Misdemeanors in past, finally an RN, can't get a job :(

  1. I just want to post this to vent. It's not really a question, but comments are welcome.
    I am twenty nine years old. Between the ages of 17 to 23, I had several misdemeanors. When I was 17, I got a DWI. I blew right below 0.08, but I was not 21, so I was charged with a DWI. A few years later, when I was 22, I got a DWI on New Years Day morning at about 9am, I had slept the night before, but apparently not long enough. I was charged with possession of paraphanalia (a marijuana pipe) when coming home from a camping trip later that same year, possession of marijuana and stealing when I was at the mall with friends at 19 and we were caught, then our car searched and the marijuana was found, and third degree assult for a fight I got into with an ex-girlfriend of my boyfriend at the time, it was really immature and stupid.
    So, clearly, I had a bad time in my life. At 18 I found out my mom was cheating on my dad. She had some sort of mid life crisis, left my dad, started partying all the time with the boyfriend that she had left my dad for. My dad was severely depressed, and threw himself into his work. They divorced, and I pretty much hated my mom and would have nothing to do with her. I didn't speak to her for three years. So, at this time in my life, I basically had no parental guidance. I met a guy, he was not good for me, but I thought he loved me and I have always been the type to see the good in people. I have always been the type to want to help people, and he needed help. So, I dated him for about 4 years, and I surrounded myself with bad people, who smoked pot and drank all the time. I got into trouble with them. I finally did come to my senses, got my life together, reconnected with my mom, met a new guy, fell in love, had a daughter, decided to go back to school to become an RN, and here I am. I had to go through a lot to be able to take NCLEX, with the BON, but I was granted eligilbility and passed on the first try.
    I have always wanted to do something in the medical field. When I was younger, I always wanted to be a doctor. I loved taking care of sick family members, bringing them their medicine, putting cold cloths on their foreheads, reading to them. I didn't realize that what I was doing was being a nurse, not a doctor. I didn't know the difference then, but really what I always wanted to be was a nurse. I've always just naturally been a caring person. On top of that, I am extremely intelligent. I know that I am meant to be a nurse and would make an excellent nurse. I love taking care of people, I truely CARE. I made some mistakes in my past, I know. I learned from them, and have grown and matured SO much since that dark time in my life. It was never who I was, and even at the time I didn't like it. I was depressed, about my parents, about my family, and I dealt with it in unhealthy ways. I feel like I would make such a great contribution to nursing. I really want in. I just want the chance to prove myself. I've been applying to jobs everyday for five months. I never get a call back. I never get an interview. And I feel like it's because I have to check that "yes" box when asked if I've ever been convicted of a crime. That's all they see, that's what defines me. That short, horrible period in my life. In the seven years since then, all that I've accomplished, they don't see that. Its so frustrating and sad. All I want to do is help people. I want to be a nurse, and care for people in their time of need, and make a positive contribution to our society. I want to educate people on ways they can be healthier. I WANT to do this. I don't even care about the money, pay me $15 an hour and health insurance, I'd be FINE with that!! I just wish I could have a chance to prove myself. There's so many nurses I met while in clinical that didn't even like being a nurse. They didn't realize how lucky they are to just have the opportunity. I thought getting the BON to allow me to sit for boards was my biggest hurdle. But it wasn't. Now Im an RN, so eager to begin my career, and instead I'll probably end up going back to being an adminstrative assistant because that's all that I can get interviews for. Its a shame really. I would have made an amazing nurse, and I know it.
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   Pattycakes85
    Hello!

    I am so sorry that youre feeling down and what youre going through is exactly what im afraid of going through when i graduate and need to start looking for jobs.

    Is there any way you can write "please let me explain in interview" next to that question on each application?

    From the research that I have done, it seems like everyone is having a hard time landing a job, those who have a clean record... So we're gonna have to stay strong and keep fighting!! The market is tough for everyone. Dont get discouraged.. im sure you will be able to write a success story sometime in the near future.

    May i ask which state you live in?
  4. by   Been there,done that
    Not sure if checking the "committed a crime" box is the reason you aren't receiving any interviews.
    Many new grads just aren't getting any offers, period.

    I can understand your frustation.You could ask a judge to expunge your record. You can do this wihout a lawyer .
    Prepare to state your case in a matter of 3 minutes, emphasizing on the I AM A NURSE now, I am contrite, etc.

    I have seen it done. Good luck.
  5. by   EbonyRN1162
    Sweetheart sometimes it takes a while to find a job trust me I know. People automatically think oh I'm a nurse I can get a job tomorrow. True in some situations but not all. I myself thought that moved to Georgia in November and just got a job in August. I had put in hundreds and hundreds of resumes. Had excellent references, job stability, 5 yrs. Experience, and I have a clean record never been in trouble and it was still difficult. Now for a while I did work PRN but I needed something full-time to support my family. No call backs for a while and then in June-July everyone started calling me for an interview but no one was offering me the position. I was down and starting to give up which isn't like me but feeling like why wont anyone give me a chance. I prayed, prayed, and prayed and continued to never loose faith and finally I got that one phone call hip hip hooray!!!!! Thank you Jesus!!!!! You're going to get a million NO's but all it takes is that one YES! You may just be over thinking the whole thing, the nursing fieeld is very competitive also you don't know HR's hiring procedures yes they ahave jobs posted but they could very well already be filled or looking to promote within the company first! My job is still posted and I have been working for over a month now. Also if you have never been convicted of a felony I hope you are not putting your past run ins with the law on your application. Stay strong my fellow RN I have faith in you and remember it only takes that one YES! i wish you nothing but the best and yiur time is coming. Goodluck!
  6. by   eatmysoxRN
    It's unfair how life works sometimes. That mistakes you make can follow you around for years and years. I feel for you, and it sounds like you have a true passion for nursing. That being said, you have to remember that there is no shortage of nurses. Next to your application sits a stack of others with the same credentials but no criminal history.

