What Shows up on a Background Check for Nursing School?
A background check provides a comprehensive overview of an individual’s history, revealing crucial information that employers, landlords, or other decision-makers may require. The information typically includes criminal records, employment history, educational background, credit history, driving records, and civil records. Criminal background checks delve into local, state, and national databases to uncover any arrests, charges, convictions, or ongoing criminal proceedings. Employment verification confirms an individual’s previous job titles, dates of employment, and reasons for leaving, while education verification validates degrees, certifications, and institutions attended. Credit checks assess an individual’s financial responsibility by evaluating credit scores, payment history, and outstanding debts. Driving records reveal any traffic violations, suspensions, or accidents, while civil records may include information on lawsuits, bankruptcies, and liens. The scope of a background check may vary based on the purpose of the inquiry and the specific information being sought.
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 seven years back)
- Citations and Fines
- Credit History
- Housing History
What Does a Nursing Background Check Include?
A nursing background check is a comprehensive screening process designed to ensure the safety of patients and uphold the integrity of the healthcare industry. It typically includes verification of the nurse’s education, licensure, and employment history, as well as an examination of any criminal records. Criminal background checks for nurses involve searches at the local, state, and federal levels, uncovering any misdemeanor or felony convictions, pending criminal cases, and any record of expunged or sealed offenses. Additionally, a nursing background check includes searches of the national sex offender registry, domestic terrorist watch list, and any state-specific abuse and neglect registries. Finally, a thorough background check may also encompass drug testing, driving records, and professional reference checks to further evaluate the suitability and reliability of the nursing candidate. The extent of a background check may vary depending on the hiring organization and the specific nursing role being pursued.
Nurse Background Check Information
Depending on the nature of the crime, an applicant 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
Background Check For Nurses
A comprehensive background check for nurses is an essential step in the hiring process for healthcare facilities, ensuring patient safety and maintaining a high standard of care. These background checks typically include verification of education, licensure, and work experience, as well as a thorough examination of criminal records, sanctions, and disciplinary actions. By conducting an in-depth background check for nurses, employers can identify potential red flags and make informed hiring decisions that contribute to a safe and supportive work environment. As a nurse, understanding the importance of background checks can also help you prepare for the hiring process, take proactive measures to maintain a clean professional record, and demonstrate your commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards in your field.
State Background Check
Some nursing schools conduct a state background check instead of a federal one. It 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 appear 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. It can include reviewing education and employment history, military records, and credit reports.
Arizona Nursing Board Criminal History
ARS 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 ten working days after the charge is filed.
A working day would be considered Monday through Friday.
Failure to report a reportable criminal charge within ten business days violates the Arizona Nurse Practice Act and could result in Arizona Nursing Board Discipline.
What Current and Past Crimes Must Be Reported?
The nurse practitioner must report a felony within ten days of being charged.
The following types of misdemeanors or other criminal histories are crimes that the Board has determined to be reportable under 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
People frequently ask our attorneys 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 its website covering the details of under what circumstances a nurse (like an RN) can get licensed while having a case that resulted in a criminal conviction.
Criminal Charges for Nurses with the Board
When a professional applies to the Arizona State Board 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 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 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 recently 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 had it redesignated a misdemeanor before the Board revoked their license.
A past felony 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 its website covering 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 questions for our Nursing Board attorneys at Chelle Law, contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss your options.
Suppose 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.