Will my criminal record prevent me from becoming a nurse?

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    I live in Georgia and received a misdemeanor theft (shoplifting) charge in 2010. I have since cleaned up my act and am interested in a career in nursing. Will this prevent me from getting into nursing school? If I am even able to get into a program, will this charge keep me from gaining licensure? Further still, if I am able to get into a program and gain licensure, will any employer really give me a chance??? I am in the process of finding a lawyer to try to get it expunged. I have been praying about it but I am so discouraged right now!!! HELP!
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Moved to the nursing license with a criminal history forum
  5. 0
    Quote from ap2785
    I live in Georgia and received a misdemeanor theft (shoplifting) charge in 2010. I have since cleaned up my act and am interested in a career in nursing. Will this prevent me from getting into nursing school? If I am even able to get into a program, will this charge keep me from gaining licensure? Further still, if I am able to get into a program and gain licensure, will any employer really give me a chance??? I am in the process of finding a lawyer to try to get it expunged. I have been praying about it but I am so discouraged right now!!! HELP!
    If you get it expunged then you should have no problem getting into a nursing program or pursing your dreams. GOD sees you have changed your life around and knows your heart. When one door closes GOD will open another. Remember GOD doesn't REJECT he REDIRECTS!!!
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    You may be ok. A lot of nursing programs these days, at least in Phoenix, are doing background checks before you get into the nursing program. So, if you don't clear, you won't be accepted into the program. The reason we started doing this in Phoenix, on top of preventing the "wrong" people from entering the profession, is so you don't go through your whole nursing program only to find that you can't get your license at the end. Also, my hospital (for example) requires that nursing students get an additional background check before they can participate in their clinical rotation. Our background checks go deeper than the check required by the college. So, if you pass the college background check, you may not always pass the clinical site background check. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. My advice is to "fess up" early. Let everyone know about your past and what can be expected on your background check. You can always explain yourself and, if it is deemed that you have changed, that you made a mistake. If nursing is truly what you want to do, it will be obvious. Please let me know if you have any questions!
  7. 0
    Hi!!

    While I cannot give you any legal advise, I will tell you my personal experience with a shoplifting misdemeanor:

    Background: I got caught shoplifting twice when I was 17 (2007). The first went to pre-trial diversion and paid a fine, but I didn't learn anything from it. The second, I went to trial, pled guilty, had probation for a year and paid a fine. That scared the crap out of me and I never stole anything again. Notice, I only have one charge.

    My state requires FBI background checks and approval from the state board of nursing before beginning nursing school. So as soon as a school accepts you, you must get permission from the state to actually take the nursing classes. I have come to really like this system because as long as your situation doesn't change while in nursing school, you can expect to not be surprised when it's time to take the NCLEX.

    I'm starting this January. The BON did approve me with an "informal reprimand" (vs. formal board action resulting in delay/denial or stipulations). They pretty much told me that I better not do anything else or they will kick me out of nursing school or later, revoke my license. Needless to say, I don't plan on doing anything else and I feel that I've truly remediated.

    Talk to your board of nursing, search their website for any information about criminal history, and maybe speak to a lawyer that specializes in the BON to get insight about your own situation. GOOD LUCK.


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