Aspiring pre-student with criminal background

  1. Hey! Can anyone give me advise as to whether I should even consider applying to the nursing program with a misdemeanor of petty/theft on my criminal background? I am finished with all my pre-reqs. I feel i've worked so hard already, but I dont just want to be let down in the end. I want to be a nurse more than anything, but my past seems to haunt me. Any advise or similar circumstances? Thankyou..
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    About hopey

    Joined: Apr '05; Posts: 4

    7 Comments

  3. by   Town & Country
    Call the Board of Nursing where you live and find out.
    You will probably be okay.

    Also have them send you a letter stating you will be able to take boards. (if that is what they say)
  4. by   stidget99
    If you do a search, there are many threads re: this same issue. The general consensus is that you should contact your board of nursing and ask specific questions. Be up-front and honest w/ them. Better that than trying to minimize the circumstances thus misleading them and they later find out the whole truth. Good luck to you.
  5. by   rach_nc_03
    Quote from hopey
    Hey! Can anyone give me advise as to whether I should even consider applying to the nursing program with a misdemeanor of petty/theft on my criminal background? I am finished with all my pre-reqs. I feel i've worked so hard already, but I dont just want to be let down in the end. I want to be a nurse more than anything, but my past seems to haunt me. Any advise or similar circumstances? Thankyou..
    I agree, check with your state BON, because you'll get a criminal background check; our main clinical site did this just this year, and one of the students was let go (after 3 semesters of clinicals at this same hospital) because she had a minor assault charge from 12 years prior. Also, I think most states do a criminal background check when you apply to take the NCLEX- I'm getting my fingerprinting done next week. Even if you have the go-ahead from the BON, you should also check with the school(s) where you're applying- usually it's fine, but it's MUCH better for them to know ahead of time. one of my friends had a charge that had been dropped, but she didn't mention it in her application to our program. It showed up on her background check for this hospital- they were fine, it was dropped- but the program director was irked that he wasn't informed ahead of time. I personally think he was overreacting, but I think it's better to err on the side of caution.
  6. by   galaxy781
    Quote from hopey
    Hey! Can anyone give me advise as to whether I should even consider applying to the nursing program with a misdemeanor of petty/theft on my criminal background? I am finished with all my pre-reqs. I feel i've worked so hard already, but I dont just want to be let down in the end. I want to be a nurse more than anything, but my past seems to haunt me. Any advise or similar circumstances? Thankyou..
    HOPEY.

    HI, its great to find others with my same problem. Back in 2001 when I was a stupid college student I shoplifted some lipstick and a cd (I think, I cant even remember now!) from Meijers, I got caught and paid my fine and now the misdemeanor has been expunged. I have been worrying about this for awhile now, I mean I made a stupid mistake and I can't seem to shake it! I work so hard now and Im so worried that this will haunt me forever! I just can't imagine someone telling me I can't be a nurse bc of a stupid incident over 3 years ago. However, I live in Ohio and I called the state board of nursing and while the woman on the phone did not tell me directly id be fine she said that in so many words, she said that as long as I did not have a violent misdomeanor, assult, etc. and if I didnt have more than one id pretty much be fine. Acutally her exact words were, "how many misdemeanor charges do you have?"
    ME: only one, not even a speeding ticket since
    HER: well the board takes it on a case to case basis, just make sure you are upfront about your conviction bc we do a different kind of background check with the FBI that can see expunged convictions.
    ME:so what if they turn me down and i wasted all this time and money in school, i mean will i not be able to be a nurse bc of one stupid mistake i made when i was 20?
    HER:they take it on a case to case basis, did you hear me ask you if you had more than one conviction? We dont tell u before you take the exam, everyone wants to know that but u can only submit those papers at the time of liscensing
    MEh, thanks.

    so i think she was telling me in "other words" that as long as i didnt have another conviction or my misdemeanor wasnt violent or drug related id be fine.
    In all acutality I have heard of ppl with felonies becoming nurses, doing things far worse than shoplifting some lipstick and a cd. I spend quite a bit of time worrying about this as Im sure you do too, but when i think rationally about it, dont get me wrong shoplifting is bad, but come on how many ppl do u know that have a glitch on their record?? about half of my college friends have either drunk and disorderly, drinking underage, etc. things happen and we cant be punished for the rest of our lives for one small mistake, no one is perfect.

    My only thing is, the lady at the BON told me that ANYONE in the health field (hospitals, home care, LTCFs etc) can see if you have had something expunged , she says they can see what it was for and everything. Now I understand that the BON can see it bc they do a federal FBI background check which is a lot more detailed than a normal background check, but I seriously doubt every hospital, LTCF, etc does such an extensive background check? For one it would be really expensive, two what is the point of expungement if the conviction never goes away??

