It’s no secret that the nursing profession is one of the most in-demand careers in the United States today. With a projected 1.2 million job openings for registered nurses by 2022, there’s no shortage of opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career in nursing.
However, becoming a nurse isn’t as easy as simply completing a nursing program and passing the NCLEX-RN exam. In addition to these requirements, there are also certain charges that can stop you from becoming a nurse.
In this guide, we’ll discuss what types of charges can disqualify you from becoming a nurse, as well as what you can do if you have a criminal record.
Charges That Disqualify You from Becoming a Nurse
There are many different charges that can stop you from becoming a nurse. While some of these charges may be more serious than others, all of them have the potential to prevent you from reaching your dream career.
Here are some of the most common charges that can stop you from becoming a nurse:
Being Convicted of a Felony
A felony conviction can automatically disqualify you from becoming a nurse. It is important to note that not all felonies are created equal, and some may not have an impact on your ability to obtain a nursing license.
However, it is always best to check with the licensing board in your state to determine whether or not a felony conviction will impact your ability to become licensed.
Being Convicted of a Misdemeanor
A misdemeanor conviction will not necessarily stop you from becoming a nurse, but it can make it more difficult. Misdemeanors are typically viewed as less serious than felonies, but they can still have an impact on your ability to obtain a nursing license.
Having A History of Substance Abuse
A history of substance abuse can be a barrier to becoming a nurse. Many states require applicants for nursing licenses to undergo a criminal background check, and a history of drug or alcohol abuse can be discovered during this process.
Additionally, many employers require nurses to submit to drug tests, and a positive result can lead to being disqualified from the position.
Failing To Disclose Information on Your Application
Most states require applicants for nursing licenses to disclose any criminal convictions, as well as any history of substance abuse. Failing to disclose this information can lead to automatic disqualification from becoming a nurse.
Lying On Your Application
In addition to failing to disclose information, lying on your nursing application can also lead to automatic disqualification. Be sure to answer all questions truthfully, as any attempt to mislead the licensing board can result in serious consequences.
Having A History of Professional Misconduct
A history of professional misconduct can also be a barrier to becoming a nurse. This includes things like being disciplined by a previous employer or engaging in unprofessional conduct.
Failing To Meet Educational Requirements
In order to become a nurse, you must first complete an accredited nursing program. Failing to meet this requirement can prevent you from obtaining a nursing license.
Refusing To Submit to A Background Check
Most states require applicants for nursing licenses to undergo a criminal background check. Refusing to submit to this process can lead to automatic disqualification from becoming a nurse.
Having A History of Violence or Sexual Misconduct
A history of violence or sexual misconduct can also be a barrier to becoming a nurse. This type of history can be discovered during a criminal background check, and it can make it challenging to obtain a nursing license.
Failing To Adhere to The Code of Ethics
Nurses are held to a high standard of ethical conduct, and failing to adhere to this code can lead to disciplinary action. This can include things like being convicted of patient abuse or engaging in fraudulent behavior.
If you are charged with any of these types of crimes, you will likely be disqualified from becoming a nurse.
However, it is essential to note that each state has its own laws and regulations regarding who can become a nurse. Therefore, it is important to check with your state’s board of nursing for more information.
Can You Be Fired from Your Nursing Job If You Have a Criminal Record?
In most cases, the answer is yes. Nurses are held to a high standard of conduct, and many crimes can lead to termination from a nursing position. Some offenses that are most likely to result in being fired from a nursing job include drug offenses, theft, and assault.
Nurses who are convicted of a crime may also have their license suspended or revoked, which would make it impossible to continue working in the nursing field.
If you have been charged with any crime, it is important to speak with a professional criminal defense attorney soon. You need to discuss your legal options and determine how to best protect your rights and livelihood.
Furthermore, if you are already employed as a nurse, you should notify your employer of the charges as soon as possible to avoid being terminated from your position.
This way, you can maintain your job while you fight the charges against you. You can also look into getting a nursing license defense lawyer to help you keep your nursing license.
What You Can Do If You Have a Criminal Record
If you have a criminal record, it can often feel like you’re stuck in a dead-end job. But don’t give up on your dream of becoming a nurse just yet! There are ways to overcome this obstacle and get your nursing license, even if you have a criminal record.
First, you may be able to get your criminal record expunged. This means that the record will be sealed and not accessible to the public. To do this, you’ll need to go through the court system and petition for expungement.
Second, you can petition to have your case heard by the Board of Nursing. This is a group of people who will review your case and decide whether or not you should be allowed to become a nurse.
Finally, there are many organizations that can help you get your nursing license, even if you have a criminal record. These organizations can provide resources and support to help you through the process.
If you have a criminal record, don’t give up on your dream of becoming a nurse. There are ways to overcome this obstacle and get your nursing license. With resources and support from organizations, you can make your dream a reality.
How Can a Criminal Record Affect Your Nursing Career?
There are many different ways a criminal record can impact your ability to become a nurse. Some hospitals or nursing programs may not even consider you if you have a criminal record. Certain charges can even stop you from being a nurse.
Here are some ways a criminal record can affect your nursing career:
You may not be able to get into a nursing program.
Some nursing programs do background checks on applicants, and if they find anything on your record, you may not be able to get into the program. You may also not be able to get into a nursing program if you have any outstanding warrants.
You may not be able to get licensed.
In order to become a nurse, you must first get licensed by the state in which you wish to practice. However, if you have a criminal record, you may not be able to get licensed. This is because some states have laws that prevent people with certain types of criminal records from becoming licensed nurses.
You may not be able to get a job.
Even if you are able to get into a nursing program and get licensed, you may not be able to actually get a job as a nurse. This is because many hospitals do background checks on their employees, and if they find anything on your record, they may not hire you.
You may not be able to keep your job.
If you are a nurse and have been convicted of a felony, you may be fired from your job. You may also have difficulty finding new employment in the nursing field. This is because most hospitals and other healthcare facilities will not hire nurses with criminal records.
You may not be able to get insurance.
Many insurance companies will not provide coverage for nurses with a criminal record. This means that you may have to pay for your own liability insurance, which can be very expensive.
You may not be able to get bonding.
In order to work in some healthcare facilities, you may need to get bonded. However, if you have a criminal record, you may not be able to get bonded. This means that you will not be able to work in these types of facilities.
As you can see, a criminal record can have a significant impact on your nursing career. If you have been charged with a crime, it is important to speak with an attorney who can help you understand the potential consequences of your charges.