Will be applying for NCLEX, but have expunged misdemeanors...
- 0Apr 5, '13 by willow298I live in Rhode Island and I am 4 weeks away from being done with nursing school. I unfortunately have 2 misdemeanors from 4 years ago that were expunged. They did not prevent me from getting into nursing school, as I had to submit a background check. When I called the courthouse, they advised me that if my record is expunged than I can legally put NO that I have no convictions on any applications.
What I am concerned about is that I know for the NCLEX application we have to submit FBI fingerprints with a background check. I have been reading previous posts that state that the FBI fingerprints will show any expunged charges. I don't want to mess up my application and lie to the BON, even though the courthouse told me I can honestly check the NO box. I just want the application process to go smoothly. I have read that others have submitted a declaratory process before applying for NCLEX. When I try to look up what that is and if they do that here in Rhode Island, I can't find anything.
The incident was an isolated one and I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was a very unfortunate situation and I would be devastated if it implies that I am going to have a very hard time with this application for the NCLEX. I have not gotten into any type of trouble since and definitely learned from my mistakes.
What should I do? Should I call the BON and talk to them about it?
- 0Apr 5, '13 by Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, RN Senior ModeratorLike it or not, you will probably have to declare the expunged charges. That's because most (if not all) BONs require the disclosure of even expunged and sealed records. If you fail to do that and the BON finds out, you can likely kiss your nursing career goodbye, as BONs don't like being lied to...and trying going to another state afterwards won't help as other state BONs will ask, "has any state BON denied/revoked/disciplined your license?" when you apply.
I would contact the RI BON directly (you can e-mail anonymously if you prefer) to find out the most accurate answer.
If they require disclosure, then be prepared to disclose and submit all required documentation. Unfortunately, most BONs will not give you a definite answer about whether you'll be licensed until you actually apply, since they review every case separately.
If you have legal questions, consult a lawyer...IMO, court staff can be helpful but unless they are YOUR lawyer, their advice isn't the best legal advice. Also, if the BON wants you to come before them regarding your criminal history, bring that lawyer as the BON is not the nurse's friend--they care about the public first and foremost. You the nurse comes second...if considered at all.
Best of luck with the rest of school and with the BON.
- 0Apr 5, '13 by willow298I just wanted to say that I just contacted the RI attorney general where I will be going to get my fingerprints done and who will be submitting them to the BON. They told me that if as long as the charges were expunged than they are erased and will not come up even with the FBI fingerprint check. They told me to bring the document of expungement with me when I go there to get my fingerprints done and they will doublecheck for me and make sure that they are not coming up.
- 0Apr 5, '13 by SuzieVNYour FBI criminal history never goes away. In theory, only certain agencies can see an expunged conviction- law eneforcement, etc. Whether your BON will see it, might want to call them and ask flat out if expunged convictions require disclosure. The RI BON application is unusual, in that it doesn't ask if you have ever had a conviction expunged. Plus it's a compact state, that might get tricky for other states that DO.
- 0Apr 6, '13 by SuzieVNQuote from willow298I just wanted to say that I just contacted the RI attorney general where I will be going to get my fingerprints done and who will be submitting them to the BON. They told me that if as long as the charges were expunged than they are erased and will not come up even with the FBI fingerprint check. They told me to bring the document of expungement with me when I go there to get my fingerprints done and they will doublecheck for me and make sure that they are not coming up.
Waiting with baited breath to learn how it goes. Be sure to ask your AG, since RI is a compact state- does that affect the other states in the compact? Good wishes.