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Nurse felons

Does anyone know of local health care facilities that have given a chance to a former felon who went on to become a nurse? To start with, would anyone care to share experience with trying to sit for a license exam. Let's begin with a few assumptions: this person is willing to be honest about past convictions; the conviction occurred prior to beginning a nursing career and is not related to performance as a nurse; the conviction was not for something violent like murder, sexual assault or robbery. The crime was drug possession. The person had no prior criminal history and the person is mature and has turned her life around - new city, new relationship, going to college for the first time, etc.

The answers I get (aside from personal opinions of judgement people) is that the nursing board determines these on a case by case basis. I believe that there are nursing care facilities that will give her a chance. Even though her intention is to be forthcoming, it is interesting how many places reportedly do not do thorough background checks for out of state history.

The information I read about this on the Internet is unfortunate though because there are a lot of bad apples that spoil opportunities for those who have turned their lives around. There are thousands of women in prison and they are not all the same. Many of them could serve well in this helping profession. And from what I hear, the nursing field could use more help. Again, we are starting with the presumption that the person will not cause further problems, and this one person I know well and she will never do drugs again.

babynurselsa, RN

Has 12 years experience. Specializes in ER, NICU, NSY and some other stuff.


The first question I would ask would be whether you have been ruled eligible for licensure?

If you cannot get a license then finding work as a nurse is a moot point.

That being said IF you get licensed it may be a bit of a struggle finding a job but I bet there would be someone out there who might take a chance.

I am actually helping someone planning to embark on this path. My plan is to pay for a consult with an "attorney nurse" to get some advice on the feasibility of doing this.

She'll have to submit a Declatory Order to her state Board of Nurse Examiners to start. She will most likely be required by the state to see a Forensic Psychologist and submit to a lie detector test before she will be allowed to write the NCLEX.


Has 30 years experience. Specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB.

two questions we seem to be encountering more and more often have to do with the effects of a criminal history on nursing licensure:

  • is it possible to become licensed as a nurse if you have a criminal history?
  • what happens if you are charged or convicted of a crime after licensure?

these are questions that can not be answered by the membership of allnurses. the only reliable source of information is your state board of nursing.

please refer to this thread for other information:

nursing licensure with a criminal history

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