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How To Get Into Nursing School With A Criminal Record

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Improve Your Chances Of Getting Accepted To Nursing School

How To Get Into Nursing School With A Criminal Record

We wrote a full length post on how to improve your chances of getting into nursing school, but well give you some quick pointers. Knowing the requirements, calculating your GPA and writing a killer personal statement are all some easy ways that you can improve your chances of being accepted to nursing school.

Making friends in the program or who are applying is a great way to figure out what you might be missing. They will be able to show you different ways of approaching problems. And help you find where you might lack in your application.

Write Your Nursing Personal Statement

You have two goals with this personal statement. First, to prove to admissions committees that you display the attributes of an analytical, organized, compassionate nurse.

Second, to keep the reader interested. Admissions committees run through hundreds of applications a yearmost of which are clichéd, melodramatic or just dull. When they see another mediocre application, they zone out, and the essay blends into the pile.

Youll stand out, first, by picking out a memorable, poignant, and clinically relevant experienceand then by writing with

  • Clarity and concision

  • A thesis statement that speaks specifically to what kind of nurse you will be, what values you see as inherent to the nursing profession, and how you embody those

  • A sense of storyopening with an engaging lead, transitioning into a thoughtful body that illustrates your qualities, and a satisfying resolution together with a narrative thread

  • If relevant , a statement about how this particular nursing school or program will help you achieve your goal what resources youll draw on, and what about the ethos of the schools teaching philosophy compels you

A well-written personal statement can also go a long way to proving to admissions committees that you have the communication skills to be a good nurse. You should always be clear and concrete.

What Shows Up On A Background Check For Nursing School

Nursing schools usually conduct a federal criminal background check on applicants for nursing positions. Before a national criminal registry was created, people with criminal records could move from state to state, and employers would not find out about convictions in other states. With the new system, an employer can see convictions for crimes committed in any state and the penalty, including prison time, probation, or a fine. Different school utilize different background check services, but most of them check for the following:

  • Criminal conviction history
  • Criminal incidents that did not result in a conviction
  • Citations and Fines
  • Housing History

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Past Offences And Findings

You must truthfully state if you have ever been found guilty of an offence, refused registration, had a finding related to the practice of nursing or another profession against you, or are involved in certain proceedings.

You do this by completing the form, and by providing additional information to the College for review if you answer yes to any question on the form.

Answering yes to a question means the College will require additional information for review before it can proceed with your application. It does not mean that you will be refused registration.

The College keeps all information confidential except as required or allowed by law. Where required, supporting documents must be sent to the College by the proper authorities. Supporting documents that are not sent directly to the College from the proper authorities will not be accepted.

Criminal Record CheckAs part of the registration process, the College of Nurses of Ontario requires all applicants to provide a recent criminal record check. A criminal record check helps protect the public by allowing the College to identify those individuals with criminal records that could affect their ability to practise safe and ethical nursing.

For more information, including how and when to submit the criminal record check, read FAQs: Criminal Record Checks

You must tell the College if you have ever been found guilty of any of the following in any jurisdiction:

Involvement in a current proceeding for any offence

Dui Reduced To Reckless Driving Im Trying To Get Into Med School Next Year Will Schools Still See The Dui On My Record

What To Expect After Getting Accepted Into Nursing School ...
  • Posted on Jan 26, 2010

all of those violations will show as an arrest. The disposition of the case should show the DUI being dismissed. You may want to go to the Department of Drivers Services and pull a copy of your driving history as well as going to your local police department or sheriff’s department and requesting a copy of your criminal history. This will show you exactly what is on your record. On the other hand, in my 20+ years experience, I have found that honesty with the committees and boards has always been in the applicants best interest

Recommended Reading: Nursing A Concept Based Approach To Learning 3rd Edition

Expunged Sealed Vacated Or Reversed Convictions

An expunged conviction means having a conviction legally removed or dismissed from your record. An expungement is a process, and you should seek legal advice from an attorney.

A sealed conviction is when a conviction appears to be cleared on your criminal record and can only be accessed through a court order. There are specific criteria you have to meet to get a sealed conviction. This varies by state.

A vacated conviction is when your guilty plea is removed, and the case is dismissed from the court. You must go through the court system to get a vacated conviction or get the records for a vacated conviction.

