Nursing and felony? Should I even apply for nursing school?

  1. Hello,

    I have a felony on my record. Burglary 2nd degree and it is 7 years old. I broke into a house that I thought was abandoned and my friend and I stole some stuff. It was REALLY stupid mistake and we did it mainly for a kick.... second dumb mistake was admitting to the cops that I had used drugs... I didn't get a drug charge but on the police report it says "....she has used marijuana and m....."

    I had my felony "set aside" because here in AZ there is no such thing as "sealed felony." I also was able to get level one finger print clearance card from the department of public safety. I also had my rights restored.

    Lastly, I have worked at an elementary school for 4 years (this is after the conviction) and I currently work at a k-12 school with kids that have mental and emotional disabilities (special ed school and self contained school) It is pretty oviouys that I am not a risk to society. I also worked at Pima college as a manager and was in charge of all the banking stuff.

    I did a 360 and turned my life around. I have great grades, a 5 yo. kid, and am pretty serous about school. I only need one more class, and then I can apply but I am afraid of going through nursing school, PAYING for it, and then being rejected because of my felony. I know that I would have to send the board of nursing a copy of my police report and I feel that if it did not say I was under the influence of drugs, I would have a better chance.

    Can anyone please share their thoughts or if there is a nurse out there that has gone through this and share their success/failure story it would really help!

    Does anyone know what the process is like? what will the board of nursing make me do? I read on a different thread that they make you pass a lie detector test?!!!


    thank you.
    Last edit by lourieg13 on Aug 1, '12
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   sweetjess321
    Hey there, I will make this short, but first of all, I would make sure you talk to the people (nursing advisors) and get answers from them as far as if it's worth it to apply. My opinion is, it's always worth it if you want to be a nurse, however, you'll have to pay for the application fee, the drug test, fingerprint clearance card, background check, etc. If you are okay with paying for this stuff and possibly getting denied your application into the program because of your felony, then at least you'll know that you can't enter the program. You won't know for sure until you try; however, from my experience and from what I know (current nursing student), if you do not pass the background check (which you won't if you have a felony) you will not get placed at a clinical location because you are considered a risk to the facility so therefore that's why you can't enter the nursing program. Good luck to you, but make sure you do your research to find a definite answer before giving up.

    Jessica
  4. by   Pattycakes85
    Lourieg,

    I feel the same anxiety. but I decided that I am going to apply anyway and if they reject me due to the background..then I guess it wasnt meant to be. Good luck to both of us! Apply and let us know what happened
  5. by   Pkkostura
    Call the state board of nursing and ask them, they will tell you for sure.
  6. by   psychRNinAZ
    I would call the BON before you make any decisions. Also, I'm not sure about colleges here in AZ but I went to college in IN and they do a background check before you can even enroll into a program. Chances are though that with a felony record you will have to sit before the board before they will grant your license. I would also review some of the AZ legislature. Go to page 7 on this because it outlines the actions of the board r/t felonies http://www.azbn.gov/Documents/Substa...%20Conduct.pdf
  7. by   LAU2078660
    It is my understanding, that once you have had a misdemeanor or felony set aside, you can honestly report on your application that you do not have one. When a background check is performed, this will not appear on it anymore. My recommendation is that you pay to have a background check performed and see if this is on or off your record. If it is still on, you need to talk to the court's about having it removed. The prosecutor should have this done. Like I said, by law, once the judgment is set aside, you can answer the question as no, I have neither. If you had an attorney represent you, you can ask him. Also, you can also contact the prosecutor's office where you had your judgment set aside and confirm this with him/her too.

    I had a DUI (misdemeanor) about 5 years ago. I want to make sure nothing stands in my way of my application. I am preparing my own Motion to Set Aside the Judgment in about a week.

    Good luck.
  8. by   Meriwhen
    Quote from LAU2078660
    It is my understanding, that once you have had a misdemeanor or felony set aside, you can honestly report on your application that you do not have one. When a background check is performed, this will not appear on it anymore. My recommendation is that you pay to have a background check performed and see if this is on or off your record. If it is still on, you need to talk to the court's about having it removed. The prosecutor should have this done. Like I said, by law, once the judgment is set aside, you can answer the question as no, I have neither. If you had an attorney represent you, you can ask him. Also, you can also contact the prosecutor's office where you had your judgment set aside and confirm this with him/her too.
    I would definitely bounce this idea off of a lawyer to make sure it's acceptable.

    However keep in mind that BONs run by their own set of rules--for example, most BONs require you to disclose even expunged records, so you may still have to declare your record to the BON (again, seek a lawyer for legal advice in dealing with this). But doing this could help someone who has cleared the BON and is now in the job hunt.
  9. by   diva rn
    Quote from Meriwhen
    I would definitely bounce this idea off of a lawyer to make sure it's acceptable.

    However keep in mind that BONs run by their own set of rules--for example, most BONs require you to disclose even expunged records, so you may still have to declare your record to the BON (again, seek a lawyer for legal advice in dealing with this). But doing this could help someone who has cleared the BON and is now in the job hunt.
    Exactly, in fact, Nursing Boards have access to expunged records, so always make sure you divulge everything to the board. Better to be honest than caught in a lie.
  10. by   lourieg13
    My felony has been set aside and I do have a fingerprint clearance card. I also spoke to an adviser and she said that my felony should not be a barrier to employment because I have a fingerprint card...I guess I am more scared of facing the Board because the police report states that I was on bad drugs during the incident. On top of that police officers like to exaggerate on their police reports and add things that aren't true to make things look worse.

    I want to thank everyone for your posts as this is such a hard battle for me. I feel I would be a great nurse and this is really what I want to do in live...my background haunts me!
  11. by   lourieg13
    Unfortunately, the college does not do a background test (for there own knowledge) but you are required to have a finger print card...which i have received a year ago...so I am not sure what to do?

    I also called the board and they basically said that it depends on the case but they did say that chances are higher to get licensed if you have the fingerprint card.

    I feel like i am stuck in the middle of a hard choice. It's like a 50/50 chance...you know what i mean.
  12. by   lucylu6
    SO what was the result? very curious? ??
  13. by   lourieg13
    Wow sorry it took me 2 years to get back. Drum roll! I got into nursing school and have 1 year left to graduate. I also managed to get a job as a PCT in the hospital!
  14. by   Diane67
    I saw where you live in Oklahoma, have some questions for you. I'm not sure how to message on here.

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