Can a convicted felon work in the medical field?

I am a convicted felon living in the state of Florida. I am moving to S.C. next month to attend medical assistant’s school. I am curious though as to whether or not I will be able to work in the medical field with my criminal record. I am on drug offender probation and will be a felon for life. Anyone have advice as to what career options are available to me in my situation?

Answer #1

I stumbled onto this post and I guess it was bt no accident. I committed a crime over 12 years ago for credit card abuse and ID tampering. I paid fine and fees recieved deferred adjudification and 90 day weekends while going to school. I since have gone on to recieve my BBA and is currently in graudate school. I would like to go into OT or Nursing here in Texas and was very concerned about my background although it shows no convictions it still shows I committed a crime. I really am gald to see all of the encouraging post you guys have submitted and with that said I know God is in control. Thanks once again and I will push forward with my goals.


Answer #2

i would call the assistant place ur goin to and ask them ahead of time or call around to diferent employers u would ike to look for and ask anonymously.

Answer #3

My osbi records states pled not guilty, case dismissed and I still can’t get a job. The actual court records have been expunged.

I am thinking about moving. Oklahoma sucks.

Answer #4

Hi Serlis1205, I have the same problem, I am a convicted felon living in Florida, and I am currently going to school for nursing. I have called the Florida Board of Nursing and talked with someone in regards to my situration and they give you a ray of hope by telling you “We look at each person individually” and I tell myself everyday, as I work toward my goal.. that my case is explainable and understandable. But there are days when I am scared that all these years of school are toward an unrealistic goal. I cant even find a job right now because of my record, I ask myself how do I expect to have a well paying and respectable career. But to answer your question. I would never give up. If it’s what you love and what you want to do.. do it. Even though society say’s “realisticly, no” or whatever they may say, all things are possible with prayer. I don’t want to get religious on you but that’s what keeps me going. Society says “slim chances” but my heart and faith tell me don’t get discouraged. I am not sure where in the medical field your interested in working, but I know that with nursing you have to go before the Board of Nursing prior to licensing. And they will indeed look at you as an individual, and depending on the extent of your crime, the time it was commited, what you’ve done with your life since.. etc. Because you work with narcotics in the medical field, a record with drug charges may have more severe consequences. But I wish you luck, as I wish myself luck on this road we travel as.. FELONS!!

Answer #5

i dont know the exact answer but being a convicted felon and all makes your chances pretty thin. srry.

Answer #6

I was convicted of a felony in the early 90’s. Didn’t get into any trouble since and received a full pardon from the governor of the state in which I was arrested. I have since gone to school for nursing, got my BSN in nursing and worked in hospitals in Arizona, California and New York with no problem whatsover regarding my past conviction. I have since gone on to become a CRNA. I now make close to a grand per day, live better than I ever expected, and provide my family with a great life. I can’t speak for all felony convictions, because obviously it depends on what you were convicted for. Mine was a non-violent, non-drug related felony. Someone convicted of rape, manslaughter, etc. would have almost zero chance of getting a job in the medical field (probably any job, for that matter). Drug convictions, it would depend on what you did (I.e. posession might have better chance than drug runner, etc).

Another factor is whether you have a pardon or expungement, the amount of time since you were convicted, etc. I actually work with a physician who was has a felony conviction (another physician who posted here previously said he/she had one as well) so clearly, simply being a convicted felon will not hinder you. Like I said, it depends on the circumstances.

And for those who judge, just keep in mind that there are convicted felons in congress and other high offices in Washington. There are felons working in religious positions, the legal field, etc. Just because someone is a felon doesn’t mean they are any worse than you. Some police officers are just as bad as the people they arrest, but not all police are bad just as not everyone convicted is a bad person.

Answer #7

Hi I am a past conviceted felon and have worked in Law Enforcement agencies, (not as an officer), but as a police tech. I did a background check and it was for GTA etc. I am going to school to be a Physicians assistant and have references. I agree that obtaining a job is not easy, but my old parole officer is in California, I am in South Carolina now, and my President of the scohol said honesty is the best policy. I have volounteered, done shadows etc. and have had background checks and because I have bene honest and it was only for GTA and theft then yes they gave me a chance. Get letters of recommendation form people WHO KNOW YOU HAVE A FELONY, and they will go to bat for you if you work diligently and ethically. Do not lie as that will catch up with you.

Certain crimes like drugs, sex crimes etc. and some weapons or violent crimes will create a wall, but if you have drug convictions it is very slim you will work in the healthcare unless youre a janitor.

You have to take into account the field youre oging into and if your ocnviction relates to it. I.e. You want to be a pharmacist and have narcotics crimes.

Never give up. You can do it you just may have to work harder then others.

