, I can't private message you back, because I haven't posted at least 15 times...
I'm not familiar with MA law. From what I understand they are a strict state. In regard to the TEAS tests, here in Florida you only have to take it once, and if you're happy with your results, you may get a copy and re-use it to different schools. It's $50 bucks a pop in Fla, so I wouldn't let the schools con you into doing a test for each school, that's ridiculous. The TEAS is a national test, and you have a right to a copy of your result to take into your possession and you should also be allowed to submit that same result with your applications, no matter where you took the test. You shouldn't get a hard time over it. Just don't want you to be taken advantage of, a lot of private schools will if they can.
If you were given pre-trial intervention, that would possibly explain why you don't have a solid conviction on your record. Again, I'm not familiar with how MA does things. Here in Fla if you complete your PTI you have adjudication withheld, but a record is still very much present. Instead of conviction it will state PTI completed. It's still a record, same as any other record. So maybe that's what it's like in MA.
I disagree with the lawyer you spoke with about sealing your record. It WOULD help you a lot. It will erase the google search. Again, I'm going to use the only examples I know based on Fla's way of doing things. When a record is ordered to be sealed or expunged, all involved agencies must get a copy of the order signed by the Judge that does the sealing/expg. It is your (or your lawyer's if you have one) responsibility to make sure all the agencies get it and comply. If they don't comply you might be able to sue them for non-compliance with a Judge's order. Once they comply, the search engines will no longer have access to that info, and in time, it will disappear from the internet. Search engines crawl websites for info, but once the info is no longer "live", the crawlers won't see it, it goes down in number of views, and should eventually be gone permenantly.
In Fla you can only get an expungement (meaning it's not viewable to anyone) one of two ways: the first being if the charges were dropped by the State Attorney, thrown out by the Judge or you were found not guilty by a jury of your peers, or a Grand Jury decides not to proceed. The second way is if your record has been sealed for no less than 10 years, you may petition for expungement. I highly suggest you look into your eligibilty for this, as it is very helpful. Many charges are not eligible for a sealing here in Fla it's a very short narrow list of petty crimes that is eligible, like shoplifting, 1st offense prostitution, disorderly conduct, public drunkeness, etc and there are other stringent criteria. So idk if your charges would even be eligible. Maybe that's what the lawyer meant, but a sealing always helps. It takes it away from public view, so if you want to rent an apartment, apply for a non-medical job like at Macy's or something, and you don't want your nosy frenemy spotting it on a google search, a sealing is the way to go.
The attorney is correct though, that certain governmental agencies will always be able to see it. This includes any and all things health care related, as they perform their background checks through governmental agencies such as the Department of Children and Families, the FBI, AHCA (Agency for Healthcare Administration), etc this is done to protect vulnerable populations. It still looks good though that you went to the trouble of sealing it. It's like saying you are rehabilitated and wanting a fresh start in life. Yeah they see it, but they see you have changed, and that state and Judge signing the order believes you are worthy of a second chance.
If you have been allowed to get your CNA certificate from Ma BON, and you've also worked in the capacity of a CNA, that's a very positive sign! I would definitely mention that to the schools. Here in Fla, you can't even get your CNA if your record is too questionable. You must also get an exemption from the BON before you're even allowed to take your CNA state exam.
Exhaust every resource possible to advance yourself. Perhaps have your dad write a letter for you in your favor, explaining there was a dysfunction in the family dynamics that lead to your being arrested, but that has now been resolved and the arrest, in his opinion, should never have happened. You complied with the law and did everything you were told to do to rectify the situation. It might help.
Congratulations on your new job!! Keep your chin up and never give up on your dreams!