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Seasoned with Sage
How a Convicted Nurse Got Her License Back

I understand those of you who are worried about losing your license after a conviction-and wondering about how to appeal the board of nursing. I know what it is like to worry for months and months, because there are no clear cut answers out there.

I am an RN who has been licensed since 1990. In 2008 I got arrested for petite theft, a Class 2 misdemeanor.  I went through pre-trial diversion and later had my charges nolled processed.

I researched every day for hours trying to find peace of mind that I would regain my license.

I moved from Florida to Arizona and applied for an Arizona license. I self-reported the arrest to the board.  I was worried for months.  I had to send in the arrest record and all the court depositions; I even had to meet with a board investigator.

I was so scared and stressed for months.  I even took a voluntary drug screen for the board.

Let me tell you some good news: I got my license in Arizona with no discipline, but it took much longer than it does for most (4 months).  Follow my advice, don't lie to the board! If you don't self disclose then you violate the Nurse Practice Act and will at minimum get a civil penalty; this is a discipline against your license.

Always cooperate with the board and be honest. It may work out for you like it did for me.

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16 Responses to “How a Convicted Nurse Got Her License Back”

  1. Emilie Says:

    That’s a wonderful ending. It gives hope to those who are in similar situations. I am so glad things worked out well for you!

  2. Dominick Says:

    I was convicted of a federal felony. I contacted the state board and they stated i was able to practice til i had to renew and then they would review my case. Any suggestions before hand?

  3. Kim Says:

    I was in a similar situation. I had some things in my past before I even decided to go to nursing school. One of them happened when I worked at a convenience store and had some people come in using a stolen credit card. Since the store didn’t have cameras, the owner decided she would go after me for it since there was no proof. Even though there were a few different stores that these people used these cards at and I picked them out of a line up. Anyways, I ended up pleading guilty to a lesser charge 1) because I didn’t have the money to fight it, and 2) to not risk losing custody of my son who was 2 at the time to my ex. I was able to take my NCLEX exam after sending all kinds of documents to the board of nursing. They granted me a license with a formal reprimand tagged on it. I’m hoping that will eventually be taken off but I don’t know if it will. My fingerprints still pick up that charge as a felony even though that’s not what I plead guilty to. A lot of employers only look at my convictions and not at my work history and that’s pretty agrivating. I’m glad that everything worked out for you in the end adn hopefull this will give hope to anyone who is in the same situation.

  4. Leslie K. Machuzak Says:

    Dominick….I absolutely have advice for you. Dependent on the state, the moment you are charged you cannot continue practicing until after your conviction is resolved. I know in Virginia where I live your license is immediately suspended upon such a charge. If it were a drug or alcohol charge get some kind of help immediately. You will most likely have to go before the board and they want to see that you are being proactive and doing something about your situation. I had 10 felony counts in three different counties and got my license back after four years in 2006….that is after 18 months in jail, rehab and alot of work. I had to earn the right back to practice nursing again. You will learn exactly how important that is only after something like this.

  5. Sukie Says:

    Great. Just what the profession needs.

  6. terrie inman Says:

    I took a plea ofter shoplifting-misdemenor conversion. Where can I find employment with on my record, plus—what employmnet can I get until probation completed 11-2010

  7. Willma Says:

    You are the reason i lock my purse in my car! Fantastic…..PERFECT

  8. Jackie Says:

    I am a registered nurse with a felony conviction that happened 26 years ago and am still today dealing with discrimination in the job market because of it. Even though I have worked and proved myself over and over, each time I apply for a new job, I have to contend with it and it is so frustating. I made a horrible mistake that could have ended my career, but I also learned a valuable lesson because of it. I recently lost my job due to hospital cuts and lay offs and have not been able to obtain decent employment since. I worked at this hospital for 20 years without incident and because I was in what was considered a non-essential employee position, I was cut. I am no longer able to do bedside nursing and have not been able to since 1997 because of osteoarthritis in my spine. Therefore, I had to accept a position behind a desk and am restricted by my physician from lifting, pushing, pulling, etc. All the things that you have to be able to do in patient care. I am sad to think that I have 33 years experience and employers will not hire me because they are afraid. I am also beginning to deal with the age factor now as well. So please wish me luck as I continue to seek employment.

