How is this fair?

  1. 0
    I was accepted into Nursing School contigent on a background check. I already know that I have a history so I asked the Chairperson of the program what the next step would be when my history came back. I was told there would be no further steps because I would be denied. When I addressed the disclaimer stating that 'clearance to a clinical facility will be decided by the clinical agencies', I was told that she knows for sure that they wouldn't accept me.

    Now, the Board in my State said that they would consider candidates for licensure with criminal histories on a case by case basis, taking into account severity, time passed, rehabilitative efforts, recommendation letters and the like. However, they won't be able to render a decision until we actually apply for licensure. How is this possible if all Nursing Schools in the state won't accept you for clinical placement?

    Since I have a history I've been preparing for this moment. I've been gathering recommendation letters, I've started the process to get Nursing Home clearance and I was expecting for my case to at least go to the agencies but I was shot down as soon as I said I have a history. I was told that if they had known I wouldn't have been accepted. This I already knew which is why I waited for acceptance before speaking with them.

    The only option that I see is to continue with the clearance for the Nursing Home because that would be the first clinical site. The second and third clinical rotations are both done at my place of employment so there's no problem there. The fourth and final clinical is a Peds rotation. I'm a PCT at my place of employment and have been involved with patient care for 2 years now. I submitted my criminal history before getting hired and I was obviously cleared. My history is over 14years old and while my offenses are serious, I can absolutely provide documentation of rehabilitation. I already have the documents. I have a recommendation letter from the AVP of outpatient services who I've worked with personally and is aware of my history. I'm going to inquire about any contacts the AVP may have in the sites where my school does Peds rotations, because unfortunately, we have no Ped services.

    I'm not asking for legal advice. I'm venting on my situation and asking how to approach this situtation. Should I go to the clinical contact at my school and ask if they can contact another site for Peds or what? Is my plan viable? What do you think?

    Please, if you have nothing useful and encouraging to say to me, don't say anything at all. I don't need a moral spanking because I've done that to myself for too many years, I'm fully aware of the Board's first priority, to protect the public as they should. I'm just trying to make it to the Board and I don't see how it's possible based on what this person is telling me. Also, I personally know of people who went through nursing school with clinical histories and a couple who went throught this school in particular. Should I mention that?
    Last edit by PhoenixTech on Jun 17, '10

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  2. 40 Comments...

  3. 3
    Some states (and I know IL is one) have a list of disqualifying offenses that it doesn't matter how long its been, the amount of rehabilitation, etc.

    Is your offense one of these?

    Please don't state your offense, you might want to just look it up on the BON site for your state or contact them directly.

    I know in IL, any crime against a child or elderly person is an auto-disqualifier.
    Jules A, PhoenixTech, and sirI like this.
  4. 1
    traumaRUs is correct. Check with your BON and should be outlined in detail what are dis-qualifiers.

    I asked the Chairperson of the program what the next step would be when my history came back. I was told there would be no further steps because I would be denied.
    I'm certain this particular program knows what their clinical sites will/will not accept. And, that is probably the reason was an absolute no.

    But, that doesn't hold true with all programs/clinical sites.

    So, you may be able to get into another program with different rules about criminal hx.

    But, again, this may prove difficult.
    PhoenixTech likes this.
  5. 1
    Here is what Ca says:

    "3. Is there any specific conviction that will automatically disqualify an applicant from receiving a license?
    No. There is not any one specific type of conviction that will disqualify an applicant. Again, the Board must review, on a case by case basis, all convictions and supporting documentation to determine if an application will be approved or denied."

    Board of Registered Nursing - Applicant Frequently Asked Questions

    From Delaware:
    "Conviction of the following crimes will automatically disqualify a person from working in a long term care facility: felony theft, drug and violent offenses, and offenses involving patients and other vulnerable persons. Conviction of some lesser offenses may also lead to disqualification."

    DLTCRP Services: Background Checks

    From IL:

    "The Act provides that a covered employer may not knowingly hire or continue to employ any individual in a position that involves direct care who has been convicted of committing or attempting to commit one or more of the listed offenses of the Criminal Code of 1961, the Cannabis Control Act, or the Illinois Controlled Substance Act. The Act includes over fifty generally serious offenses which will disqualify the hiring of an applicant or the retention of an employee, including first and second degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, assault, battery, theft, robbery, arson, unlawful use of a weapon and manufacture or trafficking in marijuana. The Act specifically provides that covered employers will not be liable for a refusal to hire or retain an applicant or employee who has been convicted of one or more of the enumerated criminal offenses."

