Do I Need To Expunge My Record If I Want to Be a Nurse?

October 01, 2015

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  • Well – the short answer is “most likely.”

    At WipeRecord, we are constantly getting questions from people who are pursuing/want to pursue a career as a nurse. Such questions include:

    “Can I get a nursing job with a criminal record?”

    “Will I be able to get a nursing license with a criminal background?”

    An expungement can be beneficial if you have a criminal background and intend to enter the nursing profession. Because all nursing schools are different, you should check if you can be admitted to a specific nursing program if you have a criminal background. Some schools will allow you to attend but some may not. Although you may not need to have your record expunged before you attend nursing school, it is hugely beneficial to have a clean record when applying for a nursing license. Each state has different requirements for professional licensure, and you will want to contact the board of nursing for your state to get information on their requirements related to criminal records.

    The following question and answer was taken from California Board of Registered Nursing:

    Question: Does the BRN require student nurses to undergo criminal background checks prior to admission in a prelicensure school of nursing?

    Answer: No. The Board has no authority to request a criminal background check except at the time of application for licensure.

    This is very important because if you want to be a nurse you have to apply for a license and you may not be granted that license if you have a criminal background. So how do you make sure that your background is clean before you apply for a nursing license?

    Luckily, California has some very progressive expungement laws and you can expunge most convictions – see what types of convictions you can expunge in California.

    If your record is successfully expunged in California, the original plea of guilty is withdrawn, a plea of not guilty is entered, and the case is dismissed. Once the order is signed by the judge, you are no longer considered convicted of the offense. While you will still have to disclose the case information when you apply for your license, the court records will reflect the expungement and they will see that you are no longer convicted. Once you are licensed by the state of California, you do not have to further disclose the case information on any employment applications for private entities. The requirement for disclosure only applies to applications for state employment or licensure, making your subsequent job search much less stressful.

    Expungement of your criminal convictions can be important even if you were convicted after you were already a licensed Registered Nurse. Any time you change jobs or positions, prospective employers may run a criminal background search. Expungement of eligible criminal convictions can ease the transition from one job to another.

    If you have a criminal record, you should take our FREE online expungement eligibility test or call us toll free at 844-947.3732.

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