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(Yet Another) Nursing With a Record Inquiry

Posted
by MrMr2000 MrMr2000 (New) New Pre-Student

Hello Allnurses,

I am a 28M with a B.A. that is determined to know whether nursing is a possible career choice for me. The only issue is my criminal record. I have a a misdemeanor in the 3rd degree (the "lightest" type of misdemeanor in my state) for harassment - strike/shove/kick with a domestic violence enhancer because it occurred with my then-partner. The charges were more serious (still in misdemeanor territory) though they were dropped after an investigation took place. 

I have contacted the BON, the admissions counselors at my school of interest, and a lawyer with the question: "Can I become a nurse with this on my record?"

The answer, uniformly, was, "it depends." It depends on the school, my rehabilitation process, how long it has been since the incident, if I am willing to practice with restrictions on the license, etc...The lawyer was adamant I could attend school and get through clinicals but that I might need professional help if I wanted to practice without restrictions. 

The person who ultimately decides my fate is the dean at the school - the BON stated my background would not likely pose an issue to certification as long as I was admitted to a school. I am waiting for a for a response on this matter. 

Since the incident (March of 2016) I have taught in a classroom for two years, coached young athletes, and was an EMT at the time of the incident - the NREMT board did not place restrictions or terminate my license. I have a history of goodwill and working with at-risk populations.

I was also accepted into OT school after an "Early Determination" was made (a preemptive background check for students with records).

TL:Dr; I have a Misdemeanor in the 3rd degree for harassment - kick/strike/shove with a domestic violence qualifier. I have contributed to society, righted my wrongs, and still want to nurse. I always have. 

Does anyone have:

1) Stories of success/failure in this type of situation?

2) recommendations on next steps?

 

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

Moved to Licensure Criminal History forum for best responses. 

MDBoy

Specializes in Nursing. Has 2 years experience.

Hey man,  I thoroughly believe if you want something bad enough, it really doesn't matter what is on your record, bar the obvious things that would disallow you like violent crimes, etc... Yours sounds like a pretty minor thing. If it was long time back, just plug along and then try to expunge it. My advice is just be extremely persistent and singularly focused on your goal. Also- you should be your own best advocate, even things like filing documents in court or motions/appeals, those things are relatively easy for people with a half a brain to do by yourself. Honestly, you can do your own research of expungement statutes/law and you are likely to be more well versed than most lawyers you would hire...Because you would be more invested in it than they ever could.

trixie333, ASN

Specializes in Emergency, critical care. Has 47 years experience.

  • The landscape for these types of backgrounds and 'employability' seems to be constantly changing. The addition of restrictions on practice for a resolved past offense  is an example ( was not done 20 yrs. ago). In my opinion, it gets harder and harder to jump through the hoops as the years pass.
  • Yes, it is possible, lots of RNs are doing it. It's a major hassle that diminishes somewhat with time. You want stories? Check Hark+Hark blog. Commit to reading at least 30-50. You will be surprised at your newly gained insight and decide to commit to a course of action afterwards. Another good source of stories is indeed dot com, forums, board ordered nurse. These stories inspire compassion as well as insight, so much so, if I were your age, I would study to become a nurses lawyer.

1 hour ago, trixie333 said:
  • The landscape for these types of backgrounds and 'employability' seems to be constantly changing. The addition of restrictions on practice for a resolved past offense  is an example ( was not done 20 yrs. ago). In my opinion, it gets harder and harder to jump through the hoops as the years pass.
  • Yes, it is possible, lots of RNs are doing it. It's a major hassle that diminishes somewhat with time. You want stories? Check Hark+Hark blog. Commit to reading at least 30-50. You will be surprised at your newly gained insight and decide to commit to a course of action afterwards. Another good source of stories is indeed dot com, forums, board ordered nurse. These stories inspire compassion as well as insight, so much so, if I were your age, I would study to become a nurses lawyer.

I greatly appreciate this. Thank you so much. I am not averse to hoop-jumping and proving myself to a greater degree than those who don't have this record. I have the evidence to support my change in character and a history of working with at-risk populations since the incident. As a single parent, pulling the trigger on more student loans/time is still daunting given it may be for naught, however...

Would you be willing to clarify the end of your post? You mention becoming a nurses lawyer. What made you suggest this? I have always loved the patient care aspect of prehospital care as an EMT which naturally draws me to nursing. I am not opposed to becoming a nurses lawyer though. 

Edited by MrMr2000
Grammatical error

On 10/25/2020 at 10:34 AM, MDBoy said:

Hey man,  I thoroughly believe if you want something bad enough, it really doesn't matter what is on your record, bar the obvious things that would disallow you like violent crimes, etc... Yours sounds like a pretty minor thing. If it was long time back, just plug along and then try to expunge it. My advice is just be extremely persistent and singularly focused on your goal. Also- you should be your own best advocate, even things like filing documents in court or motions/appeals, those things are relatively easy for people with a half a brain to do by yourself. Honestly, you can do your own research of expungement statutes/law and you are likely to be more well versed than most lawyers you would hire...Because you would be more invested in it than they ever could.

Thank you for this! Your post inspired me to call a lawyer and get a quote for sealing. Apparently, much to my surprise, it is sealable. Everything you say here was confirmed by her. Thank you again. 

trixie333, ASN

Specializes in Emergency, critical care. Has 47 years experience.

