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Misdemeanor Charge


Hey, guys.

I know this question may be hard to answer, but just thought id try to get some general insight before calling the school tomorrow.

3 years ago I was charged with paraphernalia (literally had an empty grinder) and criminal damage to property, and I was just wondering if this is going to be an issue for my admissions process. I was never convicted, just charged. Ive been accepted to chamberlain and I'm set to start soon. Just have to do the background check/drug screening and im all set.

Ive been working in various departments at the hospital in which I'm currently employed and this has never raised any issues. Im sure im just paranoid because I was never convicted but I cant help but wonder.

Any insight would be much appreciated

Thank you

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

Well, the thing you must consider is that when you do clinicals, you are a guest of the facility- and so they can set any rule they want about who can and cannot be a guest.

Your school should be working through this on your behalf.

And remember this: As was the case of Watergate (I'm old, I know) - the coverup will get you in significantly more trouble than the actual crime.

I can't speak for your school, but I also attended nursing school in IL so I can share my experience with the IL BON, which ultimately is who grants your license. I had a misdemeanor as well when I was 17, shoplifting. I didn't do the stealing but my bag was used- all irrelevant anyway. I did 12 months of court supervision with a probation officer and went on my way, not thinking about the repercussions it could have on my future career.

It never was an issue in the nursing program. I don't even think questions about criminal background other than felonies or abuse again the elderly were ever asked. When it came time to apply for NCLEX, there were questions about criminal charges. Not only convictions, but charges. I was honest because although I was adjudicated and never actually convicted since I did court supervision, it would've looked far worse if I answered 'no' and it looked to the BON like I tried to hide it. I submitted documentation that my court supervision was completed, got a letter of recommendation from my probation officer, and wrote a letter myself to the BON explaining the charge and how I had changed as a person from 17 to 23, etc. The letter written by myself was a recommendation by the director of my nursing program, I submitted it to her first and she said it looked good and I should submit it to the board with my application.

I crossed my fingers, and got my ATT and later my license with no issues. Like I said, I can't speak for Chamberlain but be upfront with them to begin with. It would stink to start a program, spend all that money, then discover somewhere down the road you can't do a certain clinical or something because of the criminal charge.

Also, (sorry for the long post) try to get your record expunged ASAP. You'll still have to disclose to the BON but won't have to disclose to future employers.

What happened with the charges? Were they dismissed, community service given, or just dropped. I would not be concerned about being admitted. The school will probably admit you with the caveat of clinical site approval. What would be of concern is approval to test for the NCLEX and gaining the appropriate licensure. Calling the Board at this stage will likely get you the standard answer of " everything is settled on a case by case basis".

FolksBtrippin, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Public Health.

Were the charges dismissed or dropped? Were you found not guilty?