    Employer Guidelines for Complying with the Illinois Health Care Worker Background Check Act : On-Line Employment & Labor Library : Wildman
    PhoenixTech likes this.
  6. 0
    Thank you for replying traumaRUS

    No my state doesn't have a disqualifying offense list. Each case is reviewed on it's own merits. However, to work in a Nursing home you have to get clearance from the Dept. Health & Human Services which I'm in the process of.
    I did the research into the Board's requirements and the like. It's just the matter of getting to the Board.
  7. 0
    Hi, thanks for posting this. Also, thanks for responding to me when I had questions on here a while ago, I remember you. I also want to pursue a career in nursing with a background that is not in the disqualifying list, at least for fingerprint clearance cards. I know in AZ that if there are crimes against children or adults, one may never be eligible for a fingerprint clearance card. For other crimes, you can appeal it when you apply for a fingerprint clearance card and after some hassle, most likely get it. From there, some of the public nursing schools in Maricopa county say that you need to have a unrestricted fingerprint clearance card to get in, this means no driving restrictions, etc. I'm not sure if you need fingerprint clearance cards where you live and if you do, it seems you are beyond this point. I wonder why, at this point, why the school is denying you? I wonder if private nursing schools have different standards.
  8. 6
    The director of the program may be doing you a favor and saving you some money and effort by advising you from her previous experience with similar situations -- I taught in a nursing program that ran background checks on all the students because the clinical sites required it, but the school would go ahead and accept people even when they had backgrounds that the school knew would make them ineligible for licensure or would create problems with clinicals. When I asked about this (because it seemed pretty irresponsible to me), I was told that licensure difficulties were between the student and the BON, not the school's responsibility -- the school would happily sign someone up and take her/his tuition money for four years while knowing that s/he wouldn't be able to get licensed, or take the money and progress her/him through the program until a clinical site refused to take her/him, and then kick her/him out of the program. I thought that was a pretty creepy, unethical way to run the program.

    If this school continues to refuse, there are plenty of other nursing programs in the US ...

    Best wishes!
  9. 0
    Phoenix, I liked your posting saying >>>Please, if you have nothing useful and encouraging to say to me, don't say anything at all<<<<< I think I will use something close to this when I post something . I have really bitten myself a lot already.

    But anyway, as I read, I'm starting to think it is up to the school and the hospitals. For example, my school is pretty harsh. I am still up in the air about acceptance (more likely I won't be accepted)... Someone sent me a private message and said she asked to talk to the Director and she truly apologize and said she was sorry about her deferred conviction... the school was really easy on her and let her stay. I haven't been able to reply to her because I need 15 posts in order to have permission to send private messages.

    Anyway, when i filled out my school application they only asked for any misdemeanor or felonies. A month after being accepted, I got an infraction and they said if that shows I won't be able to get in. So, their application is not 100% true.

    I hope everything works out.
  10. 1
    Thank you all for your replies.

    No _phaedra_, my state or school doesn't require fingerprint clearance and there are no disqualifying offenses. However, for the Nursing Homes, if you have certain convictions you have to go through a clearance procedure where you can explain yourself and present evidence of rehabilitation before you can work there or do clinicals there. That's what I'm in the process of doing now.

    elkpark thank you for responding, I've followed you on this site and really respect your knowledge and views. When your school said that licensure was between Board and student, that is exactly what I'm pushing for and looking forward to. I understand that I have to live my life despite not knowing the outcome of everything I attempt to do and I do believe in miracles. I'd like the opportunity to get to the Board.

    If the director had asked me what my history was and how long ago it was, then I'd be satisfied that she spoke with authority. However, since the moment I said 'history' she said no and since she confirmed that if they had known they wouldn't have accepted me, I'm flummoxed as to how the decision is left up to the clinical agencies as not only the program material states, but also as my own acceptance letter states. If it's as she says it is, that no clinical agencies in my state accepts people with any criminal history regardless of details, but the Board is saying that they go on a case by case basis, it seems to me that this sort of practice should be discriminatory. I'm not saying we have a law like that, I'm saying the state needs to seriously take a look at it. Maybe adopt the declaratory order process that Texas has.

    I've been doing Patient Care for 2 years now and I disclosed my history with my job before I was hired. I know for a fact that I'd be able to do clinicals at my job, which is one of my school's clinical sites. In any event, I'm going to work on getting my own clinical clearance and if I'm not able to, I'll concede that this particular opportunity is not for me at this time. I have till September to get it together, I'll keep you posted.
    Last edit by PhoenixTech on Jun 17, '10 : Reason: spelling
    mamamerlee likes this.
  11. 0
    I meant to say a month "prior" I was accepted in the program. :heartbeat

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