background check for nurses

Nurses General Nursing


Hi there - I have been an RN for several years. My sister is now in nursing school and I am just not sure she is going to even obtain registered licensure.

She had some problems back a few years ago and had several charges against her for NSF checks. I am not sure if the licensure board would consider that "questionable" criteria for the background check that they run. Does anyone else know? I would hate for her to go through all of that schooling and graduate and never actually get to practice.

When I mentioned it to her, she contacted the State Board of Nursing and they told her that it would be on a case-by-case consideration basis and would not give her a firm answer.

Anyone have any clues? Thanks!


4,516 Posts

Wow..kinda risky to dole out all this money and time for nursing school without some kind of reassurance from the BON.

Sure would be sad to go through school for nothing...if she gets past the BON then of course there are the employer background checks too...I'd wonder about that as well. Anybody know for sure?

I would be concerned for her too. Good luck.

prn nurse

208 Posts

did she have charges brought, or an actual trial and convictions? If convictions, Were they misdemeanor or felony? It is a matter of public record in every state. Just go to the local courthouse and look up her record/file. If she has been convicted of a felony, then she has a problem. But, even then, if it is for hot checks, not assault, murder, etc. , it is not quite as bad, and she will probably get her license. First, she has to knowwhich or what? On your nursing application, it asks, "Have you ever been convicted of a felony?" Yes or No. That is all the board wants to know. Have you committed and been convicted of a felony crime? If she has not, she does not have to say a word to anyone about any arrests. Being arrested is not the same as being convicted by a judge or jury. You can get arrested every Saturday night and pay your misdemeanor fines, and never tell the BON. If she does not have a felony conviction, she would be wise to keep her mouth shut.

Jenny P

1,164 Posts

Specializes in CV-ICU.

PRN nurse, I'm not sure about the "arrested every Saturday night...." part of your advice, but I do know that here in Mn. they do look at each case on an individual basis. If someone is called in front of the BON, I'm amazed by the number of nurses that do NOT go to speak up for themselves! I'm not and have never been on the BON, but used to attend the public part of their meetings as a member of the Practice Commission at my state nursing association. My guess is that if she had NSF checks when she was younger and has had a clean record since; that would be taken into account by the BON. And if she is questioned by the BON, she should go with a lawyer who has represented nurses in similar situations before (not just any lawyer). I believe that even if she has had a felony conviction for that, there is a way for her to go before the state or district court after she has had no problems for a certain period of time (? 5-7 years?) to have the charges reduced (say, to misdemeanors). Anyway, this might be something that you or she should check out with a lawyer if you are really worried about it.

Hope this helps.

judy ann

225 Posts

Specializes in obstetrics(high risk antepartum, L/D,etc.

Tell her to come to Colorado. The local tv news just uncovered the fact that the Board of Nursing depends only on the "honesty and integrity" of the applying nurse as to her background. The board only knows about any felonies if they read this in the newspaper! This was on the local tv. Go to http// and click on chanel 7 investigates. There are 2 pages of reports of this investigation as well as the director of the BON's response. It is an eye opener, especially for Colorado nurses.:eek:


3 Posts

I'm glad I found this. I am interested in becoming a nurse. I have a bachelors degree in genetics and have been working in the clinical laboratory, and have found that I am a lot more interested in patient care. However, I am afraid that I will go thru all of the schooling, and not be granted a nurses lisence due to the fact that I have a past DWI charge. Or a job for that matter. How does having a record affect the nurse lisencing process?? Thanks.

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