If you attended nursing school, then you don’t likely need anyone telling you how challenging it is. That’s not all — you have to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). It’s only then that you can apply for a license from the California Board of Registered Nursing.
With all the hoops that you had to jump through to secure your professional license, it’s unlikely that you’d want to do anything that would cause you to lose it. A conviction could make that happen, though.
Does a criminal conviction affect my ability to retain a professional license?
Licensing boards generally ask prospective licensees about their criminal records on their initial application for a professional license and renewal ones. Many of these boards include disclaimers on the applications highlighting how licensees must disclose any arrests, lawsuits, convictions and other issues of concern within a certain time after they occur.
These boards may discipline licensees once they notify them of their legal problem. Such disciplinary action could involve a license revocation, resulting in a licensee being completely prohibited from practicing their profession in California.
Can you keep the licensing board from learning about your conviction?
Many professionals don’t realize that licensing boards perform background checks on prospective licensees before awarding them licenses. Even if they are aware of this, they may think that it happens once and never again, but that’s not the case.
The board randomly checks licensees’ backgrounds. While the discovery of a conviction may not result in a permanent loss of a license holder’s professional license, it could open the door to the board asking for additional information.
As a nurse, the board may be particularly interested in knowing more about any charges or convictions for substance abuse, theft, fraud or abuse. The board will likely ask more about the nature of the charges as part of their investigation.
Your responses could impact whether the board allows you to obtain a license or keep the one you have. This is why you owe it to yourself to aggressively fight any criminal charges you face. It may determine whether you can continue working in your career field in the future.