The glass ceiling of Nursing School

  1. 0
    Hi

    I'm not looking for legal advice, just some opinions. I've been reading this particular subject for a lil over a year now and have spoken to many and done much research concerning the BON judging each case, on a case by case basis.

    My question is this... Do you think that it's fair for the BON to look at each case seperately, but an applicant can be turned down for Nursing School because of an inability to complete clinicals? How can an applicant even get to the licensure application process if the nursing school won't admit you because of a past criminal history?

    What would be a possible solution to that particular situation? Should a Nursing student be able to submit a research paper in leiu of a particular clinical if they can demonstrate proper skills in the school nursing lab?

    Just some thoughts to mull over. Not trying to start a morals issue/thread. Just would like to explore possible solutions.

    Thanks
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  4. 17 Comments so far...

  5. 1
    Do you think that it's fair for the BON to look at each case separetely...
    Yes, the BON should consider all applicants on a case-by-case basis. There can never be a "blanket" consideration as each nurse/potential nurse does not have the same circumstances that led to the criminal history. Laws may apply equally, but circumstances are different. Thus, the BON considers these circumstances and determines the final outcome.

    ...an applicant can be turned down for Nursing School because of an inability to complete clinicals? How can an applicant even get to the licensure application process if the nursing school won't admit you because of a past criminal history?
    This can be answered simply. The nursing program contracts with facilities/entites in order to provide clinical education for the students. These contracts have in place that if a student has a criminal history, they will not be allowed to enter their respective clinical areas. So, if that particular nursing program wants their students in their clinical area, they must abide by that contract. Now, saying that, not all nursing programs contract with facilities/entities that necessitate a criminal background check nor do all nursing programs require the same.

    If any student with a criminal history gets past their respective educational program and is not required to conduct a criminal background check and/or if they pass this check with no problem and is allowed to participate in clinicals and graduate, the BON will still conduct their own investigation - on a case-by-case basis. Some students will be allowed to sit for NCLEX. Some students will be denied that opportunity and will never practice as a nurse.

    The BON is in place for one reason only: To protect the public
    PhoenixTech likes this.
  6. 2
    At least in IL there are some definite crimes where, if you are convicted, you can not attend nursing school. There is a long list of these on the website and I would imagine that all states have something of this sort

    As sirI stated it is good that they look at individuals and mitigating factors. It would be horrible that just because you committed crime A, you were treated as a group.
    PhoenixTech and sirI like this.
  7. 0
    Thanks sirI

    Getting to the BON's investigation is the goal. I'm not talking about bypassing the licensure background check and investigation @ all. I'm specifically referring to the fact that the facilities that Nursing Schools contract with don't do an investigation of the charges and circumstances, as traumaRUs pointed out, if you have specific convictions, you can't complete clinicals.

    What's a possible solution to that instance? Denial of entrance into that particular Nursing School? I saw on the Texas BON where someone with a manslaughter conviction was granted licensure. I also saw on this site, a post by a member a few years back who had gotten all the way to his last clinical rotation and then was denied because of a 10 year old aggravated assault conviction. My heart simply broke for him. I've looked for other posts by him but found none and think about him often. If he overcame it, did it destroy him?

    Nowadays, I don't think any Nursing school doesn't conduct background checks, so do you think there should be some type of supplemental alternative to clinicals?

    traumaRUs, not all states have a list of preventive convictions.

    Thanks for your responses. :wink2:
  8. 2
    Plenty of nursing schools conduct background checks mainly because the clinical facilities require it, and, yes, the contracts with the clinical facilities specify that they can refuse any student who doesn't meet their standards re: criminal background. In the last program in which I taught, the school would take you regardless of what turned up in your background check, but students were informed that, if they were refused by a particular facility because of their background, we (the school) would attempt to place them in another clinical group at another facility, but, if that didn't work out, they'd have to be dropped from the program.

    No, I do not support the idea of completing any sort of alternative project in lieu of completing clinical hours. For one thing, a certain, specified number of supervised clinical hours is required by the state BON in order for graduates to be eligible to write the NCLEX (that's also why the absence policies are so strict in nursing schools). For another, clinical is the heart and soul of nursing education and there's far too little of it in current programs already (IMHO ), without allowing some students to miss entire rotations.

    Even if one manages to get licensed, there is still the question of employment -- healthcare employers all do background checks (most are required to by state law), and many will simply not hire (or, in some cases, are prevented by state law from hiring) an individual with particular types of legal charges/convictions on her/his record. No taking individual circumstances into account in that case -- you either have that type of charge on your record or you don't. The BONs are actually a lot more flexible and forgiving than many employers are going to be.
    Last edit by elkpark on Aug 2, '09
    NRSKarenRN and PhoenixTech like this.
  9. 3
    All of this discussion has me terribly crushed. Today, I found out I received an "A" in Anatomy 102 and now my chances of getting into the program are great. I should be stoked right now, but the realization that my criminal background may stop me from becoming a nurse has me bummed out.

    I have worked so hard to get where I am today. I was looking so forward to getting my nursing degree, and now I am unsure about my dream. I guess I feel like giving up, but at the same time I don't really want to! I hate that I had a drug problem and I wish I would have never gotten arrested, but I can't change it. Fortunately for me, my arrest was my rock bottom and the eventually became the motivation to finally get help.

    Unfortunately there will always be people that look down on me for my criminal history. I try to embrace my past, but stuff like this makes it almost impossible.

    I need some hope!
  10. 0
    Quote from PhoenixTech
    Thanks sirI


    I also saw on this site, a post by a member a few years back who had gotten all the way to his last clinical rotation and then was denied because of a 10 year old aggravated assault conviction. My heart simply broke for him. I've looked for other posts by him but found none and think about him often. If he overcame it, did it destroy him?
    I'd like to make a correction, this poster posted last year, not a few years ago. Sorry for the misinformation. :imbar
  11. 0
    Oh Sara:redpinkhe

    The last thing I wanted was to depress you with this thread. Re read the private message I sent you and take heart. Contact me, let's talk. :icon_hug::flowersfo :kiss :heartbeat
  12. 0
    PhoenixTech,
    I was not able to reply to your private message, I would love to talk with you some more. What's your email address so we can chat some more?

    Sarah
  13. 1
    Look into getting your conviction expunged, especially if it was only one offense.
    PhoenixTech likes this.


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