Does a suspended nursing license show up on a background check?

Nurses Job Hunt

Updated:   Published

Does a suspended nursing license show up on a background check?

A bit of a long winded story, but here we go.

Around three years ago I had a mental health crisis and did something against my place of employment's policy; I dated a former patient. My judgement was clouded during this time and I acknowledge what I did was wrong. When I finally "came to" those years ago, I was the one who turned myself in.

I was not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol.

My place of employment turned me into the state of New York's BON. The NYSBON investigated me and put me on an indefinite suspension about a year later until I could prove I was mentally fit to practice.

Well, I did just that. I took the education courses they required and paid my fine as well. I was then placed on probation. 

I worked for a week before I got a letter from Medicaid/care saying that they were going to ban me from working anywhere that accepted Medicaid/care because of my unprofessional conduct. They allowed me to appeal, but ultimately ignored it and decided to ban me anyway.

This left me feeling, for lack of a better word, hopeless when it came to my nursing career. So I decided to change careers and go back to school. I'm being interviewed for a part time job in a workplace that is not healthcare related soon. 

This leads to my next question: will this incident show up on a background check? I'm asking because 1.) I don't want to not mention it and then it come up and 2.) I want to have the opportunity to brace myself for having to repeat my wrongdoing over and over again as I start looking for jobs again. 

I don't want to sound too depressing, but I so desperately want to move on from this. The incident led to no criminal conviction of any kind, just my ban from working anywhere that accepts Medicaid/care and my probation. 

Any bit of advice is appreciated. 

That seems pretty harsh what they did to you. Like way overboard. I am so sorry. But I really don't think the board of nursing will have anything to do with your current job, you weren't convicted in a court of law. I think you should be good to go. 

Again. I'm so sorry.


171 Posts

If the job requires you to have an active nursing license then I would think the employer, if responsible, would do a license verification and check whether its active. HAve you looked up your own license to see if there is any stipulation attached to it? Some states will show that actions have been taken against someone license and for what on the BON site where license can be verified. Being excluded from Medicare/Medicaid does not have to be for a criminal conviction so being convicted in court doesn't have to play into it.

If you are excluded from Medicare/Medicaid that is normally asked on applications, at least in my state but whether or not that is for your state leaves you with needing to know if the place you are working accepts those payment sources and if so, then that would impact you in some way depending on the position you applied for. 

Most background check companies specifically ask/research license exclusion so if the place you are working does a real background check then it will most likely show up. LTC, hospitals, home health and hospice agencies for sure check that. There is also an exclusion list Medicare/Medicaid has so if you are truly excluded your name would be on there I would think.

Best thing to do is obviously not lie if you are asked but at this point, I wouldn't offer any information upfront either. Wait to see what the background check shows and take it  from there. I would advise if you are asked, to keep your explanation short - something like " I dated a patient where I worked, it was poor judgement on my part, I accepted responsibility for my actions, have not and will not repeat them and have moved forward in a more positive direction in my life since that time"  

All this being said, it does seem extreme that just dating a patient caused you permanent damage to your license.

Home Health Columnist / Guide


11 Articles; 18,062 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

Criminal background check,  license verification, and Medicaid/Medicare sanction exclusion are all separate verification's.

One can search the OIG Exclusions database to check status; a possitive  listing prevents being hired by a facility that participates in Medicare/Medicaid.

You can apply again for Reinstatment


To apply for reinstatement, an excluded individual or entity must send a written request which contains the individual's or entity's full name (if excluded under a different name, please also include that name), date of birth for an individual, telephone number, email address and mailing address. The  request can be faxed or emailed to the OIG. The fax number and email address are below.

Fax: (202) 691-2298
Email: [email protected]

Contact your Senators office for help and follow-up with this Federal agency if you persue reinstatement.

I don't reside in NYS but if you had no arrest/criminal convictions related to the situation and the new employment is not healthcare related, and the employer does not accept medicaid/medicare as a payor source then you might be OK. However, if you list your previous employment in nursing on your application that may prompt them to do a license search and they would see your suspended license. Whether that would matter to them...who knows?

Specializes in Nurse Attorney.

Were you represented by counsel either with NYSED or OMIG?  Do you know what the National Practitioner Data Bank's code is for the suspension or exclusion?  You have to assume everything is discoverable.  You also can't be misleading in a job application so it sounds like you should get actual legal advice.


13 Posts

It will show up any where you apply to. Be honest with your potential employers. Tell them how far you have come from that time, many places are forgiving. As far as the Medicare/Medicaid issues you might want to get that cleared up. More than likely it was due to your license being suspended. Should be able to appeal that and get removed from that list. If you have any questions let me know. 

Specializes in Vascular access.

My experience is that the BON can't wait to crucify nurses. No wonder people are leaving   

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X