Answer #8

ok I went to prison for 13 months got out and went to school for a medical assistant I finished that got a job at a private dr office they dont do background checks so find a private dr office then I applyed at a big known clinic here in tulare county california and got the job they didnt do a background check ither so yea you can I am proof of it hope this helps…

Answer #9

I am a nurse and I also have some convictions on my record although they are misdeamonors they are all theft charges. I was granted my license in the state of texas but I had to attend a class and pay a fee. The school where I attended also did a background check as well but I passed it so did my sister who has a felony. The board of nursing in Texas informed me that the problem for me may not be getting my license but finding someone who will hire me. I found I did run into some problems when it came to nursing homes but hospitals were quick to hire me.

Answer #10

I am a former convicted felon. It was expunged WHILE I WAS STILL IN MED SCHOOL AT OU! The truth is that the board WILL take each case individually. Depending on the nature of the crime (mine was bond jumping when I was a young man) they will grant you a license granted you didn’t get in anymore trouble. I am a convicted felon and a medical doctor. those who said it couldn’t be done are simply wrong or mislead. I’m speaking on the state of Oklahoma by the way. look into it, my friend, but believe and keep going strong!!! Dr. K.J.S. III

Answer #11

Hello. First off I was convicted of both state and federal counterfeit and fraud charges at the age of 19. I served two years in federal camp and at this time am almost complete with my supervised release. I figured when I was done with prison that I could re-enter society and start fresh. Unfortunatley approaching potential employers with the thought that my honesty would pay off turned out to be horrible. When telling the truth didn’t work and having a minimum wage job wasn’t going to cut it…I tried it. That’s right I lied on my applications and just put school/personal time on the two year gap in my job resume. I didn’t want to do this because I really did want to do things correctly; however, I chose what was best for my situation. From my experience, this is how it works. When I said I had never been convicted of a felony…it worked. Once, twice, and three times without fail. Here’s why. First of all some employers state that they will run a background check on you and they may only use the credit reporting agencies which are able to provide some type of shallow report. Hence NEVER report your felony to your employer if you don’t plan on claiming it for the rest of your life. Secondly, since I have federal and state records I’ve noticed something. IF your employer does run a background check they’re only running THAT STATE background check. I was convicted in SC and GA but have passed state background checks in TX and LA (military spouse). I don’t think my federal record has ever come up. Also, my probation officer here has mentioned another female who abused this fact: that is if you’re married after your offense, the name will through off the background checks even w/ ssn. Unless you’re applying for a federal agency job or a high tech contractor, they are not going to pay the amount of money needed to run EXTENSIVE background checks. If you move out of your conviction state you should be in the clear according to my experiences. (This is true in my case even using my maiden name). Even my federal probation officer couldn’t understand how I obtained a management job at a retail store. I put no convictions and was hired. After being hired I was in CHARGE of recruiting and the computer stated for each applicant their results for background. I checked mine and it said NEG THEFT INQUIRY/NO CRIMINAL HISTORY.
Bottom line…you HAVE to have a job when you get out of jail…you should get a job..if you don’t you could go BACK. What do you do? Some of us (felons) want to change and some don’t..but if you do…you aren’t left with many options. I took matters into my own hands which provided me with a job and excellent income. I felt a little guilty for telling a fib…but I think I would have felt far worse going BACK to federal prison. Life isn’t over…

Answer #12

When I was in prison I spent allot of time talking about just that subject with the medical staff and they had told me that some people they know and work with DO have felony records. I was told that it all depends on the type of crime and how long ago you were convicted of the crime…also it depends on how well you have been doing since then. I would semd a letter to the nursing board or the medical board and initiate some sort of litigation on your behalf. You might have to do this every 6 months until they are so sick of seeing/hearing you that they take your situation into serious consideration. Oh yeah…It also depends on how many felony convictions. I am researching this some more myself and all the feedback I have gotten is positive, it will just take allot of time, energy, and perseverance. keep you chin up and keep asking around.

Answer #13

I am 10 years post felony drug conviction, and I will be starting a nursing job in 2 weeks. I had to take the state boards in a different state. after ten years I was eligable to work in my state. I had to jump through some hoops but one hospital is willing to give me a break. work hard at doing the right things, be honest, and dont give up.

Answer #14

I am a convicted felon due to multiple D.U.I charges, who is currently going pre-med for psychiatry. I have asked numerous physicians and even called the New York State Board of education who all confirmed it is possible, but you face possible scrutiny. You may have certain limitations as far as working in a school etc, but you are totally entitled to private practice and hospital work if they approve. They have programs that help people with certain felony related crimes to lessen the offense in the eye of an employer, through the judicial system.

