Criminal record?

  1. Hi guys. I have a question, and wasn't sure who to ask. I think this may be one of those situational things.

    There's a girl in my Anatomy class who seems to be really interested in the nursing program -- she's always talking to students, asking about classes, is taking all the prereqs, etc. But she hasn't applied for admission. Her roommate, who is in my Micro class, says that it's because she has a criminal record and thinks it would render her ineligible for licensing.

    Apparently, she was arrested a few years ago for bouncing two checks. According to her roomie, it was a one-time offense, was not a large dollar amount, and she paid court fees and a fine. She did not go to jail and wasn't put on probation. That's about all I know about the case.

    She seems like a really nice person, and I think she just made a stupid mistake. I'd like to encourage her to apply for the program, but I don't want to do that if there's a real chance the BON might deny her a license.

    Does anyone have any information on this? Any ideas?


  2. Visit dianthe1013 profile page

    About dianthe1013

    Joined: May '02; Posts: 94; Likes: 2
    nursing student


  3. by   Sleepyeyes
    In FL, it's taken on a case-by-case basis. The applicant has the burden of proof and has to go before the Board. I know of 2 nurses who did that and were able to practice, despite previous criminal records.

    Have your friend check out the Alabama Board of Nursing website; it may have the information there, as FL does.
  4. by   memphispanda
    From the AL board of nursing website at
    "The board may also deny, revoke, or suspend any license issued by it or to otherwise discipline a licensee upon proof that the licensee: is guilty of fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license; has been convicted of a felony; is guilty of a crime involving moral turpitude or of gross immorality that would tend to bring reproach upon the nursing profession; is unfit or incompetent due to the use of alcohol, or is addicted to the use of habit-forming drugs to such an extent as to render him or her unsafe or unreliable as a licensee; has been convicted of any violation of a federal or state law relating to controlled substances; is guilty of unprofessional conduct of a character likely to deceive, defraud, or injure the public in matters pertaining to health or has willfully or repeatedly violated any of the provisions of this article, as defined by board rules and regulations. The board may refrain from or delay taking disciplinary action under this subsection if a licensee can be voluntarily treated or rehabilitated pursuant to subsection (j) of this section"

    So I think that she would be ok from the text there. You may want to go read it further yourself.

  5. by   sjoe
    It is up to each state to make its own rules, as has been pointed out.

    I would suggest she have a chat with her original attorney (if she had one) or another criminal attorney, to see whether her conviction could be expunged anyway. Who needs to drag that anchor behind them?
  6. by   ernurse728
    You can actually get arrested for bouncing a check??
  7. by   Brownms46
    You can actually be arrested, and go to jail, depending on the amount of the check, and the conditions it was written under.

    When I was a stay at home mom, I ran a day care in my home. I had a person write me a hot check on a closed account. This would have sent her to jail, but since she had a small child, I didn't press the issue. The fact that she wrote this on a closed account, showed she never intention of making good on the check! Not a good thing to do, and the amount was not worth her going to jail over.
  8. by   MomNRN
    I agree and strongly suggest checking with someone affiliated with the nursing board. Our instructors always warned us never to "alter the truth" on our license application. We were also one of the first classes to be fingerprinted.
  9. by   dianthe1013
    Thanks, guys.

    I had read the info on the AL BON website. As far as I can tell, the usual susp[ects apply -- felonies, drug addiction, mental incompetence, that sort of thing. But I figured that pretty much anything could fall under the category of moral turpitude or gross immorality... Then again, I think they'd mostly be on the lookout for people for whom this type of behavior is standard and not a deviation...

    I wouldn't think this would be a HUGE issue, but hey. I didn't want to say to this girl, "You should apply anyway," then, in three years, have her coming for my head when she couldn't get licensed.

    Thanks again. Her roomie didn't mention an attorney, but now that I think about it, the Director of Nursing at our school might be able to shed some insight.

  10. by   VivaLasViejas
    There's no reason your friend shouldn't go for it. The most important thing for her to remember is: NEVER lie about any criminal history, no matter how petty the crime or how long ago it happened. The BON probably won't care about the bounced check, but it will care about what it's bound to see as questionable integrity. Years ago when I was young and stupid, I got busted one time for not paying a traffic ticket. Talk about petty crime, but I was charged with and convicted of a misdemeanor. Even though it was off my record some 15 years later, I still had to mention the arrest when I applied for my nursing license, as I do any time I have to fill out a criminal history check for a new job. No one has ever questioned me about it, but honesty is always the best policy!
  11. by   nurs4kids
    I'm right here in 'bama with you and have a coworker who had a previous felony from triple DUI's. They only wanted an explanation from her assuring them that she'd changed her life, etc. I don't think it'd be a big problem. Get her to call the BON and discuss her concerns with them.