, they only (mostly) care about arrests within about 3 years of applying to sit for the boards. They'll review your application and one of 2 things will happen:

    A. You'll be approved to test or
    B. You'll be denied and basically have to go through a whole process of appealing the boards decision, which I hear requires time, often a lawyer, and definitely money.

    So you'll be looking at a bit of a hassle because you may not get accepted into school, and if you do you may complete the program and may not be able to sit and get your license.


    Or you may get lucky and not have to deal with any of that at all. But I suggest finding a way to get your record sealed if you want to proceed with trying to get into a program

    Good luck to you !
  4. by   maverickemt
    Okay so I have a similar question...Recently I was arrested in Texas and charged with the offense of DWI. This is my first one in 18 years and my last one. I don't have a conviction or other decision on my case yet. I am working with a criminal attorney and an administrative lawyer to explain this to the board. However, with this situation, I am hesitant to applying to nursing staffing agencies and travel nursing agencies and hospitals. Any advice on how to apply for a job would be helpful. Thanks.
  5. by   sixty3dayswithSarah
    WOW, I am not sure how to pose my issue....
    in the middle of 2013, I was arrested for Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest (please wait before you judge....)
    I had JUST gotten home after being abroad (India) alone, with my extremely ill newborn daughter. She passed away after two months. I cannot even bring myself to speak of the customs they forced me to take part in regarding (what I call) desecrating her body. It was so damaging, I missed my flight home (IND-USA) 4 nights in a row, simply because I could not bring myself to get out of bed. The final night, I literally stood up, and walked out of the slum house, leaving my stuff (accept my computer, I had kept a log of everything while their and I was convinced there was something fishy going on.)
    On top of the two months of hell she was put through, I was constantly discriminated against, I was assaulted two times, I learned that my daughter had been a twin, but, they did not inform me of this, bc, "medical waste without a breath is not necessary in India." Then, as I tried to leave, they opened up the package her remains where sealed in (*India has a specific method of dealing with this, and, they still did it anyway.) I am Jewish, we do not do the things they do..... They knew this. While abroad, I had NO way of communicating with anyone. domains with .in where not able to connect to .com or anything in certain countries, like the USA. So, I need a VPN, to place myself someplace else in the world, just to email my family. Which almost never worked.... SO I resorted to Facebook. As you might know, you can select your audience of who can see what. And, because I was warned that I was being monitored, I would post generally "things are good...." But to my family, I would telll them the truth, post videos I had taken for them to see/ hear, I even kept a blog for her Pediatrician to use when she and I returned to the USA. - now, im home.
    It took about 5 weeks to find a cemetery willing to allow her interment, then, I battled with the newspaper about printing an obituary (same sex couple has child, it didn't sell newspapers they told me..... It was five lines, anyway. Then, I started to get BOXES of mail, filled with cards etc.... Apparently, once I crossed into the USA, all the posts that I had thought I posted, all posted at once. Then, a day later, my former Nursing professor who happens to be one of the "forefathers" of Forensic nursing, contacted me and asked if she could do a chart audit. I gave her a copy, as did the hospital give a copy to the insurance company. Then, within 20 minutes of one another, my phone rang (insurance co telling me to hire an attorney) and my door bell rang (my teacher/friend, wanting to talk to me about her assessment.) I hung up with the insurance company, and my prof got right to the point.... SHe was VERY upset, and told me that I did not want to hear or read her findings, because she did not think I could handle them. However, she is friends with someone who audits charts for the FBI "murdered children unit" (your chart is sent to three different people, who assess findings and draw conclusions to help families understand, and seek justice. With my brain spinning, crying my eyes out, I walked out into my driveway to tell my partner.
    A moment later, a police officer showed up, made awful remarks, then (bc I said, your f heartless) he arrested me for disorderly, and to top it off, said that I was trying to resist! (trust me, I would NEVER.)
    I plead guilty to D/C, in order to get the arrest vacated/ resiting dropped, and I was to be given one year suspended sentence. I am still waiting to apply to expunge, and I am afraid to even apply for a job, as, they are going to finger-print me.... And, even tho, when I have explained the circumstances, and I was told that my actions where totally normal, (my offense, was I did swear, and I was disturbing he piece by crying!)
    My question is like yours... I am in process applying to DNP programs, seeking cert as an NP, and I really want to go back to work, but, I am so afraid to explain this, for fear that they just wont give me a chance.
    NOW, this was clearly momentary, and I did not go back to work for months after this. Losing a child is unlike any other experience. In my mind, I feel that I can explain the situation, and it clearly has nothing to do with patient care, public safety, etc.... But, I am so afraid to even try..... Advice?
    Similar to maverickment, I am hesitant, and the problem is, I need a travel nurse gig (you know, 12 weeks, crazy pay----I am in the midst of ART treatments...) My lawyer sucked, I am going straight to the ACLU, as, right after this, a similar situation occurred, and they where able to get a total vacate. But, I don't want to wait for school, work or anything..... HELP?
  6. by   spookydakat
    I have a record and before I even signed up for prerequisites I emailed the BON and I told them what I was arrested for and what the charge was and asked if I was eligible for licensure. They said yes. I also disclosed this info when I applied to nursing school and when I applied for my license, both times I had to explain what I did, why I did it and how I changed. I recieved an unrestricted license. I'm also honest about it when I go to job interviews. As a matter of fact, I offered up that information voluntarily on my last interview and got an offer on the spot. Be honest, it makes it a lot easier for people to see you're a good person, not some "criminal" trying to hide something.
  7. by   shelbz
    Hi what state are you in spookydakat?

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