Here we go..... I have 24 Class C Misdemeanors...
- 15Jun 24, '13 by MiaNursingStudentI 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.
- 7Jun 24, '13 by Meriwhen, BSN, RN Senior ModeratorIt could have been worse...in some states, it could have been 24 felony charges.
You've already done the one thing that I would suggest you do: get a lawyer involved. When you face the BON, you need someone with you that's got your interests first...because it's certainly not the BON.
I sincerely wish you the best of luck.
- 2Jun 24, '13 by MiaNursingStudentI'll definitely keep everyone updated. I keep saying, "If I can survive nursing school and all that goes with it- I'm pretty sure I can survive anything."
I just wish that at age 21 someone gave me a good shaking and a couple smacks across the face and told me to be suspicious of this guy.
If I didn't love nursing so much I wouldn't have continued the program full well knowing that this situation was a possibility. I pray to God that the BON has mercy on my soul, but I also applaud the BON for keeping the public safe. I understand where I am seen as a huge liability. And kudos to them to looking me over.
- 17Jun 25, '13 by Meriwhen, BSN, RN Senior ModeratorQuote from MiaNursingStudentAnd if someone had, you would have been angry for them daring to suggest that and ignored the advice anyway, as most 21 year old women in love would have done.I just wish that at age 21 someone gave me a good shaking and a couple smacks across the face and told me to be suspicious of this guy.
No slur nor judgment upon you there...been there, done that, got the t-shirt myself. Love is indeed blind and dumb.
- 10Jun 25, '13 by bsartorLove, love, love this post! Life isn't perfect and we all make mistakes. It's what we do to overcome our mistakes and obstacles that counts.
I applaud your courage to share this story and your determination! Best wishes!
- 4Jun 25, '13 by 1feistymamaSounds to me like the prosecution went after the easy target instead of the deadbeat dad who took advantage of everyone involved but anyway....***SIGH***
My nursing instructor mentioned that people get misdemeanors exsponged (sp?) from their records all the time. I hope your lawyer/RN is working on that. That would wipe them off of your record as though they never existed and this would cease to be an issue. Whether exsponged or not, I hope BON sides in your favor.
Best of luck to you!!
- 9Jun 25, '13 by MiaNursingStudentUPDATE:
Today I met with my attorney, which somewhat eased the anxiety of the whole situation, but then got me a little fearful again because he said, "I have to admit, this is my first time defending this many misdemeanors, but I am excited to see how the BON decides to handle this". What do you mean you're excited?!? Nonetheless, he did clarify the whole process to me.
So the meeting on the 16th of July is not my "Trial by Fire" (as I like to now call it). It's actually called an "interdisciplinary hearing" or just an IDP. This would be like the interrogation phase of an investigation. I will be in a conference room with 2 nurse investigators, some guy whose duty is to make sure that the questions and answers are in compliance.... I don't know... something like that, the BON's attorney, and my attorney. They will ask me questions regarding the situation and how it came to be. What I did to try to fix the situation, etc, etc. My attorney basically said that this is where they're going to scrutinize me and my character and decide whether this incident was indicative of my character and what type of threat that poses to the safety of my future patients (if I get any), or decide if this incident was an aberrant lapse in my judgement. From this interrogation phase, several things can happen:
- These two women can make the decision themselves to allow me to take the NCLEX without any further punishment/reprimand (on my application to test-- the license thing is a whole other situation that I just learned about today too).
- These two women can make the decision to allow me to take the NCLEX, after a reprimand/punishment (the attorney said it is usually a $500 fee), or after I take some sort of class that they feel would make me a safer nurse. I'm not sure what class I could possibly take? Maybe an accounting course? My checkbook was actually balanced-- I just didn't realize that additional money was being withdrawn.... I don't know.
- These two women can decide that this is a decision that they can not make on their own and will put it before the entire committee at a hearing-- at a later date-- I learned this later date would be the last week of July.
Whatever decision is made, I still won't be able to do anything until the beginning of August, because just like at the hospital, these ladies will write an order describing the decision that they've come to, and it has to be processed-- which is a 2 week long ordeal. So even if they say I can take the NCLEX-- it's not like I can go home and set a date for it that day-- nope, I have to wait for it to be processed and entered into Pearson Vue. Oh, and if they give me a fine-- I can't pay the fine until I receive the paperwork to pay the fine-- then send it back to them-- then they'll process my application to test.
The best case scenario would be that they let me just take the NCLEX without reprimand. The worst case scenario would be that I would have to appear before the committee.
AND HERE'S THE KICKER: Once I take and pass the NCLEX...... they can repeat this whole process with my license. That would suck. To go through all that, pay attorney fees, pay my punishment fee, take and pass the NCLEX, and then be told that the BON wants to consider my license to practice as an RN. I'm no lawyer, but isn't that Double Jeopardy? Being charged and punished for the same crime twice? I don't know.
So far my lawyer fees are: $250 for the consult, $750 to attend the IDP with me, and an additional $1000 if my case goes before the entire committee and I need him there- I'm thankful he doesn't charge by the hour....... don't forget that I'll probably get a fine-- of anywhere from $500-$1000 from the BON. So, the rule is: if you want to make bad decisions when you're young and later you want to be a nurse-- start saving up-- it's pricey to prove that you're worthy of being a nurse.
And thank you everyone for the prayers. It really does help!