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U.S.A. Massachusetts


Hi! I hope I'm putting this in the right place, but I've been wondering if anyone else has dealt with this. I'm trying to apply for RN by exam, and I had to consent to the Adam Walsh background check. More than 10 years ago DCF got involved with my family because my (now) ex-husband assaulted  my infant, apparently a couple times. It was completely unknown to me, as I was at work when it happened, but she appeared sick, so I was bringing her to her pediatrician and the ER several times; it was only after my ex said she fell off the bed, that the ER finally did a CT, and found subdural hematomas. Very obviously, DCF got involved, initially took custody (I got custody back at the 72 hour hearing, after my ex confessed and I filed for separation). Because it took so long for him to confess, DCF treated us both as perpetrators and supported the Care and Protection. He was ultimately  charged and convicted of his crimes, and my child is doing really great these days with no residuals (thank god!!!). 

Any way... apparently my name came up on the DCF registry as being part of a protective services case, and now my application for licensure by exam is under review. With Good Moral Character, there is a list of items that the Board wants, but there is absolutely no information for individuals who show up on the Registry but have no criminal history. Does anyone know how long the review will take, or what they might want for documentation? I'm trying to pace myself studying for the NCLEX, and wonder if they will even let me? (I assume I'm listed as "neglectful" for "failing to keep the child safe", which I already feel sooo much guilt for, even though I was at work when it happened.) As additional info, I do currently work with children, and my history has never been a problem...

Hi RNHopes,

I hope you read this since you've gotten no replies- we can't be the only ones in this boat though! First if all, I'm very sorry that your ex abused your baby- terrible thing for you and your daughter to go through. But you did the right thing and got rid of him- all you can do is move on, which you have done.

I'm in a similar situation except I was unaware that the neglect claims were "substantiated". A neighbor called CPS on me accusing me of child neglect and CPS came out twice. First time the house was a mess- worst day they could have shown up, we had JUST returned from camping so we were all looking rather grubby and the house was a mess. Second time they showed up on a normal day, said all is fine and they would close the case. Thinking of it now,  that means they must have opened a case to begin with. It was 18 years ago so my memories are vague- I wish I could find some paperwork on it.  I also worked with a vulnerable population and have had backround checks done every year,  including a Livescan. Nothing ever showed up... until I applied for the NCLEX PN and heard nothing for over a month.  Finally I got pcshq on the phone and they told me "something" came up on the CPS check. That is the only thing I can think of, so it must be that. I'm getting the Adam Walsh form notarized so I can get a copy of my records. 

They must look at it on a case by case basis- otherwise they would have denied us just on the basis of showing up on the registry. It seems to me that we should both be cleared since neither of us abused or neglected our kids, but I don't trust the system. I don't know how they said my case was substantiated- could they have lied? Although they would then have to explain why they only came out twice. 

It's very frightening and not knowing how long it will take is awful. I hope that you hear from the BON soon and get your ATT. Please post updates or PM me- I could not PM you since my account is new.  Good luck!


I'm sorry you had to go through all that and all this, too! I'm in a similar boat, as I've had many background checks, and absolutely nothing ever.. I even work with kids as an LPN. I've had my LPN license for 15 years now, now I sort of worry if this will be an issue when I renew my license this year (in case I haven't received my ATT by then LOL). It's been 5 weeks since the board sent their first correspondence, and there's no one to even call. I'm looking into what type of attorney would be helpful in this situation, but I don't know who to even request they follow up with. 

Best luck! I hope you hear soon! Keep me posted if you hear anything!!

Hi RNHopes,

Thanks for your reply! I was just sitting around obsessing about this and saw you had replied. I'm sorry you are still waiting too.. It's just torturous how long the BON takes to reply. I wouldn't even had known what happened if I hadn't called pcshq. I've been so depressed about this, haven't really been studying because there's not much point until I hear back.

It's very hard to find any info on situations like ours. There's a lot about having CPS cases expunged, but since neither of us knew there was a problem until the BON found it, I don't think it would help right now. 

I tend to think that in your situation,  having your LPN license for so long would be a good thing. You've already proven to be a good safe nurse. But I can also understand how you would be stressed about them going after that too- it's the unknown that is so scary. Not knowing how they are going to view everything.  I'm also finding it so insulting and humiliating knowing that anyone out there is thinking that I neglected my kids (although I know they don't even know "me", I'm just another file to the people reviewing this).

I'll keep you posted if I hear anything.  I hope you get your ATT soon! I check my email a million times a day and feel discouraged every time I see nothing.  


Oh my gos, YES! That's exactly it for me too!! The unknown and the humiliation and disrespect  that I'm getting. The state had sent me and email and then a letter saying that my case was being "investigated", and it was like PTSD, those old feelings of being seen as someone I'm not and feeling like I was being accused of something I didn't do. That's almost worse than not knowing what will happen (and when!!).

I hope you hear soon!!

Do you guys know when they started including the adam walsh check on the livescan for examination. I became a nurse in CA in 2018 and I don't remember the form saying anything about the adam walsh check, just doj and FBI... They pull the central registry too?

I am wondering if anyone has progress? I am so afraid of what I will do with all of this debt and no way to start applying. 

I definitely have made some progress but it is extremely slow going. I recently hit the 4 month mark from when I applied, and still don't have my ATT. It is the MOST frustrating thing in the world. Even though I've sent everything they've asked and more, I now have no one to contact and no one calls back. 

All that being said, I'm sure they will approve me at some point. If I knew it was going to take this long, I would have called Pearson and changed which state will receive my score, and would apply for my license out of state and just work a bit farther from home, and would just apply for reciprocity. (Which is an actual option). I'd really suggest calling your school and calling Pearson, and see if that's an option for you. The amount of time Massachusetts takes is quite literally out of control.

I am hiring a lawyer because reliving the past is extremely painful and it is expensive, but I just can't do this for months. They are so backed up and I can't wait months or a year. They told me it would be weeks just to get investigator assigned. Lawyer thinks maybe just going to court would be the easiest/quickest way. 

Did the flag come up because you disclosed it on the livescan request?

The board will want documentation on any classes you took (DV, therapy, ect) a letter stating what happened and how you have learned from the situation and what you did to further protect ypu and your child (ie, separating from him) and how you guys are doing now...basically everything you wrote to us in your post. Also a copy of the CPS report and minute orders. 

Flag came up on the application review. I can provide all those things easily. It is the emotional part that is so difficult. Where are you in the process, did you end up getting your ATT? I just don't want to wait six months+, because I need to work. I have a home that I need to support. I don't mind providing all of those things but having to drag it up and tell the story repeatedly is crushing me.

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