Jump to content
Additional Hardware Upgrades Read more... ×
Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert Nurse Verified

Caught With Weed and Wants to Apply to Nursing School

Nurse Beth   (1,779 Views 9 Comments)
45 Likes; 8 Followers; 81 Articles; 222,796 Visitors; 1,591 Posts
If you find this topic helpful leave a comment.
advertisement

Dear Nurse Beth,

 

I have recently been freaking out about my future. So I was recently caught with less than a gram of weed. I just got a ticket and they sent me home. It is a drug misdemeanor and I have a good chance of getting it deferred then expunged. However I worry how this will affect my nursing school application. I am just a freshman with a 3.9 GPA and I have never been in trouble like this before. Should I wait until I'm expunged to even apply? Do I have a shot before expungement? I have been just sick over the matter, being an RN is my dream. Any advice?

 


Dear Freaking Out,

Every school is different, every state is different, and background checks are not all equal. At the same time, yours is a misdemeanor and not a crime against a person. You have an otherwise clean record.

Getting a deferred adjudication means the charges are dismissed after successful completion of probation but are discoverable on a deep, FBI level of background check. When you apply to take the NCLEX after nursing school graduation, a deep background check is conducted. Expunged and dismissed convictions must be reported to the BON. It's important to answer all questions truthfully as not being truthful can hurt you more than having committed the actual misdemeanor.

Nursing school application questions vary. If on the application you are asked to report all convictions, including expunged and dismissed, it won't necessarily help to wait. on the other hand, a recent crime may weigh against an applicant more than a crime committed years ago. Again, it's important to answer all questions truthfully.

So overall, it may help to wait until your charges are settled. The biggest variable here is really the person on the other side of your application, making the decision. Hopefully he/she is compassionate and willing to give you a chance.

Good news, there is a nurse attorney here on allnurses and you can post your question there on Ask a Nurse Attorney for expert insight.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

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

 

attachment.php?attachmentid=26301&stc=1

Edited by Nurse Beth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would also talk to the state BON where you plan to apply for a license. The school will take your money, but cannot guarantee under any circumstances, that a graduate of their school will get to take the board exam. Many of us on here have read the "unfairness" of the school that let them complete a program and pay for it, but could not take boards because the state BON rejected the applicant d/t a criminal background check. Each state varies, so do your homework on this one to save yourself the headache-but wait until the whole matter is settled. Good luck, I hope this comes out in your favor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would also talk to the state BON where you plan to apply for a license. The school will take your money, but cannot guarantee under any circumstances, that a graduate of their school will get to take the board exam. Many of us on here have read the "unfairness" of the school that let them complete a program and pay for it, but could not take boards because the state BON rejected the applicant d/t a criminal background check. Each state varies, so do your homework on this one to save yourself the headache-but wait until the whole matter is settled. Good luck, I hope this comes out in your favor

Unfortunately, the BON will not guarantee anything until an application for NCLEX is made. Applications can't be made until after graduation :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know. It's sad, that they would allow a school to take money from someone when they don't have a snowballs chance in Hades. sometimes they will give a flat out no go. I personally do know of a case like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unfortunately, the BON will not guarantee anything until an application for NCLEX is made. Applications can't be made until after graduation :(

Texas is a state that will actually consider you and approve or deny before you start nursing school. I'm not sure if any other states offer that route.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Texas is a state that will actually consider you and approve or deny before you start nursing school. I'm not sure if any other states offer that route.

Right, I have heard that Texas nursing schools conduct an FBI level background check (same as the BON). Interesting because of the expense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Right, I have heard that Texas nursing schools conduct an FBI level background check (same as the BON). Interesting because of the expense.

It's actually through the Texas BON, itself. They'll tell you if you're eligible to sit for boards and become licensed before you even start nursing school.

Texas Board of Nursing - Declaratory Order

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's actually through the Texas BON, itself. They'll tell you if you're eligible to sit for boards and become licensed before you even start nursing school.

Texas Board of Nursing - Declaratory Order

With the cost of school and current student loan crisis, you'd think every state would do this! But I guess these schools have got to get their money somehow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unfortunately, the BON will not guarantee anything until an application for NCLEX is made. Applications can't be made until after graduation :(

And isn't that the Catch-22? The one entity that could answer the question about eligibility to take the NCLEX won't answer the question until the applicant graduates and is ready to apply. I wonder how many students paid for a degree that ended up being essentially useless as they were deemed ineligible to take the NCLEX after graduation for whatever reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×