criminal history

Nurses General Nursing


hi there. I am new to the board and currently in school. I actually am on the waiting list for my clinical portion of the program. I will be doing the nights and weekend program. I read another post similar to mine and i have a question also pertaining to criminal history. I have record also for a conspiracy charge. I was also in an abusive situation and got in trouble due the relationship. In my state I am not a convicted felon beacuse I pled nolo. The good part of this is now its 12 years and happily married with someone else, two lovely kids and looking forward to a nursing career. I know all employers do background checks but my question is will someone hire me with a record even though its not a severe crime like my lawyer worded it.I really want to work in a hospital. I feel embarssed and ashamed to explain the sitaution to a potentional employer. Does anyone know anyone that got hired with a record? Will anyone hire me? Ive come too far to quit now so Im just pray something good will come my way. God did not bring me this far just to throw me to the curb. Thank you for your help.


329 Posts

I would find out this right now. You may need to find another career. Perhaps not. But I would want to know right now.


I have a friend who was charged with a crime. He refused to take a plea deal because he did nothing wrong. He took it to court and the charges were totally dropped by the DA. Totally. No pleading. Nothing. But guess what?? He will always have a record. Even if the charges were dropped (and even if he had gone to trial and won--which he would have).

I would call your state board of nursing ASAP and explain your situation to them. You may have to have a hearing before the state board before you can be licensed. Good luck to you.

Specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

Many states consider "Nolo" the same as a conviction.

Check with the State BON, and get their response in writing. Some schools of Nursing will not even admit you unless you can qualify to sit for Boards after graduation (Nursing school have a limited amount of room for students, and do not want to spare a position for someone that has no chance of Boarding). It is also difficult to permit someone with certain criminal records to do clinicals (as you must clear checks to work in any healthcare facility).

heart queen

206 Posts

From my experience, every facility I have ever applied at, down to Mc Donalds, asked if I had a criminal record. Each application stated I would be terminated without full disclosure. I've had a DWAI, back in 1990 ish. I continue to provide this info today, fourteen years later.

As suggested call the BON monday. You may need to obtain legal documents which may take awhile, may as well start now. Your application WILL ask about ANY prior convictions. Best wishes, keep the faith through the process.

Darlene K.

341 Posts

I agree w/ all the above posters. Contact your BON. The sooner the better. Best of luck to you.


38 Posts

well thank you everyone. I will check on this. In my state RI a nolo plea and if you get only probation. It is a special law that considersa you not a felony. This only apllies to non violent crimes. There are exclusions to this.I do falll under this catogory. as far as the other person that replied and had a that had a DUIA . Does that stop you from getting jobs? I read the school policy and it also states that anyone convicted of a felony may not sit for the boards. I have not been convicted of a felony under this law. I still get nervous as my cliical portion is approaching. Thank you everyone. Donna


82 Posts

On the application for renewing your license, the question asks have you ever been charged, whether or not convicted, or found not guilty of any crimes other than minor traffic violations. You should definately find out if the BON considers the plea, or would still consider it a felony because you were charged with one. Good luck, hoping the best you!!


329 Posts

I also think that you will be asked no matter where you are trying to get a job. So it is best to take care of this now. That way you can attach any hearing information (if it goes in your favor) to the application.

I used to be a Real Estate Broker and could not have gotten licensed either with a conviction or with a No Contest. However, they did allow a hearing. And I do know of someone who won the hearing. However, she had a Real Estate Broker as a character witness. So you might think of getting a teacher, nurse, and/or MD to act as a character witness.


59 Posts

On the application for renewing your license, the question asks have you ever been charged, whether or not convicted, or found not guilty of any crimes other than minor traffic violations. You should definately find out if the BON considers the plea, or would still consider it a felony because you were charged with one. Good luck, hoping the best you!!
Just for the record, I have heard (from a civil rights attorney who is a very good friend of mine) that a corporation/board of nursing/etc. may only legally ask an applicant if he/she has been convicted of a crime. Therefore, although they may still ask about charges rather than convictions, a person is only obligated to disclose any convictions. If the employer/board of nursing/etc. refused employment/licensure based upon an applicant's failure to disclose charges which did not result in a conviction, they would be in violation of the law and an individual would have very good cause to file suit against them. I'm not giving any legal advise, mind you. But I would most definitely consult with an attorney before I listed any charges which did not result in convictions.

z's playa

2,056 Posts

I called our local police department and talked to a lady who went against rules and checked my file for any thing that could stop me from going to school.(I was a bad a** when I was 18) Well all clear! What a load off. It seems my "thing" was so minor(summary) that it's gone now.

Now I can send my acceptance in with a clear conscience.

I'm praying for all relatively in the same boat

I had a question for the OP. Did you have to have a records check before going to school?


4,516 Posts

Nurses are held under very high scrutiny, even more so now after the killings recently.

I would definitely call the BON and find out for sure now before you spend anymore time and $$ in nursing school. If they want documents and witnesses to support the fact you are no risk to the public, do it. Even if the BON clears you, background checks are done on nurses now. So if the BON says OK, you will still have to deal with employers. If potential employers are going to find out about this on a background check, it will be better for you to tackle it head on and control the spin on to be upfront and discuss it...have a speech ready to explain it clearly and nonemotionally, and show how you are not a risky hire.

An example: Nurses with drug histories and psych histories are allowed to be nurses IF they are clean and sober, have been monitored, and are deemed no danger to the public, but they must pass the scrutiny of the BON in order to do this AND have employers willing to trust them.Good luck to you and hope it turns out well for you.We all make mistakes and can grow from them...there are employers who will listen to your side if you present yourself well and have covered your bases well following the incident.

Best wishes.

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