hi, my question is complicated and i would appreciate even judgment. i don't want a character assassination. i want to be a nurse. once i get my mind stuck on something, it is extremely hard to deter me. however, i want to be realistic. okay, so i have a felony charge for possession and a couple misdemeanors. i made some very bad decisions in my life. i am off probation on all charges (all community service done, fines paid, counseling done, and treatment done) and i am applying to have my rights restored as we speak and that shouldn't be an issue because in the state of az (where i live) the first felony will always be expunged. i have applied for my fingerprint clearance card and i have been denied, obviously. i do have all of my information to send in and get a good cause exception. however, i will have a restriction on the card because one of the misdemeanors was dui. this will stay on the card 5 years from the time of conviction (in 2008, however it took them a year to charge so it was 2007 when it actually occurred). this means that it will be 2013 before i can get an unrestricted fingerprint clearance card, which is what is needed to go to maricopa community college nursing schools. i spoke to them and they told me if i can get an unrestricted card, i could attend their schools. however, will i be able to go through the clinicals required? i know the hospitals do their own background checks. so, does anyone know about this? i've already contacted the az bon and they say it has to be at least 5 years from the time of conviction to get a license. by the time i can even apply to school in 2013, i will probably have to wait 2 years to actually start (2015) and two years to complete (2017). therefore, it will have been 9 years since my last conviction before i can even apply for licensure. i may even have the opportunity to go to a private school so i don't have to wait, even though they are more expensive. second question: do private nursing schools require fingerprint clearance cards? even if they do, i can maybe cut down the 2-year waiting list once i'm all cleared to go. i know i threw a lot of information at you but this is something i wrestle with all of the time and just writing about it helps! however, i would like some information from people that have been through it in az if at all possible. i am trying to cover all of the bases.