A reversed conviction typically happens through appeals. This is when you think you were wrongly convicted of a crime.

If convictions are not expunged, sealed, vacated, or reversed, you must provide a detailed explanation of open cases on your application.

Need Help Getting Into Nursing School Were Here

The idea of getting into nursing school can be both pleasant and scary, and for a good reason. I remember when I first applied for my ADN nursing program.

A part of me was excited at the thought of finally getting to pursue what I loved to do: nursing. I eagerly waited for the application to go through, and when I received the acceptance letter, I was over the moon.

Yes, I was just like you, full of hope and anticipation of what lay ahead of me in the nursing world. Thankfully, I wasnt oblivious to the everyday challenges most prospective nursing students face.

While I was looking forward to advancing my nursing skills, a part of me was apprehensive about the whole thing. I kept wondering if nursing was for me, if I could get past the first program levels, and most importantly, if I could survive nursing school.

What I needed at the time was confidence and something, or rather someone, to help prepare me for nursing school. I needed someone to help me alleviate my fears and boost my confidence.

Had I found such supportive and resourceful people/courses, perhaps I couldnt have quit nursing school within the first year. Ooh, yes, it was that bad, and I was ready to give up on my dream, my passion. I was bogged down by my personal problems and frustrated by the laxity within the system. This saw me quit school for a whole year. Read about it all here.

We help you get into nursing school by equipping you with proven, actionable:

  • Math
  • Plus over 500 Practice Questions

Also Check: Chamberlain College Of Nursing Online

A More Complete List Of Crimes That Could Impact A Nursing License

A more exhaustive list can be found in the Rule 213.28, but crimes against a person includes crimes like endangerment of a child, abduction, aiding suicide, murder, assault, promoting child pornography, injury to a child, elderly person, or disabled person, resisting arrest, and making a terrorist threat. Crimes against property include robbery, burglary and theft. Crimes of fraud, deception, lying and falsification are also included as being highly relevant to your fitness to be a nurse. Additionally, crimes involving the delivery, possession, manufacture, or use of, or dispensing or prescribing a controlled substance, dangerous drug, or mood-altering substance are relevant. DWIs are also thought of as relevant, but you would have to have been convicted of two or more.

Record Expungement My Make It Easier To Become A Nurse In Florida


Another good option that may be available to you is expunging or sealingyour record. In Florida, if your case was dismissed you may be eligible to expunge the record. If you received withheld adjudication, you may be able to apply to have the case sealed. Though you should still disclose the arrest or conviction on your application, expunging or sealing will show the Board that a court thought your were deserving of such relief. To see if you are eligible for one of these options, you can take this free online eligibility test or call us at .

Even if you have an arrest on your record that did not lead to a conviction, that arrest will still be seen on the Florida Board of Nursing and you will have to explain it. It may be wise to expunge the arrest and avoid the embarrassment or risk of adverse discrimination.

It also makes sense to contact a licensed Florida expungement attorney if you have convictions on your criminal background, particularly one that is listed above. An attorneys evaluation of your specific case may help you decide whether it is worth investing into a nursing education.

Find more legal articles in our articles database.

Expungement and Record Sealing In Florida

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If You Can’t Vacate Your Conviction

If you are unable to vacate your conviction, you will have to put it on your nursing application and it will come up on the criminal background check that is run by the Nursing Commission. Having a conviction will not necessarily prevent you from receiving your license, though it is considered when making that determination. Make sure you are honest about your criminal record on your application, as failing to report a conviction can be detrimental to your application.

Becoming A Nurse With A Criminal Record

Hello everyone, I’m new to this subreddit, and to be honest have never made a reddit account before. I have recently been doing research on nursing, and talking to people within the field and have decided that I want to pursue a bsn . I still have prerequisites to fulfill, but I’m wondering how my criminal record will affect me. I have a drug related felony , and 2 DUIs. Obviously not the best record, but I really don’t want this to prevent me from pursuing nursing. I’m aware that I’d have to contact the board of nursing in my state and discuss it with them specifically in order to take the NCLEX exams , but I’m wondering if anyone has any personal experience, or perhaps stories you may have heard from fellow students/nurses. Thanks! TLDR: I have a drug possession felony, 2 DUIs, and live in California, how will this affect my ability to become a nurse?

