Wondering if I am eligible to get into the nursing program

  1. Hey, I am in the process of getting accepted into the nursing program in Georgia. I am wondering if this would not allow me to further my career. I'm not sure how to get my records I am from California. I was arrested when I was 17 or 18 for a syringe, in California because I was with someone at the time who was on drugs, hard drugs. Basically he put his needle in my bag without me knowing. I was going to stay at my sisters house, and we were pulled over. My sister( was on probation) I had no idea what was in my bag when they pulled us over. So I allowed them to search the over night bag, and they found a needle. Which I guess was unopened, but they knew the guy I was with, and I guess didn't give me much of an opportunity to explain myself. I knew it wasn't mine, but I knew it probably didn't matter. I didn't know it was there and unfortunately got arrested with my sister. Which I personally didn't know at the time would affect my future. I was kind of a lost girl, and obviously was with the wrong people and got in a bad situation. I've tried searching my record online but I don't come up. I was booked and released and never paid a fine or knew what my charge was or if I have one...? I know that I really want to become a nurse. My dream is to become a nurse but I'm so scared this will not allow me to become one.
  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   sallyrnrrt
    Best wishes
  4. by   HeySis
    Booked and Released? But never went before a judge? Then I don't think you were charged and definitely not prosecuted. Of course this is so not my speciality. I'd call a legal advice place and tell them the story and see if that's what it means.

    Even with a speeding ticket there is a judge (if you so choose to fight it instead of bleeding guilty and paying the fine by mail)
    If you were not charged then you'd have no legal record.
  5. by   HeySis
    Now I'm no legal expert (or lay person either), but it doesn't sound like you were actually charged for a crime.

    Even when you get a speeding ticket there is a judge (if you plead guilty and send in the fine by mail, you'll never see him, but it comes through on a docket and states guilty, fine paid)

    If you never went before a judge I'd call a legal advice lace in the state you were arrested in and tell them your story. If not charged/prosecuted, I'm thinking no record.

    Just my thoughts, my only claim to knowledge is I bartended in a place cops hung out to get through nursing school. (which mean no claim to knowledge, in case you miss my joke )
  6. by   manager123
    Yes, retain a lawyer or look for lower cost legal aid (perhaps with paralegals?) that can do the necessary research to see if you truly have a record of any type.

    If you were a minor (under 18) there is a process in California to seal the legal record. It is hard to tell your age from the narrative and that age difference truly does make a difference. Sealing the record of a minor is a paperwork process and does not require attending a court hearing. Did it with a kid who made a stupid mistake.
  7. by   Tiffrose
    Awe thank you I will definitely call.
  8. by   Tiffrose
    I never received anything in the mail or paid a fine or had to appear in court. But I was arrested. The cops were super nice to me about the situation. I just want an answer so I'll call someone. Thank you
  9. by   Meriwhen
    This can take two different paths, depending on whether you were 17 (a juvenile) or 18 (an adult, or were 17 but charged as an adult) at the time of the arrest. It would probably fare better for you if you were 17...but you were what you were at the time, and that can't change.

    IMO, I agree with the prior poster. Call an attorney/legal aid and figure out exactly what your criminal record has in it. Once you know for certain what's on your record, you and the attorney can take the steps to address it and minimize any damage it may cause. You could try searching for your records yourself, but I never recommend DIY when it comes to legal matters. But that's just me.

    As far as getting into nursing schools...well, nursing schools have the right to accept or reject applicants as they please. And yes, your criminal record can factor into that decision. That doesn't mean someone with a record can't become a nurse; lots of them can and do.

    Best of luck.
  10. by   manager123
    IF you were truly never charged or you were a juvenile and are able to seal your records, this does NOT need to be disclosed in applications or entrance issues. Once the record is sealed, the charge never existed. If you were truly never charged, then no record exists either (I think). Bottom line, move fast to figure it out. It is worth the $$ and time to figure it out sooner rather than later.

    I have seen several job applicants recently who are accepted into nursing programs, complete the program, take NCLEX and are immediately placed on suspension or probation (If they are allowed to test in the first place). It is when I start asking why there was a significant gap between completion of degree and licensure that the story is revealed. Remember that acceptance into nursing program does NOT guarantee eligibility for NCLEX and license. I know of very few places that will accept a new grad on probation as a new hire. Sometimes they will work with someone who is in a different position (i.e. Nurse Aid) and becomes an RN. Many will work with existing RNs who suddenly are on probation because they have a track record.
  11. by   Meriwhen
    Quote from manager123
    Remember that acceptance into nursing program does NOT guarantee eligibility for NCLEX and license.
    Unfortunately true. And the BON couldn't care less that you spent a few years and dropped 50k (or more!) on nursing school. If they think your license needs to be disciplined or even denied, they'll do it.

    Get your record sorted out as much as possible before entering school.
  12. by   MiladyMalarkey
    You can always call the agency that arrested you & request information, if you have the date of arrest or a police report number (if your sister & friend were charged with something, they wrote a police report for them for prosecution purposes & they would have a police report number) you can request a copy of the police report and see if you are mentioned in it. It's work, and depending on how long ago, and depending on records & retention policies for the agency, they may have purged records on it.

    You need to have a background check run on you, you'll likely have to pay for it, consulting an attorney isn't bad advice either. But, it sounds like you weren't actually charged with anything. Had you been charged after the fact, the court would've issued a summons and if you didn't answer that summons, they'd have issued a warrant for your arrest. Have you had police contact since then in California (i.e. pulled over speeding)? If you had a warrant issued for that incident they would've arrested you, if they didn't, you did not have a warrant. Being in proper jurisdiction makes a difference when determining if they'd arrest you, but chances are, a CA cop probably would've mentioned you had a CA warrant if they could not arrest you for jurisdiction purposes--since they run warrants checks on you nearly every time you get pulled over & often when have contact with law enforcement for other purposes.

    You likely are fine, but if I were you, I'd request a background check and consult legal counsel. It's time and money but if you really want to know for the sake of your future nursing career & peace of mind it's a worthy cost to pay.
  13. by   Tiffrose
    I don't remember if I was 17 or 18, I know it was around the time of my birthday. I didn't get photographed I just remember being at the jail, and be released. I'm not sure I think they took my finger prints. I know if I was 17 it would probably be sealed. I just can't remember but right at that time my mom had passed away, 2 months after I turned 18, and I decided to leave. I cleaned up my act and moved out of California but I really can't remember. My memory of that time is foggy. And just to be sure, anyways, I will contact someone. It's just always better to know what happened, but I was looking to see if anyone would know. I'm not sure what a syringe would be on a criminal record and that is what scares me too... thanks