Criminal Infraction? Writing a Letter of Explanation to the BON

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by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist)

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

Ashley is sick with worry. She has made it through nursing school and applied to the BON for testing privileges. Her application was denied because she was convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) years ago. The BON is requiring a Letter of Explanation. She's at a loss on how to compose the letter, and everything is at stake for her.

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medsurgRNCali

medsurgRNCali, ASN

Specializes in med surg. Has 4 years experience. 153 Posts

Can you elaborate? Money for a lawyer? Do you know what type of lawyer to contact?

NurseNHowell

NurseNHowell

93 Posts

amberlys94 said:
Can you elaborate? Money for a lawyer? Do you know what type of lawyer to contact?

generally a nursing license attorney. There are quite a few different types of attorneys you could contact about your issue obtaining a license. All depends on your infraction and your response from the Nursing Board.

I had an infraction and unlike a previous poster who said expect a year minimum wait and tons of $$$, I only had to wait a few extra months and probably did not need an attorney but I chose to seek counsel before hand to assure I have everything completed appropriately and in the correct manner. My fees were minimal compared to many others

kfmoore

kfmoore

3 Posts

I read your article and took it to heart when writing my letter(s) to the BON. This information was extremely helpful to address my issues. I even added my 7 year sobriety coin in my package to the board! Praying hard but hearing nothing! Thank you for the information.

sjvRN

sjvRN

1 Post

Hello, hoping for some opinions. In 2009 when I was 19 I received an underage drinking ticket which is a misdemeanor and ultimately the charge was dismissed after I completed the pre-trial diversion program. I have not been in any criminal trouble since. I am currently a licensed RN in Texas and when I initially applied for my license I disclosed the charge and wrote a statement to the board. I am now applying for endorsement in Indiana because I will be movng there next year. I am having anxiety that Indiana could decline my request for licensure in their state. Since I have an active license in another state is it unlikely they will decline my request.

Lunah, MSN, RN

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 14 years experience. 33 Articles; 13,715 Posts

sjvRN said:
Hello, hoping for some opinions. In 2009 when I was 19 I received an underage drinking ticket which is a misdemeanor and ultimately the charge was dismissed after I completed the pre-trial diversion program. I have not been in any criminal trouble since. I am currently a licensed RN in Texas and when I initially applied for my license I disclosed the charge and wrote a statement to the board. I am now applying for endorsement in Indiana because I will be movng there next year. I am having anxiety that Indiana could decline my request for licensure in their state. Since I have an active license in another state is it unlikely they will decline my request.

Every state is different. I know a nurse with a DUI on record that was licensed in a few states already but could not get a license in a desired state to do travel nursing. Your charges and circumstances are a little different, so you probably won't know until they grant or decline your endorsement. Did you contact the board and ask? That might help alleviate some of your anxiety.

NurseNHowell

NurseNHowell

93 Posts

My licensing attorney had said it is better to disclose than have them find out and decline you because the will see it as dishonest and that you are hiding something.

Honestly it is highly unlikely that they would deny you for such an old infraction that you did the diversion program for.

But they very well likely would deny you for hiding it and being in their eyes "sneaky" or "dishonest" about your past.

yndee13

yndee13

3 Posts

Hello! Thanks for sharing tips on what to include in the letter of explanation. I'm just wondering, how long should the letter be?

Nurse Beth, MSN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience. 151 Articles; 2,731 Posts

yndee13 said:
Hello! Thanks for sharing tips on what to include in the letter of explanation. I'm just wondering, how long should the letter be?

There's no prescribed length, but it should be concise, not wordy or repetitive. That means draft the letter, put it down, modify it, put it down, have someone else with editing skills critique it.

It is harder to be powerful, punchy and concise than it is to be wordy. Put yourself in the reader's shoes. Most will not want to read more than 2 pages, and that includes plenty of white space.