  9. Mike Capshky Says:

    I am trying to get a hold of Leslie Machuzak about how she got her license back in Virginia. Any help she can give me I would appreciate.

  10. titi Says:

    Hello everybody…, I am a new nurse student (LPN) I just start the class, and on April 29, i got charge with shoplifting in virginia. I only get 1 day in jail and with no fines. My question is; would I be able to get my license or get a job?
    Help me please !!!

  11. Leslie Says:

    Mike Capshky, you can reach me at [email protected], hopefully the site allows you that info. I got my license back in Virginia which is pretty stringent and no matter where you are as long as you are honest and accountable it can be done however be prepared for the bias. They will always be there because people in our profession do not all have the understanding they need to about addiction. I am more than willing to help anyone who needs help navigating the board of nursing in any state.

  12. michiganrn Says:

    Has anyone here dealt with the Michigan HPRP program? I was recently caught diverting opiates and was just looking for someone who has the same problem and can relate 🙂

  13. Jamie LPN Says:

    I have had two reprimands onto my license with in a years time due to supervisors that have basically lied to the board of Nursing in order to ruin my career. Do you happen to know what I can do to get those reprimands removed from my license or how long they stay on it?

  14. Lynn RN Says:

    I also have a formal reprimand on my license caused by a DON who blamed me for something. I received a letter from the board stating if I had not heard anything from them in 6 months, the matter would considered resolved and no further action would be taken. Four years later I received a formal reprimand. Does anybody know what I can do to remove this my license.

  15. Keri Says:

    I made a mistake and have formal issues on my license. I had surgery and I did not know it was an issue to take pain pills from a friend and someone reported me and I got suspended. Then I paid the fine. I was been abused to the extreme in a marriage and smoked some weed and got popped with a drug test and was put on probation and then I my ex would tell the docs I needed meds for depression had them convinced I was bipolar and had all these issues. I took the meds as I was nearly forced by my ex. I took a job as a DON and was promised my probation would not be compromised and there were horrible staffing issues the LPN I was working with refused to pass my narcotics I made a bad decision and passed the meds. I passed the drug test of course I didn’t take the medications. However I signed with my ADON’s initials and I got caught. My grandmother was dying my husband was getting worse I surrendered my license now I have changed my life 100 % I am on some medications but not like I was. I just want my life back. I am moving to North Dakota and just want to be a Nurse I have worked all areas from Cardiac Transplant to LTC. I have worked as a CNA, LPN and an RN. I was in nursing from 1986-2004. Took care of my grandmother and mother until they passed and want nothing more in my new life other than to go back to nursing is there any hope. What do I need to do???? Please any help would be appreciated.

  16. Desireeee Says:

    I made a mistake a couple months ago of shoplifting.. I got caught stealing some makeup it was a c misdemeanor because it was less then 50 bucks I got a citation for petty theft and I didn’t get arrested I paid my fine which was 250 and plead guilty it was cleared and that’s it I didn’t do probation or speak to a judge.. I am planning on getting into the radiology tech program at my school in TX I will probably take me 2 years to get into the program so by the time I get into it this citation would be 3 years old I am young and a college student I was desperate and I have learned from my mistakes and I will never do something like that again! What are my chances on getting into the program I know a big issue is theft because they are not going to trust me, but it was a mistake! I am going to be completely honest in my application, but I’m worried because this is my career I’ve always wanted to get into the medical field and I mean I don’t want to be wasting my time and money on school if I won’t be able to get into the program. Did I just ruin my entire life? Will I ever be able to pursue my career because of this? I plan on taking it off my record, but I don’t have the money at the moment. HELP PLEASE!

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