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I have a misdemeanor for prescription fraud it was my first offense. If I move to another state, can I still get an LPN license or should I start looking for a new career?

Friday March 15, 2013
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Question:

Dear Nancy,

I have a misdemeanor for prescription fraud it was my first offense. If I move to another state, can I still get an LPN license or should I start looking for a new career?

Ralph



Nancy Brent replies:

Dear Ralph,

When a licensed RN or LPN has had a criminal conviction, the state in which the nurse is currently licensed is governed by its state nurse practice act. Some states allow the nurse to continue to be licensed. But the board of nursing, due to the conviction, may discipline him or her. Other states have taken the position that the conviction of certain crimes, or any crime, is a bar to obtaining or keeping a license.

Your best bet is to seek information about what the nurse practice act and its rules say about a criminal conviction and the ability to obtain a license in the state you want to become licensed. You can start this process easily by going to the board of nursing's website, or the LPN's board of nursing website, if a separate board exists in the state where you want to seek licensure. The state's act and rules can be downloaded from the site. If the board of nursing publishes a newsletter or updates on the practice act, they would be listed on the website as well and might include the issue of a criminal conviction and its effect on licensure.

Once you determine the answer to your question, you might want to seek the opinion of a nurse attorney or attorney in the state where you would like to be licensed in order to determine if there are ways in which a conviction, if it is a bar to licensure, can be challenged. You can identify a nurse attorney through The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (www.taana.org) or perhaps through your LPN professional association.

Cordially,
Nancy




Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is an attorney in private practice in Wilmette, Ill. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or any other advice. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional when an opinion is needed.