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Advice for Domestic Battery Conviction and Getting License

Nurse Beth   (350 Views | 0 Replies)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Writer Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

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Dear Nurse Beth,

I am graduating with my BSN this summer and I am wondering how much of a hang up a misdemeanor domestic battery conviction is going to give me for getting my license and/or job. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Dear Wondering,

When you successfully complete your nursing program, or very near the end, your school and you will submit paperwork to the BON or BRN for  the NCLEX. 

After your BON/BRN declares you eligible to test, you will receive your authorization to test (ATT). You can then register with Pearson VUE and sit for your exam (NCLEX). Your school will walk you through all of this.

This next part is very important for you- answer every question on your application truthfully. States vary in their reporting requirements. For example, some states ask if you ever had a misdemeanor, but when it comes to traffic tickets, some say you only have to report traffic tickets over a certain amount, such as $300.00.

Many applicants believe that if their crime was expunged, they do not have to report it, and it is not discoverable by the BOB/BRN. It is discoverable as they conduct an FBI level background check.

You will be asked to explain the circumstances in writing. The letter of explanation is highly important.


The BON/BRN is looking to see that you have rehabilitated, and are no longer a person who is likely to commit domestic battery. Have your values changed?

They will want to know what steps you have taken to rehabilitate. They will ask for all court documents, and for evidence that you completed all requirements, such as anger management classes.


Take responsibility for the event, and do not cast blame. At the same time, you can describe your environment at the time to show how you've overcome negative influences in your life to go on and become a law-abiding nurse.


Show remorse for your actions, and anyone you injured. The tone of your letter should reflect regret for your actions.

Consider getting an attorney, but only one with experience in dealing with the BON/BRN. We have a nursing attorney here on site, Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD, who has a column titled Ask a Nurse Attorney   for a great resource.

There is also a forum here titled Nursing/Licensure/Criminal. It will really help you to read about others' experiences and interact with them. You are not alone.

Read the article How to Write a Letter for a Criminal Infraction for more helpful and important advice, such as how to include letters of reference.

Good luck to you. Everyone deserves a second chance.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth
Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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