I have a friend who is thinking of going into a nursing program to become an RN. Five years ago he got a DWI. No one was injured, nor was there any property damage. I have not been able to get any definite information on the likelihood of him getting into a RN program or being able to get a license or a job as an RN.
Past criminal convictions are always a concern for someone applying to a nursing education program. This has been discussed in several other responses in this column. You may want to review one or two for additional information. Your friend’s best approach is to consult with a nurse attorney or other attorney who represents nurses in licensure matters. The attorney can advise your friend about the state nurse practice act and its rules and guidelines about this issue.
Your friend can do some work on his own by checking the nursing school catalogues in which he is interested. They often provide information about criminal background checks and the likelihood of those with criminal backgrounds to being admitted to the program and participating in clinical rotations.
Generally speaking, a felony conviction has far more serious ramifications for a student applicant than does a misdemeanor conviction. Also, the type of felony (e.g., sexual abuse, aggravated battery) may raise additional obstacles than a less serious felony. However, your friend needs to obtain specific advice on these issues so he can make an informed decision about his future.