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 schools 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 (usually 7 years back)
- Citations and Fines
- Credit History
- Housing History
Nurse Background Check Information
Depending on the nature of the crime, an applicant might or might not be able to get a job as a nurse with a criminal record. Laws vary from state to state. The information from the background check services generally includes:
- Date of birth
- Divorces and marriages
- Current driver’s license or state ID number
- Legal name
- Other names, including criminal aliases
- Property owned
- Tax liens
State Background Check
Some nursing schools conduct a state background check instead of a federal one. This will only show crimes committed in the state where the person is applying for a job. If a person is on probation for a crime committed in another state, that will usually show up in the background check. Some state background checks also include a review of civil cases.
Many states check the backgrounds of people applying for nursing student positions to find out if they have a record of abuse or neglect. A nursing district can also conduct other background checks. This can include a review of education and employment history, military records, and credit reports.
Arizona Nursing Board Criminal History
A.R.S. 32-3208 requires that nursing licensees and applicants for a nursing license must report misdemeanor criminal charges involving conduct that may affect patient safety or a felony to the Arizona Board of Nursing within 10 working days after the charge is filed. A working day would be considered Monday through Friday.
Failure to report a reportable criminal charge within 10 business days is a violation of the Arizona Nurse Practice Act and could result in Arizona Nursing Board Discipline.
What Current and Past Crimes Must Be Reported?
A felony must be reported within 10 days of being charged. The following types of a misdemeanor or other criminal histories are crimes that have been determined by the Board to be reportable pursuant to A.RS § 32-3208:
- Assault and Related Offenses
- Theft and Related Offenses
- Fraud, Deceit, and Related Offenses
- Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation of a Child or Vulnerable Adult and Related Offenses
- Sexual and Related Offenses
- Drug and/or Alcohol Related Offenses
- Arson and Related Offenses
- Animal Abuse, Cruelty, and Related Offenses
Arizona Nurse Felony
One question our attorneys are frequently asked is whether state law allows a nursing professional with a felony criminal conviction to get a license with the Arizona State Board of Nursing? The short answer is, yes. An Arizona Felony for nurses will not necessarily prevent a nurse from obtaining a license or a career in the medical field. However, the Board has a public policy on their website which covers the details of under what circumstances a nurse (like an RN) with a case that resulted in a criminal conviction can get a license.
Criminal Charges for Nurses with the Board
When a professional applies to the Arizona State Bd of Nursing, they must disclose a felony criminal court conviction (and other similar offenses) on their application. A nurse must self-report a felony no matter how much time or how many years have passed since the conviction. After self-reporting occurs, the Board contacts the nurse and initiates an investigation utilizing the law of the AZ Nurse Practice Act. The investigation helps to determine whether the nursing professional is a danger to the public, has any medical or mental health problems, and whether the nurse has rehabilitated in the time since the criminal incident occurred. Simply put, the Nursing Board wants to know whether the RN, LPN, or NP applicant can provide safe nursing care.
What Would a Nurse be Subject to if Recently Convicted of a Felony?
So, What Would a Nurse be Subject to if Recently Convicted of a Felony? A nurse licensed in Arizona with the Arizona Board of Nursing who recently was convicted of a felony would ultimately lose their license. State law requires that any nurse convicted of a felony have their license revoked.
Scenario Where Nursing License Would not be Revoked
The only scenario where a nurse could keep their license would be if they were convicted of an undesignated felony and have it redesignated a misdemeanor prior to the Board revoking their license.
A past felony for a nurse will not necessarily prevent a nurse from obtaining a license or a career in the medical field. However, the Board has a public policy on their website which covers the details of under what circumstances a nurse with a case that resulted in a criminal conviction can get a license.
Consultation with Chelle Law
If you have a question for our Nursing Board attorneys at Chelle Law, contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss your options. If you’re interested in learning more about Arizona Nursing Board Criminal History laws and how to protect your rights, set up a consultation with Chelle Law and our Arizona Nursing Attorney reach out to us today.