Nursing with a Criminal Record

You may have made a mistake in your past. It happens to all of us. But with a Felony conviction on your record, you may be wondering if you’re able to pursue a Nursing Career. Here is information you should have:

Has your record been expunged? If not, you should come clean to a potential school’s admissions board. However, be prepared to be treated differently than other students if you choose to share that information with those in charge at the program.

Unfortunately, most States will not license persons with felony convictions to be a Nurse [RN,LPN,CNA] and many will not even license persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes related to lying, cheating or stealing. Contact the states Attorneys office in the State where the conviction went on the court record and ask for an “expungement and sealing” information packet. This packet well give you the guidelines for what can or cannot be expunged or sealed and also a list of attorneys who have expertise in this area of law. Expungement and sealing laws differ from State to State and you must get reliable information from the States Attorneys office where the conviction went on the court record.

Your main concern will be acquiring the state license. Get in touch with the state licensing board where you plan to practice nursing, tell them about your felony to see if this would prohibit you from qualifying for the nursing license. You also have to make sure that your felony conviction doesn’t violate Federal or State laws pertaining to health care workers. Some of these laws are onerous, but it varies from state to state. In fact, they may have a list of convictions that would prohibit you from becoming a health care worker.

While a felony or even misdemeanor conviction could present additional hurdles, there are legal steps you can take to minimize your exposure and make sure that potential schools, employers and licensing boards see you as the Nursing Career hopeful that you are, not any sins of the past.