The last statement applies to MY surprising response to the sum of all stories. I'm old now, was a single parent, no stamina left to pursue higher callings. But with the vigor of youth.... That being said, guardian angels come in all types/flavors, even lawyers. With your EMT background, you should excel as a nurse. 

3 hours ago, trixie333 said:

The last statement applies to MY surprising response to the sum of all stories. I'm old now, was a single parent, no stamina left to pursue higher callings. But with the vigor of youth.... That being said, guardian angels come in all types/flavors, even lawyers. With your EMT background, you should excel as a nurse. 

Again, deeply appreciated. I am looking to reinstate my EMT cert and move forward with school. On a slightly different note, would you, as a career nurse looking back, ever imagine have doing something different?

trixie333, ASN

Specializes in Emergency, critical care. Has 47 years experience.

I had a brilliant career. When young, and my back ached and feet hurt so bad, I thought I wanted a 'sit-down' job. Was offered a position in Nsg. Educ. that lasted 2 1/2 yrs.---turns out I hated being away from the bedside. Although somewhat a geek, hated being tied to a desk for longer than an hour. It was good to go back to the bedside, and put to rest any notions of 'management'. My milieu was such, that I worked in many areas at different times, w/ the ED always my base and first love. Really loved working with the 'good' doctors...taught me so much. And loved looking for nurses I could look up to...some pretty awesome nurses out there. Hated the bullies: they bullied each other or the patients...mean nurses are the worst. Love the gentle, thoughtful ones...angels, really. And plenty of angels in the EMT ranks and NA ranks, too. Critical care as a medical approach is so challenging, it satisfies the intellect. I used to think my alternative career would be high finance....good thing I never pursued it, as I learned I am a poor gambler. The nurse lawyer thing was attractive because nurses need an advocate too. This nurse lawyer career is pretty new, and believe me, we needed them long before they arrived on the scene. I worked in hospitals for 26 years, then traveled for 20 (forging out what I call a 'maverick' lifestyle.) Travel nursing is the best antidote for 'burn-out'. The long years resulted in a personal philosophy for me: Don't let the patient ever be sorry you were his nurse. Would love to hear other old nurses state their philosophies.

Best of luck for a long and fruitful career.

 

Edited by trixie333

21 hours ago, trixie333 said:

I had a brilliant career. When young, and my back ached and feet hurt so bad, I thought I wanted a 'sit-down' job. Was offered a position in Nsg. Educ. that lasted 2 1/2 yrs.---turns out I hated being away from the bedside. Although somewhat a geek, hated being tied to a desk for longer than an hour. It was good to go back to the bedside, and put to rest any notions of 'management'. My milieu was such, that I worked in many areas at different times, w/ the ED always my base and first love. Really loved working with the 'good' doctors...taught me so much. And loved looking for nurses I could look up to...some pretty awesome nurses out there. Hated the bullies: they bullied each other or the patients...mean nurses are the worst. Love the gentle, thoughtful ones...angels, really. And plenty of angels in the EMT ranks and NA ranks, too. Critical care as a medical approach is so challenging, it satisfies the intellect. I used to think my alternative career would be high finance....good thing I never pursued it, as I learned I am a poor gambler. The nurse lawyer thing was attractive because nurses need an advocate too. This nurse lawyer career is pretty new, and believe me, we needed them long before they arrived on the scene. I worked in hospitals for 26 years, then traveled for 20 (forging out what I call a 'maverick' lifestyle.) Travel nursing is the best antidote for 'burn-out'. The long years resulted in a personal philosophy for me: Don't let the patient ever be sorry you were his nurse. Would love to hear other old nurses state their philosophies.

Best of luck for a long and fruitful career.

 

What a genuine story. My dream is to become a travel nurse after my son moves out (gave up all my 20's to be a single parent, have to make it up somehow ;)). Including the bumps and potholes as well as your successes really helps me to paint a picture of what it might be like. All the best to you. 

A final update to those who come across this post looking for information on the same subject: I spoke to a lawyer who is confident she can "seal" my record even though it is generally an "unsealable" offense in this state. It just goes to show you never know until you do the research. Lastly, I spoke with the EMT board in my state and it has been confirmed I am eligible to become an EMT again, even without the conviction removed. Again, do research in your own state.

MDBoy

Specializes in Nursing. Has 2 years experience.

On 10/28/2020 at 1:26 PM, MrMr2000 said:

Thank you for this! Your post inspired me to call a lawyer and get a quote for sealing. Apparently, much to my surprise, it is sealable. Everything you say here was confirmed by her. Thank you again. 

Make sure you have the True Test Copies of all your charges too. You can submit a form usually you can find on the website of the court that heard your case, and if not, call their clerk. You will be required to submit documentation/records to your local nursing board of any charges even if expunged. Don't wait until last minute because once they are expunged at that point there will be no record left and you will not have the documentation you need to present the board with! This is something I found out by consulting with a lawyer just on an off chance. I don't know how they expect a laymen to know these things but there ya go, now you know.

Edited by MDBoy

MDBoy

Specializes in Nursing. Has 2 years experience.

On 10/28/2020 at 12:05 PM, trixie333 said:
  • if I were your age, I would study to become a nurses lawyer.

This is a cool idea. I wanted to be a lawyer originally but it became less practical than medicine. I will definitely keep my avenues open to this once I become an RN, I think it would be very neat.