Can I become a nurse with a criminal record?

  1. Hi,

    So I am going thru some legal stuff right now, I commited check fraud. I got caught, and I am cooperating and what not. I am going to plead guilty and then sentence. But What I want to know is if I am going to be able to go to Nursing school and become a Register Nurse after all this mess has finish. I am really looking forward to leave this behind and pursue a career in nursing.
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    About donedall

    Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 1


  3. by   Meriwhen
    Nursing schools, BONs and employers all review criminal history on a case-by-case basis.

    However, schools, BONs and employers can be as finicky as they like, and just because you got through one hurdle with no problem (e.g., you get your nursing license) doesn't mean you won't have a problem with another (e.g., some facility has a "no applicants with check fraud convictions policy"). If you get into school, you still have to face the BON; if the BON licenses you, you still have to present your criminal history to each and every employer that you wish to work for.

    Lots of people with criminal records have gone on to become employed nurses, so it's not entirely hopeless for you--you still have a chance. When you apply to nursing school, list the conviction and provide all required documentation, as well as anything that might help your case, such as a statement about how you have learned from this mistake, character references, etc. After that, all you can do is cross your fingers and hope for the best.

    If you have questions about the legal issues or exactly what you should put down on your application, get those answered by your lawyer. And definitely have a lawyer ready when dealing with the BON.

    Best of luck getting it sorted out, and best of luck with your application.
  4. by   AssociateDegree
    Only your state board can give you the answer. I hope you have good legal counsel and are discussing your wish for a future in nursing with them before you submit your plea. (It may be worthwhile seeking out a nurse who is also an attorney and who has worked with other similar cases.) However, in the city I live in, you might have a difficult time getting one of the hospital systems to agree to let you do your clinicals for school once they see your background check information.

    I wish you good luck.
  5. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Providing legal advice is beyond the scope of this website and the requesting of same is a violation of our Terms of Service TOS
    I wish you all the best in working through your difficulties.