Prospective students convicted of any felonious act may be prohibited from licensure as a registered nurse by the Board of Nursing. Applicants who plan to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania should be advised that upon application for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), the Board of Nursing will inquire as to whether the applicant has been convicted of a misdemeanor, felony, felonious act, an illegal act associated with alcohol or an illegal act associated with substance abuse(s).
From the Pennsylvania State Board Application, Section 6, Fees:
Qualifications for Licensure
No application for licensure as a registered nurse shall be considered unless accompanied by a fee determined by the Board by regulation. Every applicant, to be eligible for examination for licensure as a registered nurse, shall furnish evidence satisfactory to the Board that he or she is of good moral character, has completed work equal to a standard high school course as evaluated by the Board and has satisfactorily completed an approved program of professional nursing. Approved programs shall include baccalaureate degree, associate degree and diploma nursing programs. The Board shall not issue a license or certificate to an applicant who has been convicted of a felonious act prohibited by the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64) known as "The Controlled Substance Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act," or convicted of a felony relating to a controlled substance in a court of law of the United States or any other state, territory or country unless:
- At least ten (10) years have elapsed from the date of conviction.
- The applicant satisfactorily demonstrates to the Board that he has made significant progress in personal rehabilitation since the conviction such that licensure of the applicant should not be expected to create a substantial risk of harm to the health and safety of patients or the public or a substantial risk of further criminal violations.
- The applicant otherwise satisfies the qualifications contained in or authorized by this act.
As used in this subsection the term "convicted" shall include a judgment, an admission of guilt or a plea of nolo contendere. An applicant's statement on the application declaring the absence of a conviction shall be deemed satisfactory evidence of the absence of a conviction, unless the Board has some evidence to the contrary. (6 amended Dec. 15, 1986, P.L. 1607, No. 179) (Professional Nurse Law)
Moreover, because of the mandate of the laws relating to character requirements (good moral character) (Sections 13, 14 and 15.1 of the Professional Nursing Law), The Board has the duty and the right to ask for this information.
If you have a criminal conviction, you are advised to contact:
State Board of Nursing
P.O. Box 2649
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649