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Will having an old misdemeanor for possession of marijuana affect my job search once I finish nursing school?

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Question:

Dear Nancy,

Will having an old misdemeanor for possession of marijuana affect my job search once I finish nursing school?

Stefan

Dear Nancy replies:

Dear Stefan,

It is difficult to predict what might happen once you graduate and start looking for a job given your misdemeanor conviction. Most employers do criminal background checks. Some employers will not hire anyone with a criminal conviction, whether a misdemeanor or a felony. Others will evaluate such factors as the length of time that has passed since the conviction, whether you meet any requirements ordered by the court (for example, rehab treatment) and if you have had any legal difficulties since that conviction.

You might want to seek support from any groups you can identify that have members with similar concerns or can provide help for people with criminal backgrounds and employment. One type of association you should try and identify in your state is a legal assistance association that helps individuals with criminal backgrounds obtain employment. Such organizations exist in many states and seeking support and guidance from such a groups most probably would help you around the difficulties you may face in seeking employment.

Sincerely,
Nancy

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About Author

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.

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