I know. I know.
I fully accept the comments I am going to receive. I just wanted to post my story out there because I came to the forums looking for advice- and couldn't really find a story that really fit mine. So I figured, if I post my story, maybe it'll help someone else out. Right?
How I came to receive 24 Class C Misdemeanors (In Texas):
In 2001, when I was 21 years old, I met this guy that I thought I loved. He had just come back from Iraq and he seemed to be my prince charming. Under his advice (and under my young and stupid judgement) I agreed to open a joint checking account for us with myself listed as the primary because he gave me all these different reasons why he couldn't be the primary. Love is Blind, whatever. I was the only one who worked because he was receiving disability from the Army- he was injured while at war- and so he stayed home all day. Anyway, this was back before debit cards were the way to go- so checks were written for EVERYTHING. I wrote checks for gas, rent, utilities, groceries, cash, shopping, etc. Needless to say, I wrote 24 checks before my checks were being declined. After receiving a call from the DA's office I found out that the reason why all my checks bounced was because my prince charming had a 9-yr old daughter in Oklahoma and owed 9 years of back child support. I didn't even know he had a child!! I didn't have the money to pay all the fees and cost for the checks I had written (and any money that was deposited into the account was immediately removed). So.... I went to jail. Twice. actually. because the first time was to cover 22 of the checks and the second time was to cover the last 2 checks since they didn't all get to the DA's office at the same time. I did time for the crime. I pled no contest only because I didn't intentionally mean to bounce all those checks-- but I did write them so no matter what- I am guilty of the crime. I fully accept that.
Application into nursing school (In Oklahoma):
It was 2008 and I had moved back to Oklahoma. Application to nursing school was a cinch. I didn't disclose on my application that I had misdemeanors because it asked if I had felonies.... Needless to say, the guilt got to me and I made an appointment with the Dean of Nursing. Her face when I told her exactly how many misdemeanor charges I had was priceless, but nonetheless, she told me the truth. She told me to make my time during Nursing School a collection of good character and that when I graduated I would more than likely need to obtain legal counsel because I would be appearing in front of the BON.
What I did during Nursing School:
I was a representative for the school of nursing when high school seniors and their parents came to visit the campus. I was really involved with my school's SNA. I even served as President for a year and Vice President for a semester (I failed- yes, I failed a nursing clinical- after 1 semester bc I went through a divorce and my dad was dying of End-Stage Liver Disease and often a patient on the floor where I had clinicals.... and I was in no way, shape, or form able to pass my clinical- mentally or emotionally- my dad passed away that Spring so being kicked out of school at that time was a good thing because it allowed me plenty of time to grieve all those sudden losses). I reapplied and was reaccepted into the program to finish my Senior year of a BSN program (yes. I failed fall semester of my Senior year. it was hard). I also was a member of Sigma Theta Tau International- the Nursing Honor's Society. I was also a member of Nurses' Christian Fellowship.
Application for the NCLEX (In Oklahoma):
It took a long time to get all the paperwork that they needed for my misdemeanors in Texas because Texas had disposed of my cases after the 5-yr mark. In fact, the arrests never showed up on my background check for my clinicals at the VA (but I still fully disclosed the information) and it didn't show up on my background check for the job that I have waiting for me (which I fully disclosed the information to as well), that is, if I have a job still waiting for me. I, literally, do not show up on any background check unless you use my SPN number-- which is the number assigned to me when I went to jail-- for whatever reason. I really think it's because someone in Texas made a boo-boo at their job and for whatever reason, my fingerprints don't trigger during the background checks. Anyways, I still fully disclosed all the information to the BON because I know the guilt and fear of being caught one day would kill me and to me the anxiety is never worth it.
So here I am, in 2013, at age 30.... graduated with a BSN.... and no authorization to sit for my NCLEX. I received letters from the BON and today I finally received THE
letter. The one that says that the BON will consider
my Application for Licensure by Examination to practice as a Registered Nurse. I have NOT even received my authorization to test, but I'm pretty sure this is the trial by fire where they determine whether I can even take the NCLEX or not. I have retained an attorney, who is also an RN, and also has experience going in front of the BON. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't scared out of my wits. I knew this day would come and I still chose to go through a BSN program- I regret nothing. Even if I get denied permission to sit for the NCLEX, I was well aware of the possibility that I wouldn't receive the prize at the end, and still- I have no regrets (except for dating that guy of course).
My interdisciplinary panel hearing is on July 16, 2013. I will do my best to update everyone about what happened, how the process went, etc. because I feel that being honest about my story could at least help one person not stress too much about theirs. I meet with my lawyer tomorrow, other than that, pray for me, because I'm pretty sure I'm going to need all the prayers that I can get. Thank you.