You might have harbored intentions to become a nurse and be of service to the society by working in hospitals and medical care centers. You are worried that a felony record or a criminal conviction can stop you from becoming a nurse.
You can put your concerns to rest as in most cases the law allows a person with a felony conviction to become a nurse under certain conditions.
It does depend on the type of cases, but in most scenarios, the law has provisions to help convicted felons turn a new leaf.
The law allows felons to become nurses after certain periods post the completion of their sentences, or if their sentences have been expunged.
This article will cover all the aspects and provisions about the possibility of becoming a nurse having a conviction or felony record.
Can you be a nurse with a felony in Texas?
Yes, it is possible to become a nurse with charges of a felony in Texas but the Texas Board of Nursing has put down some measures for convicted felons who are desirous of becoming a nurse.
Under the statutes of Texas Administrative Code, if you have a felony record and you want to apply for a license to become a nurse, you will be able to do it after a gap of five years from the date of your sentence completion.
Please note that the timeline of five years will be counted after you have completed your sentence including parole and not from the date of your conviction.
The Nursing Board reviews the cases before deciding to approve the license application.
Certain cases involving physical assault, murder, kidnapping, endangering the lives of children and old people, to name a few, impact the decision to grant the nursing license.
The Nursing Board is of the opinion that the magnitude of violence, the extent of damage against property or injury towards a person by the convicted felon, sheds light on the behavioral aspect of the person.
The behavioral aspect has to be taken into consideration while granting a license to become a nurse as this profession deals with serving and caring for the public.
The cases which will lead to complete revocation or debarment from obtaining a nursing license include:
- Sexual assault or harassment
- Inflicting high degree of physical injury
- High-level robbery
If you can prove that you have committed these crimes when you were below 22 years old or have vastly worked towards public service, then your case can be taken into consideration.
But can you be a nurse with a felony record in Arizona? Well, that’s coming up next.
Can you be a nurse with a felony in Arizona?
Yes, you can become a nurse with a felony in Arizona but please keep in mind that there are several factors taken into consideration by the Arizona State Board of Nursing while granting a nursing license.
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Under the statutes of the Arizona Law, you will be eligible to apply for a license if there is a gap of five years between the application date and the date of the completion of your sentence, which includes parole.
The Arizona State Board of Nursing will look into your application and scrutinize all the details and reports of your felony. You have to correctly state all the information and submit relevant proofs and documents.
The Board will also consider the following things:
- If you have shown good behavior while observing your sentence
- If you have honestly mentioned all the details of your crime
- If you have committed the crime only once or whether you are a repeat offender
- What have you done to rehabilitate yourself
If the Arizona Nursing Board decides to issue the license to you, they may do so by adding certain conditions based on the level of your crime.
They can issue a letter of concern if the magnitude of your crime is less which can show that you pose a low threat to the public.
You can be issued a civil penalty or a supervisory probation order with the license if you incorrectly state your crime or miss out on any details.
You will be kept under supervision during your probation period while you undertake your duties as a nurse.
If your application is rejected based on the magnitude of your crime, you will be able to re-apply after an interval of another five years from the last application date.
Can you be a nurse with a felony in Florida?
When it comes to becoming a nurse in Florida, it might get a little difficult based on the felony you have committed.
Also, the decision depends on whether the crime you have committed is mentioned in the Florida Statutes under the list of cases leading to the debarment of license.
You might want to know the possibility of becoming a nurse in Florida before applying for the license.
Here are a few steps which you should do to weigh your chances of becoming a nurse in Florida:
- Try to get your conviction records or court orders surrounding your felony from the court where you have appeared for hearings
- Have a background verification done on yourself based on the instructions provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement
- Check the statutes under the law of Florida to see if you are eligible for applying for nursing license
Under Section 456.0635 of Florida Statutes, the Florida Board of Nursing will not entertain any license application from felons who have been convicted with fraud related to the Florida Medicaid Program or the State Medicaid Program.
