So, I had a conviction close to 20 years ago as a young adult ( 18 years old). The felony charge was possession of a control substance with intent to distribute ( an overkill charge but whatever...)
Now as a registered nurse and about to begin a CRNA program in August, one criteria is for the school to run a background check. I can't recall if the initial application form included a question about past criminal history. And if it did, I would suspect that I checked the "no" box.
So, has anyone been in a similar predicament and how did they tackle the issue? please advise
This background check is run by the FBI, I believe. They will see what you were charged and convicted with and it will be reported to your school. The fact that it was 20 years ago is good, but possession with intent to distribute is a huge red flag given our nearly unlimited access to narcotics. Has this conviction come up on other background checks for nursing school / job?
If you checked the no box and the background check comes back with it you are a probable dismissal for lying on your application. Meet with your program director and explain what happened, maybe you can salvage the situation. I can assure you that this is not a surprise your program director should hear from the background check company.
Which defines one?
An individaul who began as a CNA for eight years, then as an RN for 10years in ICU. Earned CCRN BSN, great GRE score
A young teenager who wasn't matured mentally and spent six months in a boot camp for a charge which ended up as a felony in an era of mass incarceration for profit.
I am a compassionate, caring & hardworking nurse. That defines me - my resume speaks for itself. I shouldn't have to walk around the faculty with my peers/teachers looking at me as a convict, but as that individual who stayed up all night studying to get A's in the CRNA program. Thus, its only for that reason that I "may" have checked that box.
In my initial nursing license, I disclosed the situation to the board of nursing. In regards to a job, it always came up. However, I did disclose it to them on my application. It was never a problem. As I got older, I refused to reveal it; I didn't want to be looked upon as a convict, because that did not define who I was. I believe it was that mentality that made me check that box, although I may have not.
This situation falls into that huge category of things in life which are just not fair. While I agree that no one should be defined by a mistake nearly 20 years old, it will continue to come up on any background check for the rest of your life.
The type of charge you had, drugs, is also directly related to your potential role as a CRNA. It wasn't shoplifting.
Refusing to "check the box" makes you look bad. Sorry.
Criminal history means any criminal history you have had. So yes, it needs to be disclosed. Honesty is the best policy. Explain to them what you have told us. If you checked "no" and they run the background check and find out about it, you will already have a target on your back (if they let you continue with the program)-not necessarily because of the charge, but because you didn't disclose it.
Additionally, I can tell you for a fact that you will have background checks done...if not for the school, then for your clinical sites. All of the hospitals I've rotated to have required them.
You have some big stake reasons to practice full disclosure including the eligibility to take the Certifying Exam and retaining the CRNA certification. You should carefully review the NCE Handbook on the NBCRNA website, especially the section on eligibility pg 8-16. Of critical importance to you is the sections that state that eligibility to take the exam can be denied if incomplete, misleading, or false statements are made on the certification application and that certification can be revoked if the above is discovered even after taking the exam.
I am not making any judgement on you as a person, I am just providing information that you may not be fully aware of that can seriously impact your future so that you can make the best informed decision rather then facing serious future consequences due to a lack of information.
You may be able to get the charge expunged check with an attorney or law enforcement in your area. Nonetheless, stay encouraged. Best of luck.
Fair or not, it is the system we all deal with. Just because you don't want it to be doesn't make it not so.
I made a charting mistake over 25 years ago that exploded into an incident reported to the board. There is and shall evermore be a literal red flag on my license that is easily seen by anyone via the Nursys website. I must always keep copies of the resolution readily available and just expect to explain the whole sad story over and over again with each new job or state I wish to practice in.
I don't know if I got that much better as a nurse or was just unlucky enough to get caught making an error but I have never had any further incidences of failure to chart properly. I am not defined by that incident but I'm not allowed to pretend it didn't happen.
Last edit by Mavrick on Jun 20
I am supposed to be entering my second year of nursing school in August. My first background check came back fine. I just had the second one done a week ago and a charge of "issuing bad checks" and "soliciting rides or business" came up from Louisiana. The letter that came with the results of the background check said "there may be A disqualifying event on my record. Well the check deal happened when my father, a known felon, stole an old checkbook out of my bag (I had no idea it was in there). The last time it was used was when I had to go to the hospital with a staph infection, and my mom put it in there in case she needed anything. My mom had died in 2004 and the account with both of our names on it was closed. Through a series of very unfortunate events, I ended up in Lafayette with my dad living out of his car. He had had a flat in St, Martinville, LA and called a tow truck. He forged my name on the check. After receiving the certified court documents, we found out that the case was dropped and so were the charges. So now I'm told that the charge for "soliciting rides or business" has to be cleared. It was a traffic fine. The city of Lafayette has no record of it as they dispose of these records every 8 years. The first thing was a misdemeanor that happened 10 years ago, the other thing was ten years ago. Anyway, I have to have an officially certified letter from the district attorney's office by next week saying that the charge was dropped and there is nothing owed and no pending charges I hsad to send a $10 money order to the DA's office to get the letter, they would not accept a credit card over the phone. I was going to send it overnite mail, but the postal clerk said that Lafayette is one place that they cannot overnite anything. It won't get there until Friday and the lady at the DA's office said she has no idea when they'll get to it once my information and money order get there. I've been trying to get some liquidated assets that my dad had over there for almost a year. They keep requesting more forms to be notarized. He had some in Mississippi and it only too a month to get a check for those. But, I was told by the assistant dean of the stinking school that they need the letter by next week. There is NO FREAKIN WAY they will have that back to me by then. This is total BULLCRAP!!!!!!! What am I supposed to do?!!!! I literally busted my butt the first year. By the way, I am talking about Hinds Community College. The school notorious for flunking 3rd and 4th semester students. I'm disabled trying to get a degree so I can get a good job. I have had harassment from a former clinical instructor, she wouldn't let me park in a handicap parking space, myself and another girl were quizzed about our sex life with our long term boyfriends in front of our whole clinical group, there's been so much stuff that just makes me feel as if I have a huge red target on my back.
You have to be extremely careful to disclose everything on your record, or like people said above it will look like you are lying on your application. I know someone that was permanently blacklisted from a major hospital chain for not disclosing something on their record (nonviolent, not drug related). Even people that make honest mistakes are thrown under the bus, it is what it is. I agree that you should call and try to head it off before they get contacted because the background check found something that wasn't disclosed on your application. Also, while there is much to be said about the wrongs of the for-profit prison industrial complex, mentioning it when talking about your previous record does not give off the impression of someone owning up to their past mistakes. It must be frustrating to constantly have to explain yourself, but employers and schools do not want the suggestion that it wasn't a big deal (trumped up charges etc.) because to them it is ALWAYS a big deal. Especially considering it is drug related and you are going into anesthesia. Good luck to you.
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