The following are freqently asked questions regarding prior criminal offenses for nurses in the State of Florida. 

Q: Do I have to report charges if I completed a period of probation and the charges were dismissed or closed?
A: Yes. Offenses must be reported to the Board even if you received a suspended imposition of sentence and the record is now considered closed.

Q: Can a person obtain a license as a nurse if they have a misdemeanor or felony crime on their record?
A: Each application is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The Board of Nursing considers the nature, severity, and recency of offenses, as well as rehabilitation and other factors. The Board cannot make a determination for approval or denial of licensure without evaluating the entire application and supporting documentation.

Q: What types of documentation do I need to submit in support of my application if I have a prior criminal record or license discipline?
A:Certified official court document(s) relative to your criminal record, showing the date(s) and circumstance(s) surrounding your arrest(s)/conviction(s), sections of the law violated, and disposition of the case. This would normally consist of the Complaint or Indictment, the Judgment, Docket Sheet or other documents showing disposition of your case. This can also be referred to as the Order of Probation. The clerk of the court in the county the offense occurred can supply and must certify these court documents.

  • Certified copy of the documents relative to any disciplinary action taken against any license. The documents must come from the agency that took the disciplinary action and must be certified by that agency.
  • A detailed description of the circumstances surrounding your criminal record or disciplinary action and a thorough description of the rehabilitative changes in your lifestyle since the time of the offense or disciplinary action which would enable you to avoid these instances in the future.
  • It would be helpful to include factors in your life, which you feel, may have contributed to your crime or disciplinary action, what you have learned about yourself since that time, and the changes you have made that support your rehabilitation.

Note: The burden of proof lies with the applicant to demonstrate evidence of rehabilitation. Examples of rehabilitation evidence may include some of the items below, this list is not complete and you may have information you wish to send:

  • If applicable to your crime or discipline, documented evidence of professional treatment and counseling you may have completed. Please provide a discharge summary, if available.
  • Letters of reference on official letterhead from employers, nursing program administrator, nursing instructors, health professionals, professional counselors, support group sponsors, parole or probation officers, or other individuals in positions of authority who are knowledgeable about your rehabilitation efforts.
  • Proof of community work, education, and/or self-improvement efforts.
  • Court-issued certificate of rehabilitation or evidence of expungement, proof of compliance with criminal probation or parole, and orders of the court.

Q: How can I help facilitate how quickly my application is reviewed?
A: The Board of Nursing strongly encourages all individuals with a criminal or discipline history to be fully prepared with information regarding their background and to start the application process early.

Q. Where can I get copies of my dispositions?
A. You can request a copy of the disposition from the clerk of the court in the county the offense took place.

Applications with previous arrest or disciplinary action on a license will not be authorized to practice nursing until all documentation is cleared by Board staff or reviewed by the Board.

This information was obtained from Florida’s Department of Health’s website under Florida Board of Nursing.