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Advice for prospective nurse with criminal background?

by taylork93 taylork93 (New) New

My dream is to become a nurse. This goal is a drive in my life and effects everything that I do. I am 22 years old currently finishing up some prerequisites at a community college I volunteer at a hospital and work part time, I am so excited for the road ahead and although I am thankful for the experiences that led me to be so responsible, driven, and inspired they do come back to haunt me.

(This may be TMI) but when I was 18 I got caught stealing. I received a misdemeanor for petty theft. I made sure to follow the given procedures (community service, payment, etc.) this was a slap of the wrist kind of crime and I thought I could put it all behind me. However, 3 years later and a few months before my 21st birthday I was caught with a beer in my hand at a concert by a undercover cop and received another misdemeanor for minor in possession of alcohol.

I take full responsibility and ownership for these actions and understand how some people might consider these criminal acts as a representation of who I am as a person. But these experiences have shaped me and made me proud of the person I am today. I have already run into a few issues applying to be a CNA as apart of prerequisite for the ADN program and have already been rejected by a few private schools I was looking at. I know that by having a criminal history it makes it harder for me to become a nurse(as it should be) but I am willing to do anything and everything to become a nurse and show that I am not that person anymore.

I do know that when it comes to trying to take the NCLEX I will have to provide the board of nursing with proof of rehabilitation and information on the cases. But this is the only information I have obtained so far. It can be discouraging at times so If anyone has had a criminal history and is now a nurse it would mean so much to get some advice. Or if anyone knows anything that would improve my current situation I would appreciate it so much.

Edited by TheCommuter

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

Welcome! We have moved your thread to the Nursing Licensure With a Criminal History forum to encourage more responses. We wish you the best of luck in your journey.

What state are you in? I would imagine that the theft charge is a bigger deal than the mip one. Can you see if you can get it expunged? Also, in tx they require you to submit the declaratory order in most schools before you apply. That way you know if the board will accept you or not and you don't waste time going through school and graduate only to have board reject you after.

You need to contact your BON and ask what info you need to submit to them and get that started ASAP. Last thing you want to do is finish nursing school and THEN find out that you can't take NCLEX (it happens!). I'm in Texas and I had a MIP at age 20 and DWI at age 21 and had no problem getting approved to take NCLEX, without license restrictions. Just be sure to be 100% honest about everything!