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Can I be licensed if I have a criminal conviction?

The question is often asked if an individual with a criminal conviction may become a nurse.

 

The answer is....possibly...

 

According to the law (5 M.R.S.A. Sections 5301, 5302), the appropriate state licensing agency may take into consideration criminal history record from Maine or elsewhere...but the existence of information shall not operate as an automatic bar to being licensed...

 

This means that you are not automatically disqualified from becoming a nurse because of the criminal conviction, but the Board may consider whether or not you have been sufficiently rehabilitated to warrant the public trust. The applicant shall bear the burden of proof.

 

The decision to enter a nursing program is yours. The basic answer to the question as to whether a particular conviction precludes nursing licensure is that there is no crime listed in the law that automatically precludes licensure in nursing. However, the Board of Nursing may certainly consider the conviction when making the determination to license an individual or not.

 

However, the Board of Nursing will not make the determination before a person has even entered a nursing program.