Yes, you can find a nursing job even if you have been disciplined by the Nursing Board

Each year, hundreds of nurses in Ohio face discipline to their nursing license based on a variety of circumstances ranging from violations of the Nurse Practice Act (R.C. 4734) to being found guilty of a criminal offense (such as a DUI) or for being diagnosed with drug or alcohol abuse or addiction. Often nurses face a temporary suspension of their license or are required to submit to random drug screens or other probationary monitoring terms once their nursing license is reinstated during a probationary period.

Under the Ohio public records law, an Order of the Nursing Board or a Consent Agreement that is negotiated between the nurse and the Nursing Board is a matter of public record. The sanction is noted on the Nursing Board website and the actual Order or Consent Agreement is often loaded on the Nursing Board website for anyone to download and read.

Based on the public nature of Nursing Board disciplinary actions, I am often asked “Will I ever find a job as a nurse in Ohio if I have a disciplinary action against my license?” In general, the answer is “Yes!”

Over the past fifteen years, I have represented hundreds of nurses before the Nursing Board. Based on my experience, even nurses who have received treatment for drug or alcohol abuse or who have been found to have violated the Ohio Nurse Practice Act, which has resulted in suspensions of their licenses, eventually can find employment in the field of nursing once their license has been reinstated. However, it is important to note that securing employment can be more difficult for a nurse who has a limited or restricted license.

I typically find that nurses who are honest with employers and clearly and accurately explain the basis for their disciplinary action, as well as the steps that they have taken to remediate the situation have the best chance of finding employment as a nurse. Employers are generally willing to give disciplined nurses a chance at employment if they believe that the nurse has remedied their situation, that they have taken responsibility for their actions, and that they are honest about their conduct.

To prepare to discuss a Board disciplinary matter with an employer, I always advise clients to prepare a “one minute elevator speech” in which the nurse discloses and addresses the disciplinary action taken. I have found that employers do not like to be blindsided about a disciplinary action after they have already employed an individual or to learn of a disciplinary action in a background check. It’s best to head off any questions that an employer might have about your past and tell them yourself up front.

This blog is intended as general guidance and may not fit your particular situation. As always, if you have any questions about this post or about the Ohio Board of Nursing in general, please email me at Beth@collislaw.com or call me at (614) 486-3909.

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9 thoughts on “Yes, you can find a nursing job even if you have been disciplined by the Nursing Board

  1. I have a question. I am wanting to go to school for my LPN. I start in September and I am so worried. I have a petty theft on my record from 2010 and I was wondering if I was able to take my boards with that being on my record. I have nothing else on my record that’s criminal, just some traffic violations. I have searched and searched and cannot seem to find an answer. Please help! Thank you.

  2. I have a question. I am wanting to go to school for my LPN. I start in September and I am so worried. I have a petty theft on my record from 2010 and I was wondering if I was able to take my boards with that being on my record. I have nothing else on my record that’s criminal, just some traffic violations. I have searched and searched and cannot seem to find an answer. Please help!!! Thank you.

    • You should fully disclose your prior conviction to your Nursing program. They will be in the best position to determine if they can keep you in the program and if you will be able to attend your clinical assignments with a prior conviction. Some clinical sites have limitations that prevent persons with convictions from participating. In terms of licensure once you complete nursing school, you will again have to disclose your conviction on your application. The Nursing Board will then decide if they will grant you a free and clear license or a license with restrictions. It all depends on the nature of the crime.

      • I was convicted with petty theft in February of 2010. I was convicted because one of my friends stole and eyeliner and since I was the only one that was 18, they charged me with it. I’m in the process of getting it expunged and the case is closed and everything’s paid. I just need a clear answer on if I should go ahead and attend school or not waste my time And money. I’m currently working as an STNA an when I got my job the background check they done had it pop up but it never hurt me from working.

      • You can always request an early release. But, it has been my experience that the board will not shorten a two year probation. Early releases are generally approved once you have completed at least 50% if probation in cases where probation is 3+ years.

  3. Hello, I have a question. I’m a lpn with restrictions on my license for 2 yrs or less that came from a background that I had prior to taking the NCLEX. Since then I have had my convictions expunged but I still have to present a consent agreement to every employer. I wanted to know if the OBON let nurses off probation early??

  4. Hello. I am wondering what all needs to be disclosed to the BON. I am starting a PN program in fall and I have juvenile convictions and one petty theft as an adult from 2009. I have no other charges on my record. My adult case is able to be exspunged but I’ve been told that it never really goes away and will show up on the FBI check anyways?? I’ve also heard of someone being denied a license over a juvenile record?? I always thought those were sealed automatically. I just want to make sure I do the right thing before submitting my background check to my program.

    • You will need to provide the Board and your Nursing school with information about any criminal convictions even if they are been sealed or expunged. I have not heard of the Nursing Board denying a license to an applicant with a former juvenile record. If you have questions or want your application reviewed, feel free to contact one of the attorneys at our office. We generally can assist for a fixed rate. Best of luck.

    • You will need to provide the Board and your Nursing school with information about any criminal convictions even if they are been sealed or expunged. I have not heard of the Nursing Board denying a license to an applicant with a former juvenile record. If you have questions or want your application reviewed, feel free to contact one of the attorneys at our office. We generally can assist for a fixed rate. Best of luck.

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