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Gaining Admission To Nursing School

In order to gain admission to a nursing school, youll need to make it through a nurse background check. This screening is a criminal background check that serves as disqualification for a nursing license. Pierce College in Washington outlines some of the criminal issues that will block your ability to begin nursing school:

  • Felony conviction
  • Registered sex offender
  • Drunk driving convictions in the last three years
  • Major misdemeanor convictions for any crime that incudes violence, dishonesty, fraud, weapons, embezzlement or sex crimes

State licensing board disqualifying factors vary. The bottom line is that any crime involving the safety of others is likely to prohibit licensure as a Registered Nurse. When you go through a background check, its important to be honest about your history. If you fail to disclose a criminal conviction, youre more likely to be denied clearance.

Factors That Effect The Nursing Commissions Decision

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When the Nursing Commission evaluates your criminal record, they will consider certain facts about your conviction. One such factor is how long ago the conviction occurred. For instance, a conviction that occurred 10 years ago will be likely be viewed more favorably than a conviction that occurred last year. They will also look at the level of the conviction, i.e., whether it was a felony or misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are less serious and are more likely to result in the Department granting your license. They will also look at the nature of offense. Some types of crimes are more concerning than others.

Also visit our free expungement and record clearing information page to learn more about clearing your record.

Washington Expungement

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Requirements To Get Into Nursing School

If you want to attend your favorite nursing school, you must meet these requirements for admission.

  • Study biological sciences to gain a solid foundation
  • Improve your grade point average
  • Maintain a clean criminal record
  • Experiential learning before nursing
  • A strong communication skillset

Despite this, there are a few requirements that almost every nursing school is going to require. Depending on the nursing school, you may want to do some research to find out which conditions apply to you.

Criminal Charges And Nursing School

Nursing schools have different policies. Some may conduct criminal background checks, and some may not. It may be difficult to be admitted to the program if you have a criminal background. If your school allows you to enroll despite your criminal background, its still a good idea to work toward having your record expunged while you are a student. The most reliable way to do this is to work with an experienced license defense lawyer.

The reason you want to expunge your conviction, as it is will expressly help in the application process to become a nurse.

Read Also: Misericordia University Nursing Program Reviews

Experienced New Jersey Expungement Lawyers For Nurses And Nursing Students

The New Jersey expungement attorneys at Katherine OBrien Law frequently work with nurses and nursing students to handle their expungements. If you were able to successfully expunge your criminal record well enough in advance, your criminal history should no longer pose any problems when it comes to obtaining your nursing license. This is because pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:168A-3, state licensing authorities are precluded from disqualifying or discriminating against applicants whose criminal records have been expunged.

If, on the other hand, your criminal history has not yet been expunged, you may have been advised by your nursing program that an expungement is required before you can proceed any further in that program. If that happens, you should immediately contact an experienced expungement attorney to represent you. As explained above, the expungement process can take anywhere from six months to one year . While there is no such thing as an expedited expungement, at Katherine OBrien Law we will do our best to process your expungement in a timely manner. Moreover, if necessary, we can also write a letter to your nursing program explaining that you have retained us to expunge your record and advising the program that you are eligible for expungement and will in all likelihood obtain one without an objection. Often times, we find that such letters will satisfy your program of any concerns that they have while your petition for expungement is pending.

Should I Get A Master Of Science In Nursing


A Master of Science in Nursing would deepen your educationcovering general nursing topics, clinical rotations, and courses on various nursing specializationsand, of course, open even more doors for you.

Itll make it easier to land management positions. You may also be able to pick up a specializationbecoming Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Anesthetist, or Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, for examplewhich can be highly lucrative.

Such programs are, nevertheless, expensivewith online courses costing between $35,000 and $60,000. Itll take between one and two years full-time and two-to-four years, part-time, or longer, if youre applying to an RN-to-MSN program, designed for students who dont already have a BSN. Youll have to spend another couple years taking foundational classes on campus.

Soweighing the money you can expect to lose from tuition fees and working less due to your studies against the money you can expect to gain from earning the new degreetheres a strong chance that it will take a few years before you see a return on your investment.

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