    If I may, I suggest looking at ALL RN positions including LTC, jails... try health screenings and immunization clinics maybe? Perhaps relocation would be an option? I'm not sure which areas are short of nurses, but if it's something you want sometimes you have to go to it instead of waiting for it to be there for you.

    Best of luck! Please keep us updated on any progress you make.
  7. by   Piggles
    Where I live, if you have had a clean record for a number of years you can go down to the courthouse, fill out a one page request form and have it expunged in a matter of a week or two. I think the wording "have you ever been convicted" is confusing. I would think that if you have it removed from your record you can check the box that says no.
  8. by   MegzRNSTL
    Thanks for the comments everyone, I actually got an e-mail from a recruiter at a hospital today about a possible interview!! I am so excited. I won't give up hope yet. I was just feeling especially down last night because I applied to three receptionist positions and got called for interviews for all three! I wish it was like that for nursing! I have two interviews tomorrow for the office positions, which I will go to, but I'm thinking if I get a job with them then get offered a job as a RN I will have to quit after not much time being there, which I hate to do. But I need to do something ASAP because the bills are piling up and no income is coming in! I really hope that I can get an interview with the hospital. BTW, I live in St. Louis, MO. I will keep you updated!
  9. by   dukes217
    Hey StudentNurse0. I'm praying that you get something soon. Have you applied in LTC facilities? Im in the same boat your in. I was living In Indiana and received a probationary license for one year. I hate the way they give out their discipline's. (like having a conviction isn't good enough, lets add more stipulation on her license, so we can really increase her chances on landing a job) because no one in Indiana will hire a person fresh out of school, a felony conviction, and a probationary license. NO ONE! Yet, you have to work and submit quarterly reports for a year to even petition the BON to have that probation removed. What a setup!! You don't even get a fair shot, this the board has to know. I'm not a quiter, so I'll keep moving around from state to state until I land a job. Nursing is all I know, I've been in this field since I was twenty. It's funny how I could land plenty of jobs as a CNA and known as a nurse in Indiana. Good luck StudentNurse0. I will add you to my prayer list. God is good, and I know he did not bring us this far to let us down. Have faith in him!
  10. by   Gage Steel
    Just wondering if you have had any success in finding employment. I am currently in a similar situation. I graduated over two months ago, passed my state boards and have had several interviews, but have been turned down for two positions already because of a distant criminal history involving use of marijuana and driving while intoxicated.
  11. by   nurse4life20132b
    Your story is similar to mine. I have 2 DWIS, 4th degree sexual assault (expunged) and under age drinking. All over 5 years ago. I have since gotten sober. Went to rehab and graduated nursing school. The BON denied my application and now I have a letter and am fighting it. He says I will get it. I'm in Wisconsin...what state are you in??
  12. by   livebreathloveit
    Hello there,,,
    Keep your chin up! I to am having some difficulties but you have got to have faith,faith,faith.
    i know its HARD as !!!! to, but keep looking online for your answers,,your not the only one that haws gotten that far and couldn't prove them selfs to others.

    Have you tried the jobs/shifts that no else wants,like the hospitals,nursing homes?

    You might considered hospice or home health company they seem to be always short handed because no one likes tone on call....which I would love to be on call,,,just like you to just have a JOB!

    I hope you get this,,I have one review on my statement that I posted up and can't figure out how to read my review.....lol
  13. by   chillinvillain
    Hey guys,

    I feel for you. Terrible waste of talent that people are unwilling to accept someone who has OBVIOUSLY made moves to improve their life. I'm thinking a little fringe nursing right now but I'm wondering if you might have tried:

    Nursing at a rehab center

    Applying to some sort of psych facility

    A free clinic

    Outpatient (in general)

    A volunteer (non-charging type) of program



    I know for employed nurses who slip up, there are normally programs to keep their license with a lot of reform classes, so there has GOT to be opportunities. I feel like maybe there might be more understanding in some of the above listed fields. Think really out there. Don't forgo your talents. If this is really what you want, there is a market for it, no matter this sort of trivial history.

    For a little inspiration, try a youtube video of one of our contemporary philosiphers named Alan Watts. The one I'm thinking of specifically is called "What if money was no object".

    Much love and good energy! Everyone needs to here this: You'll be okay; you are a human, you have adapted to survive for eons. Never give up. What you've gone through shapes who you've become, and it sounds like you've shaped up pretty well
  14. by   julesjameson3333
    I was wondering if you could give us an update on how you are doing? Were you ever able to find employment?

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