Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I completely agree with waiting to apply for jobs until I have a test date. To add a few details: I was never convicted and the arrest happened nearly 10 years ago. Thankfully, I received my ATT about 2 weeks after I submitted my application.
I want to clarify my thought process for waiting to apply until my record was expunged:
The decision to wait to apply until my record was expunged was the result of advice from a family friend who used to work on the BON and my attorney. If my record was not expunged when I applied, then I would have had to submit certified copies of every page of records that pertained to my arrest and charges with my application. Those records would then become part of my file at the BON for the rest of my life as a nurse. If I wanted to move to another state, that state's BON would ask my current BON for my file and they'd see every record in all it's detail.
Because I waited until my record was expunged, the only court documents I had to submit were certified letters from the agencies involved in my arrest that state "We have no record of this individual from this date (date of offense) to present". I agree that the BON's background check will show the arrest, charges, and outcome, but given how transparent and genuinely remorseful I was in my personal letter of explanation, I found it less likely that they would take the time/resources to request every page of detail from my record and was hopeful that even if they did, that they would not include it in my permanent file at the BON.
The goal in this approach was that now that it is expunged, I will be able to largely put this painful memory behind me and should I choose to work in another state, the details of that memory won't follow me the rest of my life. Because my record is now expunged, I am able to check the "No" box on job applications asking if you've ever been arrested, charged or convicted etc etc.
It was a longer process than I would have liked, but I'm really glad I took this rout. Thank you again for your reply!