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Hearing with the SBON


I am new on here and I am also a graduate nurse trying to obtain my license. I was initially turned down due to a recent criminal conviction and I have a hearing with the SBON coming up. I just wanted to know if any nurses on here ever had to go through this? Also, is it in my best interest to hire an attorney or go to the hearing to face the board on my own? Any input would be helpful for me.

Thank you

Hello. Been there; done that. By all means have an attorney with you.

I did not have an attorney, but the BON was kind (I thought) and gave me a probationary license.

The problem with that is you really cannot do much with a probationary license. I mean, the BON gets its $50.00 and the testing agency gets its $250.00 or whatever (I can't remember), and for a moment you are ecstatic that you have a license.

Then reality sets in. Your classmates are hopping jobs like fleas switch dogs while you struggle to even get an interview. I have had like 3 interviews out of 150+ applications. Many of my classmates do not even have a resume and get hired on the spot.

Basically, what I found out is that a criminal conviction is a scarlet letter if there ever was one. Nathaniel Hawthorne would have a field day with this. LOL

Trust me, you need an attorney and everything else at your disposal to get an unencumbered license. I am 50 years old and had thought I had pretty much seen it all. In all actuality, in my case it would have been kinder and more honest for them to deny me the license rather than awarding me a probationary one. I cannot tell you in words how serious this is. Please get an attorney.

Hi, thanks for your response...I do understand the severity of this, but in my case I'm not sure the attorney can do much I was charged with a misdemeanor which is under (a crime of moral turptitude) with the Board...all the attorney's that I spoke with advised me that they can't guarantee that I will be licensed, they all say its up to me to prove to the board that this conviction is out of my normal character. I'm so embarrassed and ashamed, all my classmates have been licensed & already have jobs, I haven't told many people what has happened...so I'm kind of going through it alone. I really can't afford the attorney, but I guess I will have to go completely broke to retain him.


Specializes in ER/ MEDICAL ICU / CCU/OB-GYN /CORRECTION. Has 14 years experience.

Make sure it is an attorney with experience in appearing before the board -

an excellant resource is the American Association of Nurse Attorneys


The board is not there for you and be advised they can have a significant affect in your life.We all deserve legal representation.


ps - note I am not in anyway affiliated with the referral I posted for you.

I really, really feel for you!

A few months back I found some consolation on this site. Someone was going through some sort of problem getting licensed or finding a job, and an attorney responded, believe it or not. He said something to the effect that a misdemeanor was never meant to be a cattle brand. He advised all those going through this to find a career that "doesn't stink up their lives."

Having fought this thing now for 8 months, I am inclined to agree 100%. In all honesty-- and I know this sounds negative-- but in light of how hard it is to get a job with a criminal record in the field of nursing, it might be an act of kindness for the BON to deny you. I say this because I struggle constantly between wanting to use my license to practice nursing and wanting to move onto another career--it is crippling. Having a license that you cannot use is like a curse.

My attorney told me that the very minute they pull up my license number and see"probationary", my application hits the can. A brand new nurse is already at a disadvantage due to lack of experience, then you check the box saying "Yes, I have been convicted of a crime." Add to this the insult of an encumbered license, and now basically what should be a promising career becomes a pipe dream.

The reason I would want an attorney with me is for reasons of having a professional mouth piece. I don't know about you, but I get very nervous and I either clam up or say too much.

When I went to my hearing, one of the 7 on the panel was very nice to me and granted me what I thought was very reasonable. Pass the NCLEX, get a probationary license, work 6 months, and all would be fine and my probation lifted. What I did not know walking out was that "probationary status" is a death knell.

Most applications are done online, and even if done in person at the facility, you are not given a chance to meet with the DON in person. So all they see is the box marked "yes, i have been convicted of a crime" and the fact your license is encumbered. Few take the time to read a cover letter explaining yourself.

I have had people really try to get me on. One nursing home that experiences constant turn over because NO ONE wants to work there has never called me despite the fact my classmate told them I am a great guy. She did not want to work Christmas, so she just packed up and quit the day before Christmas Eve. She was working again before New Years! Does not even have a resume, and appears at interviews in casual attire! I swear.

If I had it to do over,I would have had an attorney plead my case to the best of his/her ability and attempt to not settle for an encumbered license. Knowing what I know now, I should have just let them keep it. They have to know on that board that a new nurse cannot do anything with a probationary license. Had they just denied me,I could have saved myself the stress and cost of taking the NCLEX and I would have had no false hopes of having a career. I say free and clear or nothing. You sure do not want to be me.

Best of luck to you!


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