This is a story that I think all Georgia nurses and future nurses need to read..
It was featured on yesterday's 5:00 news about the florida state board of nursing basically suggesting to ex florida nurses that they should go to GA and get relicensed and they can possibly hid their criminal records..
I'm a nursing student.. and I know how hard I am working and others have worked to get licensed as registered nurses, and this is absolutely appalling and insulting to the nursing profession
WSBTV.com News Story
Fla. Convicts Told To Apply For Ga. Nursing Jobs
Posted: 2:37 pm EST March 3,2010Updated: 6:17 pm EST March 3,2010
A Channel 2 Action News Investigation has found proof that one state is telling convicts to apply for nursing jobs here in Georgia. Reporter Jodie Fleischer obtained a tape that catches the Florida Board of Nursing helping criminals around a new law that prevents them from being licensed there. On an audiotape WSB-TV obtained through an open records request, you can hear Florida board members telling ex-cons things like,
"You might want to go get a license in Georgia" and "Perhaps you could go to Georgia."
Those applicants cannot get licenses in Florida because of the law that bans anyone with a drug- or fraud-related felony from being licensed until 15 years after their sentence ends. Channel 2 Action News sent a camera to Tallahassee for the Florida Board of Nursing's most recent meeting. One by one, criminal applicants pleaded for a license. "It is not our goal here to have to deny," said one board member. "But of course under those circumstances we have no choice."
Georgia has no such law. Georgia's Board of Nursing president, Dee Keeton said the state doesn't need one. "We look at each and every one of them, and if we feel that what they did was egregious enough to be convicted of, we're not going to license them." That is assuming Georgia knows about the conviction. On the video Channel 2 Action News shot in Florida, board members tried to hide applicants' convictions by denying their application.
One board member said to an applicant, "If you move to another state, Georgia, you'd have to report that yes indeed, you were denied at one point in the state of Florida, if you don't withdraw today. We're trying to help you." The applicant withdrew. On Georgia's application, nurses have to disclose whether they've ever been rejected by another state's board. If an applicant withdraws an application, there's no rejection to report. State Rep. Sharon Cooper is a registered nurse. "(Florida's board) is facilitating that person, in essence, lying by omission to another state board of nursing." Cooper said Georgia's Board of Nursing should pay closer attention to applicants coming from Florida. Georgia already does nationwide criminal background checks, but does give some second chances. Fleischer traveled to Florida and spoke with nursing board member Ann-Lynn Denker. She asked her why the board is directing criminals to Georgia. "I don't think we are telling murderers to do that," Denker said. "I just think that we are trying to advise people that we think are well-qualified and safe." Keeton disagrees. "In their minds they might think they're being helpful to the students, but what they really need to say is you're not going to be guaranteed a license anywhere."