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Going into Nursing with theft & reckless driving charges [East Coast]

Criminal   (376 Views | 4 Replies)
by 2740 2740 (New) New Student

53 Profile Views; 2 Posts

Posting on behalf of a friend.

My friend has had a rough past and is trying to turn their life around. I suggested healthcare to them, as I'm in it (not a nurse though) and know it would be really fulfilling for them. They are very gung-ho about the idea, but nervous about their record.

Off the top of my head, I believe they have

1 Misdemeanor Reckless Driving charge

1-2 Summary Charges (Non-Traffic citation)  for Retail theft 

The theft charges were committed 2-3 years ago, I think, when they were in their early 20s. They stole food from a grocery store due to hunger and mental health issues in college.

Since then, they've started to turn things around, working 70+ hour weeks in food service and landscaping, but want to take a step forward. 

I've suggested working as a CNA, PCT, or Medical Assistant to them, then possibly later applying to nursing school after 1-2 years of gaining experience.

I know it's an uphill fight, and even though they are summary charges, it must look really bad to employers. However, there are a few legal points I thought were pertinent:

First, under our state's (Pennsylvania) Nurse Aide Resident Abuse Prevention Training Act 14 of 1997, it takes 2 misdemeanor or 1 felony charge of theft to be prohibited from training. They do not meet that prohibition, as they only have 1-2 summary charges for theft.

Second, in Pennsylvania, under Section 9125, Title 18 in CRIMES AND OFFENSES, employers can ONLY use felony and misdemeanor charges to evaluate an employee's "suitability for employment". They would see the summary theft charges, but by law cannot consider them.

Now, obviously, it will still look really bad to see these summary theft charges.

We live around the East Coast, close to NJ and NY too. Maybe they have more lenient laws?

What do you think on this? I really just want to see my friend's life turned around and embrace a fulfilling career. I know they have a strong drive to do good.

I also figured going to school to be certified in being a PCT/CNA/Medical Assistant would also put more time between them and the charges.

 

Any input you can give, good or bad, I'd really appreciate it. Thank you for reading.

Edited by 2740

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EMNMRN has 5 years experience as a ADN, BSN and specializes in Critical Care.

45 Posts; 2,224 Profile Views

Try to expunge the record. The mental health explanation may work to get it expunged but don’t use that to explain it to the BRN or they’ll ask for mental health clearance, don’t add to the fire. Once it’s expunged it’ll be easier to say in the letter of explanation see it was a stupid mistake I was going through hard times and I’m ready to start the career of my dreams. 

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2 Posts; 53 Profile Views

1 hour ago, EMNMRN said:

Try to expunge the record. The mental health explanation may work to get it expunged but don’t use that to explain it to the BRN or they’ll ask for mental health clearance, don’t add to the fire. Once it’s expunged it’ll be easier to say in the letter of explanation see it was a stupid mistake I was going through hard times and I’m ready to start the career of my dreams. 

Thank you for the reply! I definitely see now how the mental health explanation could add to the fire. They looked into expunging the record, but it seems that they still have to wait 3-4 years to be eligible. They do have certificates saying they went to rehabilitative classes after the theft, if that is any help.

I guess, I mean to ask: should they wait those 3-4 years? Is it worth trying now? Is there something they can do in the meantime? Maybe they can go back to school? Volunteer at hospitals?

It's a pretty terrible situation. I just really want to help them find a way forward somehow... 😰 

Again, I appreciate you taking the time to respond to me. It means a lot.

Edited by 2740

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EMNMRN has 5 years experience as a ADN, BSN and specializes in Critical Care.

45 Posts; 2,224 Profile Views

1 hour ago, 2740 said:

Thank you for the reply! I definitely see now how the mental health explanation could add to the fire. They looked into expunging the record, but it seems that they still have to wait 3-4 years to be eligible. They do have certificates saying they went to rehabilitative classes after the theft, if that is any help.

I guess, I mean to ask: should they wait those 3-4 years? Is it worth trying now? Is there something they can do in the meantime? Maybe they can go back to school? Volunteer at hospitals?

It's a pretty terrible situation. I just really want to help them find a way forward somehow... 😰 

Again, I appreciate you taking the time to respond to me. It means a lot.

Even if they go back to school for RN I’m assuming, it’s going to take years to get into the program and graduate. It’ll be more difficult getting a job with a record like that at a major hospital. I would do medical assisting, quick program and get into the field. Then figure out what to do in the long run while working on their expungement. 

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TriciaJ has 39 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

16 Followers; 3,897 Posts; 42,553 Profile Views

Before entering any school I would first check with the licensing agency for that occupation. They should be able to tell you what the legal impediments would be to gaining licensure/certification.  It would be very disheartening to complete a program of study and then find out you are disqualified from ever working at that occupation.

Be aware that volunteer organizations typically do background checks.

Your friend's best bet would be to consult an employment attorney.  The attorney should be able to provide the most useful guidance in this regard.

You are a very good friend, but your friend mostly has to take the initiative here.  Hopefully you can stay supportive while avoiding enmeshment.  Good luck to both of you.

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