Posted on January 3, 2013
I have a very important question. I live in Tennessee and I’m currently attending a local college as a Nursing major. However, as a juvenile, I was convicted on 3 felony charges. I’ve received jobs since becoming an adult and nothing has ever came back negative, but I’ve been told that when I go before the BON to receive my RN License I won’t be able to receive them. Can anyone tell me how true this is? It is said that your record is expunged when you become an adult, but it is also said that the BON can pull up juvenile records. Is there anyone out there that has had a similar situation and still became an RN? Please, any help would be greatly appreciated.
I would try and check with your state board of nursing before you proceed. Just be honest with them and tell them about your situation.
I’m in nursing school at the moment so I don’t know how the process goes, but I have been told that it really depends on the situation, and the BON will make decisions on a case by case basis and there isn’t really any one way to predict an outcome. I think they will take into consideration that you were a juvenile, the nature of the charges, and also if you have had any other convictions since then. I have a misdemeanor that is a few years old, and my adviser told me that if/when it becomes an issue with the BON, to explain why it happened without trying to make excuses for it, and how you’ve learned from the experience – you’ll just have to advocate for yourself a little before the BON will advocate for you.
During my time in nursing school, I had a fellow nursing student in the same situation. Her offenses were also on her juvenile record. I can’t recall if she mentioned whether or not they were expunged. Either way, I believe that the answer to your questions depends on how the law reads in your state. Since it sounds like your offenses are a record in TN, and you are referring to licensure through the TN BON, here is what the state website says about juvenile records:
Question: “My child is applying for a job. Does my child have to disclose any juvenile court record?” Answer: “The important thing is to be honest. If the question asks about convictions only, juvenile records (which are adjudications, and not convictions) would not count. If the question calls for convictions and adjudications, then the answer would be different. If a juvenile record is expunged, it can be honestly treated as if it had never occurred.”
As the answer above states, you SHOULD be honest about your prior record. It appears that if your offenses occurred more than five years prior to your application for licensure, it will not affect your application, and disclosing it from the beginning will likely protect you from future revocation for non-disclosure on your initial application. Depending on the offense on your juvenile record, The Tennessee Board of Nursing states:
The Board of Nursing will also deny an application for initial licensure, temporary permit, or renewal, following the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act, to persons who were convicted as a juvenile of the following crimes within five (5) years preceding said application or renewal:
(a) First Degree Murder, as in T.C.A. 39-13-202.
(b) Second Degree Murder, as in T.C.A. 39-13-207.
(c) Kidnapping, as in T.C.A. 39-13-207.
(d) Aggravated Kidnapping, as in T.C.A. 39-13-304.
(e) Especially Aggravated Kidnapping, as in T.C.A. 39-13-305.
(f) Aggravated Robbery, as in T.C.A. 39-13-402.
(g) Especially Aggravated Robbery, as in T.C.A. 39-13-403.
(h) Aggravated Rape, as in T.C.A. 39-13-502.
(i) Rape, as in T.C.A. 39-13-503.
My friend had received a DUI the year prior to getting accepted into the nursing program what she did was spoke with the head of our nursing dept at school way ahead of time because she did not want to go through with all the stress of knowing she might not be able to get her liscense..but she made it and is nursing now..so Good luck to you!