Has anyone received their license and/or gotten a job with a criminal history?


Hi everyone. First and foremost, let me say that I am not looking for any legal advice. All I want to know is if anyone has been able to get their license (or known someone who has) with a criminal history.

Here is my situation: I went through some "tough" times in my twenties, and got arrested twice for misdemenor charges. The charges were dropped, but in the state of Florida even the arrests stay on your record. I was also arrested when I was in my late teens for shoplifting, and adjudication was withheld. I could have it sealed, but it is my understanding that the BON requires you to explain sealed records as well. This all seems like a lot to explain to the BON. My life is NOTHING like it was then...I have since had a child, have been at the same job for four years, pay my bills, and most importantly...don't break the law! :)

I contacted the BON, and all they told me was that they look at each case individually and make decisions on a case-by-case basis. So now I'm finishing my last prereq, Microbiology, and am not sure if I should go to nursing school. I'm terrified that I will finish school, and once I go to sit for my boards the BON will deny me.

I am also applying to Respiratory Therapy and Cardiovascular Therapy as well. I've heard that they are not a strict regarding criminal histories. My dream is to become a nurse practitioner though.

And like I said, I am not looking for legal advice as to what to do. I just want to know if anyone has gotten their license with marks on their background check, and if so, if they were able to find a job.

Thank you!


9 Posts

yes I have unfortunately was with a girlfriend that was shoplifting and also have that on my record. I applied for licensure as a LPN years ago and then again for my RN in FL and another state and have been issued licensure. I feel you will not be granted licensure if it is a serious crime, drugs, abuse, etc. I am currently in a program for my BSN so it is possible. Just be honest and provide all paperwork from the events and NEVER, NEVER, NEVER lie or not list it. It will be found and they you will not be given a license. Good luck to you. Sometimes our pasts haunt us but if we are honest and change our lives, it will work out. Keep focused!! Good luck!


8 Posts

Thank you so much, Kandi. Everyone tells me I'm overthinking this, as the two (somewhat recent) charges in 2006 were dropped before they ever made it to court, and the other charge was almost 10 years ago. I just don't want to work hard for the next two years at school only to find out that I can't get my license or a job. It's nerve-racking!

If there is anyone else who has had a positive or negative experience with a similar situation, I'd love to hear from you as well.


1,530 Posts

The FL BON application specifically states "convictions". A dropped charge is NOT a conviction.... that being said, it does NOT mean that it won't show up! I had a charge for theft by check. I was found not guilty at trial. The handwriting on the check was not mine!

It showed up in the background check. I still had to get ALL the paperwork for that case and the disposition for my school and clinical hospitals. They will hold onto this for submission to the BON.

While I personally feel this is ANTI-AMERICAN (not guilty until proven otherwise) and then to have to justify a NOT GUILTY!!!!! Crappola, but, I will do so anyway.

Have all your ducks in a row, all your i's dotted and t's crossed and you cannot go wrong!


5 Posts

If you didn't plead guilty, things you were charged with, but never convicted of can be removed from your record. (aka expunged). If you plead guilty or got probation, then they can't be removed. Here in pa we have the list of things that if you were convicted of prohibit you from getting licensed. Check to see if your state has that list. Then I'm pretty sure it's up to the BON on a case by case basis. I know someone with posession and posession of paraphanelia and a couple prostitution charges who is now a licensed and practicing RN. Good luck.


3 Posts

i was licensed with convictions of crimial sale and possession of controlled substance in ny however been on a couple of interviews and having a difficult time securing employment. so the hard part is getting a job...good luck!


39 Posts

ljp25, any luck on the job hunt? I have somewhat of a criminal history, and am also having tough time. I passed my boards, but prior was on 3 interviews for a GN position before my NCLEX. GOt nothing. I have posession of marijuana/paraphernalia (almost 10 years ago), a dui (about 5 years ago), and petty retail theft (2 years ago). I am a much different person now, especially how I have realized how this follows me around like a shadow. It's a horrible feeling. I have a job interview monday. I am very cautiously optimistic. Just wondering how things have turned out for you thus far? Wonderful I hope.

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