Starting Nursing school with a criminal record!? - page 2

by FranciscoMireles

10,470 Views | 23 Comments

Hi, my name is Francisco Mireles and I recently decided to go to nursing school but Im scare that after 4 years of school I wont be able to get licence. I was in the military for 4 years and after I got out I had a huge problem... Read More


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    Quote from adoRNo2015
    With a criminal record you will not be eligible to sit for the NCLEX anywhere in the US. Probably not even be able to even get accepted into a nursing program as it has been mentioned all school run a background check prior starting.
    Having a criminal record does not absolutely keep you from sitting for the NCLEX or getting into nursing school. Many factors are involved. it depends on the infraction, when it happened, and what you did to change that behavior. I wrote to my BON about a charge and they literally said, "No worries ". No kidding. They included a winky face as though it was silly of me to ask in the first place. Please do not scare people!

    OP, please email your state nursing board. They cannot say a firm Yes/No often, but they can point you in the right direction. If it would make you more comfortable, send it from an anonymous email. Get informed from the source instead of random internet people.
    vsnkoolcna, mzaur, and versatility like this.
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    Quote from adoRNo2015
    With a criminal record you will not be eligible to sit for the NCLEX anywhere in the US. Probably not even be able to even get accepted into a nursing program as it has been mentioned all school run a background check prior starting.
    Unless you are speaking from personal experience, adoRNo2015, I will have to argue this. Various Boards of Nursing handle each situation on a case-by-case basis. The head of the Board of Nursing came to my school to give a lecture and I asked her about my situation (misdemeanor brought down to a violation), and she told me that she knows people who have gotten licenses with a felony.

    The main issue is whether the OP can pass his background checks, as many clinical sites need these. Also, the SON may require one as well. I believe the OP should call the school administration and ask them frankly whether his situation will impede him from getting into school, and then a license in the long run.
    versatility likes this.
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    I am not speaking from personal experience. I'm going what my school has made clear to everyone who attends the main nursing orientation. I didn't mean to offend anyone.
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    I do not speak from personal experience since I have no criminal history. I had classmates when I took my CNA program who were not able to get a job after because of background check. Also for clinicals most hospitals require a negative history. The schools determine who gets in depending on the case. Now in NS at our main orientation it was mentioned that with a negative history the NCLEX can't be taken. From what I have read, most BON's require that the background check is satisfactory passed for licensure purposes. I did not mean to offend anyone with my comment. Not all knowledge comes from personal experience but from seeing what happens around us.
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    From what my program director says, it varies on the offense as well as time of the event. For the OP, it sounds like a DUI charge and what may be obstructing justice or something serious along those lines. I don't mean to be a downer, but those would probably be at the top of the list of what may not pass by the BON. I would absolutely recommend the OP call the BON and check to see if that can still get him a license, and I hope it does. However, from the employers side, an obstructing justice or interfering with police is a red flag an may cause them to have issues. Also, if these offenses are within 5 years from now it may make it tougher.

    TL;DR: call the board of nursing and check,they can give you insight.
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    I can tell you right now what my state will tell you:

    They won't give you a decision until you apply for licensure. What the school says doesn't matter, they don't grant your license and will be happy to take your money.

    Call the Board of Nursing and ask them...you don't have to give your name.

    We had a student in my class that graduated and couldn't get licensure. A few months before graduation she had an assult and battery charge expunged (mainly, because she was in nursing school and they used that as a measure of rehabilitation) and then she was arrested and charged with abuse of one of her children.

    The case was pending when she graduated, but because of the nature of the charge, it's been several years and they still won't let give her licensure.
    Meriwhen likes this.
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    Quote from Jory
    Call the Board of Nursing and ask them...you don't have to give your name.
    I'm a fan of the anonymous e-mail myself.

    Honestly, it is indeed a chance you will have to take because many BONs will take the "we can't tell you until you apply" route. But at least maybe they'll tell you if there's anything you can do to help your case.

    Best of luck.
  8. 0
    Quote from adoRNo2015
    With a criminal record you will not be eligible to sit for the NCLEX anywhere in the US. Probably not even be able to even get accepted into a nursing program as it has been mentioned all school run a background check prior starting. I would speak to a counselor and explain the situation to see what they say before doing anything else.
    Not necessarily true on both counts...at least in the U.S.

    Yes, there are some felonies that are an automatic bar to a nursing career.

    But for the most part, nursing schools and BONs review applicants on a case-by-case basis. The fact that one nurse with a particular criminal record is accepted/rejected by a school or BON doesn't necessarily mean that another nurse with a similar criminal record will automatically meet the same fate.

    To complicate matters, nursing schools and BONs each have their own criteria and work independently of each other. The fact that a nursing school is willing to accept a nurse's criminal record doesn't mean that the BON has to accept it and automatically issue that nurse a license. Or that because State A issued the nurse with a criminal record a license, that State B has to automatically accept that record and endorse the nurse in.

    Nurses with both felony and misdemeanor records have been able to complete nursing school and sit for the NCLEX. Not every nurse with a criminal history is successful, but there are many who make it.
    Last edit by Meriwhen on Apr 7, '13
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    My nursing school did a criminal background check before I could apply to be accepted, so that may be as far as your goes. If it's misdemeanors it should be okay, it's the felony convictions that usually cause problems.
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    Hello, I am looking to try the upfront approach and contact a representative. My issue is a DUI and aggravated battery (which is pending expungment). I am afraid this will keep me from sitting for the NCLEX.

    I also thought to become a CNA first, do you have any further advice on pursuing this route?

    My charges are from Louisiana, and I am applying in Texas.


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