    Here is one more thing to think about (sorry im rambling) Misdemeanor is a broad range of convictions. There are some drug charges that qualify as misdemeanors such as, possestion of marajiana (small amount, large amount is a felony), assult and abuse qualify as misdemeanors, all of which disqualify you from working in a nursing home (LTCF), soooo...what I am trying to say is, mostly likely when that question, "have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor" pops up they are scouting for things like drug posession, abuse, assult, etc.


    whew, thanks for listening to my ramblings, id like to hear some imput for any one else as well, especially on the topic of my expungement and if my expunged conviction will show up on hospital background checks, Ive been told so many things?? Oh and sorry for my awful spelling and punctuation!!!


    GOood Luck everyone!
  7. by   hopey
    Thankyou so much for everything you included in your response! It really helped! I have done as much research as possible with the BON, and have heard the same things they told you. I am actually in the process of expungement as we speak. But what is the point if you think about it? Do you you think it will be beneficial in our circunstance? As far as the background check goes we have to check "yes" when asked about criminal conviction, even with an expungement? Also do you know how this will effect us while doing clinicals? So, where are you now? Are you applyin into a nursing program? Thanks again! You really helped!
  8. by   galaxy781
    Hi!

    I am currently in Cincinnati, Ohio. I have already graduated from Ohio State with a bachelors in Psych and Soc (grad. last june) needless to say I cant find a job, so I am currently in a nursing program at Cincinnati State, its an RN program, I go on the waitlist for clinicals after this quarter, they tell me that it coujld be up to 18 months till I even get called for clinicals! With that in mind i'll prob transfer to either a bachelor program seeing as though i already have all the general ed reqs so I'd get into clinicals immediately OR my other option is to bite the bullet and pay the 500 to take the GRE and go strait into a masters program for nursing. Im just not ready for the GRE and its much harder than taking the SAT. Honestly I just want to start making some real money, im so tired of being a waitress I could scream!

    Anyway, to answer your question, I dont think it will effect us during clinical, I have already taken a CNA course where we had to do clinicals and they didnt even ask. The lady at the Ohio BON board told me that "anyone in the health field" can see your whole record expunged or not, but I dont think that is true. Im pretty sure that hospitals and nursing homes etc just do a regular background check if they even do one at all.. I read a post where a girl was kicked out of clinicals bc of a criminal record but Im pretty sure that was bc she had a violent charge such as: assult or battery. When you go into clinicals violent crimes are considered very bad or crimes against children, those automatically deny you but shoplifting is no big deal. IN my nursing handbook it says that students with criminal records will be required to go in front of the board but it says nothing about cinicals and they would tell us that before we got into the program that far, and they would tell us bc the waitlist for clinicals here is so long they want to free up all the spots they can. I always answer no on job aps and if they ask me about it ill just say well it was expunged. For boards i say better safe than sorry, its not like they wont let you take it, they will they just like to be informed so might as well tell them bc if you say no and they find out you can be automatically denied. Just make sure you have your expungement papers, I have actually heard that it is illegal to hold an expunged case against you which is why they ask for the papers to make sure you are telling the truth about the expungement, from other boards i have read that as long as you fax your expungement papers in no problem, over and done, as far as our conviction goes. Like I said I totally know where you are coming from but I think that we are worrying to much LOL I mean come on, bc we shoplifted when we were young and stupid means we cant ever get a good job! no, but i worry too, i mean our president has a DUI and got caught with drugs! I have heard of nurses with felony drug charges! When I first applied to nursing school my advisor said "you have to stop punishing yourself, you made one mistake its not the end of the world" it feels like it sometimes though I know, but dont worry it will be fine, there are TONS of nurses out there who have done worse things and none of us are perfect! In fact my sister in law I know has an assult charge and she is in nursing school as we speak! Assult is far worse than shoplifting. LOL just look at it this way, shoplifting is the least bad thing you could have done ( who hasnt shoplifted once in their life?? some are just luckier than us and didnt get caught!)

    hope i have eased your mind a bit and truthfully "hearing" myself tell you all these things makes me feel better too!

    by the way, what is your name? mine is Erica, im 24 and i just moved back to my hometown of cincinnati ohio from columbus ohio where i graduated from OSU last year. Feel free to email me at my regular email addy: galaxy781@yahoo.com. I also have aol instant messanger, if you would like to IM me email me first with your sn so that I can add you to my buddy list, I have everyone blocked expet those on my buddy list.You are from TExas? how old are you?

    erica
    Last edit by galaxy781 on Apr 11, '05
  9. by   traumaRUs
    Sorry we can't provide legal advice.

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