Background Checks! Is school a total loss?

  1. [font=Garamond]Hello to all!

    I am new here so please forgive me for posting this question in an area where it may not be relevant.

    Hopefully since this is an Illinois nursing board someone might have an answer for me pertaining to Illinois laws, rules, etc.

    Here is my problem: I am a Pre-Nursing student and I am getting ready to do my pre-req's in the spring. I know that background checks are going to be done before I can be admitted into my nursing program.

    My teenage years (17 years old precisely) were a little less than perfect. I was in and out of trouble a couple of times. I am now 27 and even though I can see that I am no longer that young, stupid girl- will the IL BON see that?

    I am really passionate about nursing and have finally decided to return to school since my son will be turning two years old soon.

    Does anyone know what WILL or will NOT disqualify you from getting into your nursing program? Nothing I did was of a violent or abusive nature. I have NO felonies, only misdemeanor offenses from 10 years ago when I was 17.

    Sorry to make this so long, but I just do not want to waste years in school only to be told that even though my grades are wonderful and I would make a great nurse ~ that my past will always be the biggest factor in determining my future.

    I have already checked with my programs counselor, and she had no direct answer for me except to "Take the CBC and see what happens."

    ARGH!! As if I am not biting my nails enough already just trying to get my foot in the door....

    If no one personally knows, does anyone know where I can get that info for Illinois online? I've looked everywhere I can think to, but cannot find anything.

    Thank you all so very much for your time!

  2. Visit Mikeysmomma profile page

    About Mikeysmomma

    Joined: Sep '05; Posts: 4


  3. by   ZASHAGALKA
    my advice it to query your state Board of Nurses (BON). Your school probably doesn't have a more restrictive limit than the board. And if your school gives you grief, you can truthfully state that you got an opinion from the BON that you would be an acceptible RN candidate.

    Most state BONs allow you to ask specific questions about things like that and they will give you a definitive reply.

    look up "illinois board of nursing" in a browser, look around the site until you find a number/place to ask a question, and ask for a determination if you would be allowed to take be licensed.

    (Edit - go here: there is a place at this link to email a question about this profession. ask them how to go about getting the board to make a determination of your history to see if you are eligible for licensing in Illinois.)

    I would think that most misdemeanors wouldn't bar you, but I don't know the specifics.

    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 28, '05
  4. by   traumaRUs
    Yep - the IDPH board of nursing site is the correct one to go to. They will be happy to answer questions - though there is sometimes a wait. Good luck.
  5. by   Mikeysmomma
    I will contact them ASAP.

    Wish me luck....

    I'll have my fingers and toes crossed on this one!

  6. by   nurse_elyse
    I know how you feel on this one. I was arrested for domestic battery on my ex boyfriend (who by the way, beat the crap out of me ,I slapped him and he got to the phone to call the cops first) and my case was dropped out of court. I would have been charged with a misdemeanor, which in Illinois I was told you can not practice with on your background. It may have been because it was a battery charge though. I agree with every one else...check out the idph website to make sure what ever you did back then wont come up to haunt you now.
  7. by   Gennaver
    Hi there Mikeysmomma,

    My school had us get our own background checks, (In IL). Why not do that yourself too, you will have your own copy.

    It will be to the IL state police, I can try to find the form for you.

    Also, if you were 17 isn't that still considered a juvenile record that is closed once you reach the legal age? I did a brief internship in juvenile probation and that was what I heard in the fall of 2004, that those incidents will not follow you into your adulthood.

    Anyway, a couple of us were sharing that it was always nice to get your own background check in the mail to read that you are not a criminal. This is your background check, you are able to get it for yourself and see. This could save you a lot of anxiety.

    Please post a follow up and good luck,

    Quote from Mikeysmomma
    I will contact them ASAP.

    Wish me luck....

    I'll have my fingers and toes crossed on this one!

  8. by   Mikeysmomma
    When I read your response.

    Someone else had told me to get my record first before even going to submit it to the school...That way I know what is there beforehand.

    So I am mailing off my fingerprint card tomorrow. (As far as I was told, if you are 17 in the state of IL, you can be charged as an adult. Past jobs have got my criminal record, so I am positive it was not sealed, even though I was only 17 at the time.)

    Ugh...It just really gets your stomach in knots.

    The system can be really backwards sometimes though. (Kind of long but bear with me, I do have a point! )

    For instance : I am related by marriage, to a RN, who for reasons still unknown- took a liking to Vicodin. She was working nights at a hospital here in our area. Well, she formed a habit so addicting that she would have rather blew her schooling and license down the drain to get it.

    She started swapping patients medications and keeping their prescribed Vicodin for herself. Eventually she was caught and terminated. She was put on probation at that point by the BON.

    However~ before she was fired, she had managed to steal a prescription pad from the hospital and was all over 5 major counties in our state writing out scripts for herself for Vicodin, Xanax... you name it.

