is becoming a nurse possible with a felony?

  1. my boyfriend has a felony record for possession of ecstasy. since then, he has turned his life around, held a steady job and is trying to make it on his own. he has always wanted to be a nurse but lately has been losing hope on his dreams because of his record. i still believe it's possible for him and i don't want him to give up on his dream. he currently lives in nj and is finishing up his probation. he only spent 44 days in jail and less than a year on probation. i know this is "not enough time" to turn your life around, but he really has. I just want to know what the chances are of him getting accepted to a nursing school, getting a degree, and becoming a nurse one day. He doesn't want to be an RN, he wants to be just under that, i'm not sure what it's called, sorry I'm not into the medical field. Regardless, can someone give me some feedback so I know if I should allow him to give up and move on to a new dream or I can show him that it's possible and help him reach his dream. Thank you in advance.
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    Joined: Jan '10; Posts: 1


  3. by   D.R.A.
    Hate to be a Debbie Downer, but I know someone will chime right in here and say that we are not allowed to give legal advice on this forum/website.

    Here's what I can tell you. These things are governered by your State Board of Nursing. You can look up the statue to see what it says regarding felony. Then, if you have more questions, you can contact your state board of nursing. I think there is a link to state board websites around here somewhere....perhaps someone else will chime in and provide it. Good luck to your boyfriend!
  4. by   tokyoROSE
    Is he wanting to be an LPN?

    First, do look at NJ's Board of Nursing. Second, start looking at prospective school policies on criminal records.

    IMO, I would say it will be a lot easier for your boyfriend to do something else, because he will be jumping hoops for the rest of his life if he wants in this profession. Let me explain. I have all the understanding about how we can get caught up on things and people do learn after mistakes. But the medical profession does not take criminal records lightly. Felony drug possession is probably the worst thing you can have, according to my state's BON. Getting into a nursing school and clinical placement will be difficult because they all will conduct background checks. Your boyfriend can talk to the nursing admission director and get in, maybe. Then if he gets in, he's going to have to take his boards and again explain to them about the conviction. They have the power to not let him sit on the boards, and he will not have a license to show for even after graduation. If he sits on the boards and is licensed, he's going to have to explain on every job application about his conviction. Do you see where I'm coming from? I hate to be so negative, but I'd rather tell you the truth and not sugar coat anything. This is what I'd tell my best friend if she were to have a felony drug possession. I have friends that have been convicted of such, and I can see the difference between someone who's truly remorseful and someone who just doesn't care. So definitely think long and hard about this... how bad does he want it? If yes is he ready to fight tooth and nail every step of the way? Good luck to you two.
  5. by   sirI
    questions we seem to be encountering more and more often have to do with the effects of a criminal history on nursing licensure:

    • is it possible to become licensed as a nurse if you have a criminal history and if so, can i get a job?
    • is it possible to become licensed as a nurse if you have a mip, dui, or other related charges?
    • what happens if you are charged or convicted of a crime after licensure?
    • can i go to nursing school and/or be licensed/be employed if my record has been sealed or expunged?
    • what if i have a “deferred adjudication”? will i have to declare this as a conviction?
    • will i be able to go to nursing school and/or attend clinicals with a criminal record?
    • what can happen if i receive a mip/dui/dwi or other charge while still in school?

    these are questions that the members of cannot answer. the only reliable source of information is your state board of nursing.

    if you are currently licensed as a nurse and have been charged with or convicted of a felony or misdemeanor including dui/dwi or any criminal offense, you need to contact the bon in every state you hold a license/wish to be licensed and ask their reporting requirements.

    if you are a nursing student or are interested in becoming a nurse you need to contact your bon and/or your school of nursing directly. you need to be completely candid with them as to the nature and disposition of the crimes. each board of nursing makes a determination on a case by case basis and some are willing to issue a declarative statement in advance.

    your boyfriend needs to contact the bon and/or a nursing program to get the information he needs about this.