If twenty years have elapsed since the fraud was committed and you have shown good conduct for the past five years before applying for the license, the Nursing Board will consider your application.
The profession of being a nurse requires dealing with the public.
Strict measures and review processes will take place if your felony record shows physical assault, robbery, substance abuse to name a few.
The Florida Nursing Board will also scrutinize the reports of your rehabilitation and check whether you are a repeat offender or have committed the crime only once.
In situations where the court has dismissed your case or adjudication was withheld, you can opt to have your case sealed or expunged.
Please note that despite having your case expunged, you still have to mention the details of your charge and attach the court orders with your license application for ease of proper investigation by the Florida Nursing Board.
Can you be a nurse with a felony in Ohio?
Ohio allows a convicted felon to obtain a nursing license provided the felon is not charged guilty under the court of law for murder, grave violence, and sexual assault.
For other crimes like misdemeanor, substance abuse, immoral actions, the Ohio Board of Nursing will conduct a thorough investigation of court orders, sentence completion, rehabilitation reports, to name a few before stating its decision.
The law of Ohio mandates that any convicted felon, desirous of obtaining employment as a nurse will have to file for a Certificate of Qualification for Employment (CQE).
You can apply for a CQE post one year after the completion of your sentence if you are a convicted felon.
In case you have been charged with a misdemeanor, you can apply for a CQE after six months from your sentence completion date.
Your CQE petition has to be reviewed and approved by the Division of Parole and Community Services which is a branch of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.
After the stamp of approval, you have to send your CQE to your county’s Court of Common Pleas for final approval.
Can you become a nurse with a felony in California?
Yes, you can become a nurse with a felony in California after the brevity of your case has been investigated by the California Board of Registered Nursing (CBRN) consisting of a nine-member body.
The Nursing Board has clear cut mandates to either allow or reject the application for a nursing license.
The Board has a lenient stance for convictions and crimes committed as a minor.
When you apply for a nursing license, you have to report every detail honestly.
The Board looks into the following factors:
- Gauges the extent of your offense
- The number of times you have committed the crimes and have been pleaded guilty of the same
- The type of behavior you exhibited while you were undergoing your sentence
Most importantly, the CBRN focuses on the evidence about your performance during rehabilitation.
Many a time, the approval to practice nursing can be in your favor if the Board finds your rehabilitation reports satisfactory and feels that you pose a low risk to the public.
There are two types of instances where the California Board of Registered Nursing will not sanction its approval to grant nursing license:
- Physical assaults and criminal offenses like murder, misappropriation of public funds, theft
- Sexual assaults and offenses like rape, molestation where the offender can be tagged as a Tier 2 or a Tier 3 offender
Here are some steps which can aid you in the process of background verification conducted by the CBRN:
- If the charges against you have been dismissed by the court and your arrests did not result in you getting convicted, you can have your arrest records sealed by the court. This will scratch off all the arrest records related to the dismissed case from your criminal history.
- In case you got convicted for a crime, you can have your records expunged from the court of law
That’s all about California so let’s wrap up this whole subject.
Conclusion: Can you be a nurse with a felony?
If you have the intention of becoming a nurse with a felony record or a misdemeanor, you need not worry as the law has made provisions for felons to pursue their dreams.
Even for grave offenses, you can be allowed to obtain your nursing license provided you fulfill the criteria as mandated by the statutes of the particular states.
There are loopholes that you can utilize to your benefit in obtaining your nursing license.
You can also apply for a rehearing in case you do not agree with the decision of the nursing board.
Now you all about whether can you be a nurse with a felony or not.
If you would like learn more about nursing check out these articles of ours:
- Philosophy of Nursing
- Do Nurses Get Drug Tested?
- Do Nurses Take an Oath or Not?
- Nursing Symbols
- SMART Goals for Nursing With Clear Examples
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