    She was not using her name on the prescriptions. She was getting names out the phone book- and of course, she had the right addresses of the people and phone numbers, after all, all the info the pharmacy asks you for is right in the phone book! So, all of this checked out with the pharmacies. UNTIL ~ One day about a year ago, she went through a drive through pharmacy and the pharmacist actually called the person whom the script was for to verify that she did have a prescription waiting for her.

    "Uhhh...NO!" said the woman. So they knew the script was a fake.

    So Nurse X, as I will call her...was arrested for trying to illegally obtain a controlled substance. That did not stop her. She went as soon as she could and stole another pad from a doctor with whom she knew. He had no idea she was in trouble and actually left the room with his pad sitting there. This time she moved on to pharmacies that were smaller and didn't have as much connection to eachother. At one point, she had her entire car TRUNK filled with empty bottles. All different names.

    She has since been arrested in all 5 counties locally for charges ranging from "Illegally attempting to obtain a controlled substance." all the way to "HOME INVASION." Yes, HOME INVASION and BURGLARY. She was caught stealing Christmas presents from a child when the owner of the home that she was burglurizing came home unexpectedly- and saw a stange woman clutching his childs presents. This was right before Christmas of '04 and she was sent to Cook County Jail on that charge.

    Now, I do feel sorry for her....she has obviously been handed an addiction that is making her do things she probably would not have, had she not been an addict. However, I do not feel for her in some ways. Help has been extended to her many times, and she has pushed it away. She has been in jail numerous times, and still repeats her offenses.

    She is now looking at years in prison for her Burglary Charges and other offenses. And guess what? After all this...her license is only SUSPENDED till the end of '05. Not Revoked.

    Will she get her license back? I don't know. The point I am making is that because she was already a nurse, she will, most likely be given a shot again before people like myself, who are not yet licensed or in school. Does that make it acceptable? Is she any more trust worthy than I, just because she already has a license?
    I could never rob anyone and I never had the nerve to do anything half as ballsy as this woman has. And to only have her license suspended for ONE year for Burglary & Home Invasion?!? I know darn well if I had been charged with Home Invasion and Burglary, I would NEVER get into school.

    Heck, any one of YOUR names could be on her script bottles.

    Sometimes it really pisses me off when I even think about her. She had/has what I have always dreamed of, which is to be a nurse and she couldn't give a rats butt about it. Here I am, just pleading for a chance to go to school. To prove myself. Yet somehow, I feel I have I will be deemed 'less worthy' of becoming a nurse than her because she committed her crimes after she went to school.

    ARGH!!! (No... I am not asking for pity for my offenses, I am just pointing out what I know to be true as I know this woman personally.)

    Whew....sorry, I told you that was looooooooong. LOL!

    I am still going to fight for what I know is right, and that is that I should be allowed to study nursing. (My teachers/supervisors can have a camera on me at all times if they wish- I have nothing to hide! LOL! Those days are long over with.)

    I couldn't give up now, even if I wanted to....

    Thanks for listening. Really...I needed to vent on that subject!

  9. by   Gennaver
    Hello Jessica,

    Since I am so ignorant of how the BON and these things work, I want to suggest that you also follow other poster's advice to contact the IL board of Professional regulations and ask them.

    IL Nurses are regulated by the Illinois board of professional regulation and hopefully you can 'anonymously' address your concerns.

    Best wishes!
  10. by   Jessy_RN
    Best wishes to you. I am be praying that everything will be okay.

  11. by   Karen
    You might first talk to the director of nursing at the school you want to go to, they are usually very informed about these issues because they deal with helping students with licensure applications and clinical agency requirements. For example in FL there are certain offenses that agencies determine you may not work there so if you have them you can not do clinical there and therefore could not pass that class. So no use applying to school if you can't do the coursework. On a good note, many of my previous students had some kind of criminal record that did not prevent them from going to nursing school or being licensed. I would be very open about everything though, I did have a student that had a juvenile record they thought wouldn't show up on a back ground check so they made no mention on their license application, the board found out and would NOT let them take the licensure exam period!
  12. by   sunnyjohn
    You were 17, a minor? Wouldn't your juvenile records be sealed? I know folks who where in trouble when they were under 18 and then had background checks done that turned up clean.

    Call the IL BON for the 411.

    Good luck.
  13. by   Mikeysmomma
    For all the advice I have received. You all are great!

    I will be posting an update as soon as I get my record back...

    Thanks again!

  14. by   thisonegirl
    I have a very similar story to yours. When I was 16 I was arrested, finger printed, got my photo taken, and had to pay a fine when I was caught shoplifting. Long story short, I could basically say the same exact things that you've said when it comes to this. After doing some google searching, I came across this post. I understand its a few years old, but I was wondering if you wouldnt mind telling me what had happened with your background check. Did it end up showing up? And what state are you from? I know its slightly different from every state.

    I'm hoping you'll get a chance to respond to this post. It'd be greatly appreciated.