I finished nursing school and was denied to sit for nclex due to a recent misdemeanor conviction. I have a formal hearing with the BON coming up, and I am very confused as to what happens next. I'm reading so much about hearings & that it isn't wise to appear without an attorney...I'm also being told that an attorney can not help me much, as I have been found guilty & I just need to try to explain my situation the the board, bring character witnesses if possible, character reference letters etc. etc. I just want to completely own up to my misake and see if I can be licensed, if not then sometime in the near future. I was even advised by several atorneys that I spoke with that, they cannot guarantee that I will get a license. A nurse that I know, told me that bringing an attorney also angers the board, but the hearing will be heard before the boards prosecuting attorney? I just don't know what to do? If anyone has been in a similar situation and can offer any input, I would really appreciate it!
May 6, '11
Yes without a doubt bring an experienced attorney that has a history of representing persons before the board. Remember the board is not your friend
you need your own advocate- its your life.
PS Your friend is not correct.
May 11, '11
It is going to depend greatly on what your conviction was for. I urge you to have legal representation and try to find an attorney who is a nurse or who has had legal dealings with the board previously. You need an attorney who understands the board rules for your state.
May 11, '11
You want an administrative law attorney and if possible, one who is a nurse/attorney.
May 11, '11
Check out the referral service here: TAANA www.taana.org
May 11, '11
Definitely get an attorney. Please talk to a criminal defense attorney particularly one who has experience dealing with the Nursing Board. Nursing Board is not your friend. Don't go alone. I hope everything turns out well. Good luck & remember to get representation.
May 12, '11
With all due respect your "friend" is incorrect about bringing an attorney to any hearing before the BON. Even if it did "anger" board members, so what? This is not sorority rush week, but a very serious matter indeed.
State BONs are charged with protecting the public safety by vetting candidates for professional licensure, and keeping those already licensed from becoming a danger to society. Their methods, proceedures, standard and so forth are set forth by law, not personal bias.
Find a good lawyer and let him or her judge how best to present your case before the board.
As for the advice that you were found/plead "guilty" and therefore the hearing (with or without a lawyer) cannot do much is not exactly true. What was the conviction for? How long has it been and what have you done since then to show that you've turned your life around? Was this your only "brush with the law" and forth can all have some bearing. The nurse practice act for your state will speak to convictions in regards to licensure.
Am honestly shocked you managed to finish nursing school without being told either directly or indirectly about anyone having criminal convictions needing to speak to the BON. Here in the New York area most every school tells prospective students right up front that if they have "issues" to contact the BON either before applying to the program, or certainly before graduation. There are cases here where a conviction will cause certain clinical sites to bar a student nurse from their grounds, and in some cases the program will work to try and find alternate arrangements.
Do NOT go to that board hearing alone! Best of luck!
May 31, '11
Thanks everyone for your timely replies. I did hire an attorney and he told me to get as many character reference letters as possible and any proof of rehabilitation after the conviction, community service, volunteer work etc. etc. I have managed to get excellent character reference letters from my employer, patients that i have cared for, my nursing school instructors, and I did a lot of volunteer work in the past years. I was wondering would proof of counseling help as well? I was just recently convicted and it does involve a crime of "moral turpitude" in a way i feel that I am screwed, but I just can't see myself giving up without atleast trying. I made a bad choice and i am willing to pay for what I did, but I hope to someday be a nurse. Has anyone received a license with a probationary status/or have to wait as a penalty say a year or more before able to get their license? I'm just so afraid to face the board, will it be like I'm on trial in court? I hope that there is a light for me at the end of this tunnel, funny how i just got approved for a CNA license but denied for a nursing license and I finished nursing school. Al so, is it possible for me to apply for a nursing license in another state while this is going on or after, or that is not allowed?
Jun 16, '11
Just hang in there! I know how difficult this is, I am also in the process of trying to not lose everything I've worked so hard for! We don't really know the whole process of these things untill we have experienced it firsthand. It's scary & unpredictable!
I'm glad you hired an attorney. You should address your questions with your attorney, as non-experienced advise is not always the best advice. Trust me, I have received plenty of bad advice that just added unnecessary stress to my already stressful situation. You should not have to worry about facing the Board if you have a good attorney representing you. That's why we give them everything in our savings account.
Remember, there is ALWAYS a light at the end of the tunnel...as long as you don't allow yourself to remain in the darkness. I have grown quite a bit from my experience. It's a challange to stay optomistic & positive, but I know one day I will look back on this & see the reasonong behind it. I decided to fully trust God for the first time in my life. I've "said" it before, but I wasn't 100% there. Now I am there...& I am different.
The trials in our life come to us to prepare us for the great work we are meant to do in the future. I apologize, the preaching just comes out. It is how I am surviving my greatest life battle with a smile on my face.
Jun 18, '11
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this, as well as your experience. So far I have been dealing with this issue alone and no one understands what I am going through right now. In four weeks, I will have my hearing to see if I will ever licensed or not. My attorney just says that I will have to somehow show the board that I am of good moral character and made a mistake.
I feel that this is by far the worst thing that has happened to me and I know that I will be a stronger person after the outcome. I don't think that you were preaching at all, just being positive, optimistic and speaking the truth. I'm struggling to be my attorney paid off by my hearing date, but I know that somehow, it must be done. I'm assuming by your post that you are already licensed, and may be in jeopardy of losing your license?
If you want to private message me, I would love to have someone to talk to about all this. I've been too embarrassed, do I haven't told people or many of my friends or family. Keep trusting in god and he will take care of you no matter what!
Jun 18, '11
"Do not give up", remember you worked hard to become that nurse and if you need to pursue your license until 2020 then do so. I was told that by a friend right before I graduated in 2009. I know exactly what you're going through my dear, I had prior misdemeanors and they were about 7 years old. I still had to get certificates of relief from the courthouses and letters from my co workers, Boss, Pastor from my church and various organizations that i did charity for. that was heart wrenching process but it well worth it. My advise to you is starting collecting letters from people in your community who know you and seek certificates of relief from courthouse and even offer the BON to do more community service before licensure, believe it or not they sometimes will allow to sit for your boards and after you complete there recommendations they will give you your license.
Jun 20, '11
Dear nurse wanna,
Please do not even attempt to get a nursing license in another state.
First of all, you would have to disclose any criminal activity from this state on the license application for any other state...if you do not, and it's found out it's would result in BIG problems...and it would be found out.
Which brings you back to square one, and if you then tried to get licensed in your original state...believe me they will find out about the other state...
I know this sounds confusing but don't do it if you ever want to be licensed anywhere ever...wait until your attorney can get this legally worked out..I think he can do it. I have been to several state board meetings over and you would be surprised what they can finally accept. It may not be right away, just do the right thing and be truthful
The databases between the state boards are pretty interconnected now, so really, please don't try for another state. It will really hurt you .
Jun 20, '11
Hi there, thank you for sharing your experience. I have been accepted to NYU ABSN program for the fall. I was convicted of a DUI 11 years ago. It was an unbelievable wake up and a mistake I would NEVER make again! I have not been able to get straight answers about licensing in NY state as to any kind of restrictions or whether I will be able to sit for the NCLEX, any information that anyone can offer is greatly appreciated. This is such a huge decision for me....the program is so expensive and I would be devastated if I got through only to be denied licensing. I know how serious a DUI is and the BON is there to protect the public from danger. I was able to become licensed as an EMT-B, a bit of paper work and an interview on the phone, I think the BON is much more difficult. Again, if anyone has any words of advice or information it would be greatly appreciated!
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