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Denied by clinical sites, now what?

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Aubs9467 Aubs9467 (New) New

I have been an LPN for ten years. I made some horrible life decisions when I was young and dumb, and an LPN. Long story short, my nursing license was placed on probation. Everything has been completed on my end, but of course the record is still present. My license has been unrestricted since 2014. I have no criminal charges. I finally decided to go back to school to obtain a RN degree, I worked my butt off retaking classes to meet their acceptance requirements. I was so excited to be accepted into the program earlier this year. I have been upfront and honest with the nursing directors of the program about my history, but I have now been denied by the clinical sites that my school uses. My question is, has anyone else had a similar experience and eventually found a clinical site willing to accept them with diversion on their nursing license history? I am hesitant to put myself out there in this way, because I have become a completely different person than I once was and I cannot bear to think that this is as far as I will be able to go, education wise, in nursing. I'm hoping someone has some suggestions or experience with this that could point me in the right direction.

I'm humiliated by my past. I know I can't be the only one out there in this situation. I have made calls to other branches of this school, but most that I've heard back from do not seem to think I would be accepted at their clinical sites either. Is there anything else I can do to further my nursing degree?

Persephone Paige, ADN

Has 15 years experience.

Hospitals tend to use the 3rd party background checks, so when they enter your information it's like they've hired a private detective. The AHCA background checks will find less on you, they are the ones the BONs use. And I think there's a strategy behind that. They never really have to worry about you getting to practice, because they know the hospitals will stop you in your tracks. So, it makes them seem unbiased and and supportive.

That being said, there are nursing schools out there who advocate for students with past problems. But, you'd have to find one ( which could involve moving ). And you do that investigation before you ever apply to the school for acceptance. Just going to the closest school and thinking they will let you into clinical is not a safe bet. Have you talked to your board's education department? Sometimes they will give you a little bread crumb, like "have you tried so-in-so college?"

Thank you very much for your response. The feedback I've received from the school has been very vague. I feel like the dean of Nursing may not want to advocate for me. I'm doing whatever I can and hopefully someone out there will be willing to give me a chance.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

The problem is that as a student, you are a guest of the clinical facility and they place any type of condition on students they wish. And no school is going to argue that / rock the boat as clinical placement is VERY difficult to come by. So, unfortunately the Dean is likely NOT going to advocate for you in this case.

Honestly, your best bet is to approach every clinical site you can with your story. IF you find one that would accept you, find out what schools they work with and try to get into that school. Because unless the school has a formal (lawyers involved) affiliation agreement in place, you cannot use that site. In other words, you cannot be at School A and use School B's clinical sites. They must align.

This is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is the reality of the situation.

I appreciate your information. I am in the process of making contacts with the other nursing schools throughout the state to see if anyone thinks I'd be accepted through their clinical sites and possibly transfer schools. Most have said, it depends or i can't tell you either way. They want me to apply and then receive the denial from the site. Thank you for your response.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

I appreciate your information. I am in the process of making contacts with the other nursing schools throughout the state to see if anyone thinks I'd be accepted through their clinical sites and possibly transfer schools. Most have said, it depends or i can't tell you either way. They want me to apply and then receive the denial from the site. Thank you for your response.

You probably will have to apply to many schools and go through the same process. Expensive but likely your only option.

The expensive proprietary schools might be an option. They may use secondary clinical sites, such as LTC facilities, a lot, not so great experience-wise, but more likely to work with you.

Thank you for taking the time to make this suggestion! I can't tell you guys how much it means to me that I have not received one negative comment. Thank you all for not judging me and just trying to help. I got the call today that I will have to withdrawal. I'm assuming they want to fill my spot with the next applicant. I'm not giving up, but I know this could take some time to figure out. Thanks again!

Persephone Paige, ADN

Has 15 years experience.

Thank you for taking the time to make this suggestion! I can't tell you guys how much it means to me that I have not received one negative comment. Thank you all for not judging me and just trying to help. I got the call today that I will have to withdrawal. I'm assuming they want to fill my spot with the next applicant. I'm not giving up, but I know this could take some time to figure out. Thanks again!

Contrary to what some may think, nurses are not ruthless. We like to see others succeed. Part of moving forward is taking responsibility for your actions and you've done that. Some will start a thread blaming everyone else and being a victim, those posters tend to get more negative responses. I love a good comeback, I think most do. I would love nothing more than to see to achieve your goal.

Thank you very much!

Apple-Core, ASN, BSN, RN

Has 1 years experience.

I think if it was me, I would speak directly with your instructor whether it would be ok for you to go and speak with the manager of the clinical site directly. If they agree, then arrange a meeting and speak with them directly. Lay everything out, and state your case.

Great idea. Thank you

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

As a person who processes the paperwork for students at a hospital ... my suggestion is to contact the hospital directly. Set up a meeting with them to discuss whether there is anything you can do to help them feel safe in allowing you to be a student at their facility. For the facility, safety is the issue.

My hospital has had a few borderline applicants that we have allowed to come with special caveats -- such as having the instructor be aware of the student's issue and promise to assess that student (past drug addiction or alcohol abuse) every clinical shift for evidence of drug usage. We have also required periodic drug testing for some students.

I don't know what your past problems have been, but perhaps you can come up with a plan to help the hospital feel safe. (A "chaperone" accompanying you to clinical?) It might cost some money -- and it might be embarrassing -- but it might be worth a try.

Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to respond with your experience. I really appreciate this information. I admittedly stole the "waste" of a narcotic. I reported myself to the nursing assistance program. I completed drug and alcohol treatment voluntarily and complied with the monitoring agreement for three years. Then petitioned the board of nursing to remove the probationary status on my license. This was all complete in early 2014. No issues since and I'm working as a nurse in the drug and alcohol treatment center I actually went through, for four years now. I've completely changed my life. I'm hoping with everyone's input I can further my education. Thank you so much.

vampiregirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice. Has 10 years experience.

Have you looked into Excelsior College? They don't have "traditional" clinicals. I'm not sure what their policies are regarding students with a history such as yours. It wouldn't hurt to call and inquire.

This isn't an easy program by any means, but it is doable. I got a quality education, but I also was willing to put a lot of effort into the program and am self-motivated.

Best of luck to you! I hope you are able to find a workable solution. It sounds like you've put a lot of heart and soul into getting where you are today. I also suspect this isn't the first "speed bump" you've encountered in your journey and probably won't be the last.

I'm so excited to tell you guys that the clinical site decided to reconsider me and has now accepted me for clinicals. I am beyond grateful. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me, it means so much to know that there are people out there who are caring, compassionate and understanding. I'm so grateful to have another chance to achieve this goal! If someone is going through something similar, just don't give up!!

Great! So nice to have good news for once! Now good luck to you!