Answer #15

I was just accepted into a college for Medical Assisting , just tto attend my orientation and find out the last 15 minutes of it , that the MA director would like to talk to you after class if you have a felony …ummm she was talking to me , it seems I couldn’t be certified in Missouri due to the fact that where you do your externship 180 hrs… they do a background check and I can’t pass… my offense is 1 felony possession almost 7 years old. would have been before my externship put it that way… Hey there told me I couldebe a Vet assistant though..OMFG anyways I’m going to cosmetology school instead felons are taught that in prison , so I should be ok in that field

Answer #16

I am currently in school for Pharmacy Tech. I have a 6 yr old charge of Grand Theft 3rd Deg. and a Misdemeanor of Petit theft as well. While on probation I became homeless and because of that I had technical violations for moving without notifying P.O. and for non-payment of probation fines/court costs. Now, I told my teacher and the director of education of my school that I am a convicted felon. They assured me that I had nothing to worry about, everybody, is on a case by case basis. I’m terrified that I may not get certified or even get a job in the field. I don’t want employers to think I’ll steal their drugs, being that I’m not a user. I have prayed and prayed researched, etc. Some days my hopes are high as I’m super proud wearing my school scrubs… then there are days that I’m down in the dumps and think I’m wasting my time and money by doing this. I’m in florida, and I don’t want to move to another state as yet, I do want to work here and gain experience here, I just don’t know. I’m so confused and rambeling in this msg. Congrats to all who have got certified and have employment in the field of your choice! -God Bless

Answer #17

If its were God wants you to be, Thats were you’ll be no matter what!!!

Answer #18

I am in the same position ex-con,felony record all white-colar stuff..but my school is telling me I cant enter their nursing program because the place where they do their clinicals wont allow me..but the nursing board said they consider each case differently..So thats my dilemma in NC.But I believe in a power much much greater than man..and He says I can be a nurse so their may be some obsatcles and hills to climb but he will see me thru. Yall keep your head up this is America..and Change Has Come!!! Obama Baby!!!

Answer #19

I was going to go into the medical field as a nurse. But then my dreams were shattered because they told me that if I were thrown out of any of my clinicals because of my background that I would have to reapply to the program. If I am then kicked again then it will have been all for nothing. It just really depends on the nature of your crime and where you want to work. The hospital’s are almost a definite no. But if you could try for a doctor’s office then it is a possibility.

Answer #20

what charges will stop you for working in the medical field

Answer #21

Well if they can volunteer they can work, and I am proof of that. In any state start out with volunteering a few days a week while your in school, Hope this helps, dont give up that person that chances are slim is an idiot, There are a lot of people out there willing to give you another chance Go For It

Answer #22

I have this problem as well. I am currently on probation for 3 years due to a stupid theft by taking charge that was a felony. I plead first offender and I was told that it was going to be off my record when I finish my probation period. since then I have realized that I may not be able to get certified for MA. I don’t know what to do because I have been in school for a year now and I will be finished soon! Possibly in january… but I dont’ know if I will be able to get certified. I hope so ! I even tried to volunteer at a nursing home so I would have SOMETHING that looked good on resume’s and that didn’t work. even volunteer places do background checks and it’s on my record. How is it supposed to be “taken off” when I complete my probation… ?

Answer #23

I know I can go to school for Medical Assist. but can I get a job in Florida with a grand theft felony? This was my one and only charge.

Answer #24

I have found during research that a person convicted of a felony can never work in a job that provides services to people.

That is a broad spectrum. And I believe a school will take your money and tell you it will be alright when really it won’t. There are tons of websites that can explain further to you.

My niece had a felony on her, but it was when she was a minor and she still had to have it expunged just to get into nursing school. In Ky, felonies can never be expunged no matter what any lawyer tells you, unless you were a minor when it occurred.

You can be pardoned by the governor of your state and CA has laws a lot more lenient than any other state. I have discovered that employers can request Federal insurance called a”fidelity bond” that will guarantee your honesty, but ONLY if you have been convicted of a felony.

This is available through your State Job Bank, and its purpose it to give “honest” criminals a second chance. It will only last for 6 months. Sometimes you have to know about it, but the employer won’t know, so after you research your state, you can present it to an employer. it is real and can be verified on any web search. But, I am not really sure if it covers the medical field, so I can’t say for sure.

Good Luck.

Answer #25

the plain truth is yes you can work in the medical field but there is a limit to the heights you can attain. as long as you dont aspire to hold a state license you are alright. go out there and save the world buddy.

Answer #26

Not to be a prick but sweety most of the people here are all full of it!. The only real career that you cant really pick up as a convicted felon is a law inforcment officer and EVEN with that theres still possible ways but the main question is how MANY felonies do you have and are they bad. Usually if you are a violent felon, repeated offender, habitual offender , if the felony was higher then a 3rd degree, and it was a drug charge then more then likely you may never be a nurse. BUT if it was for example 1 charge of third degree grand theft and it was atleast 3 years old or more and you have no other convictions then you really have nothing to worry about as long as your honest. And getting a pardon wouldnt be a bad idea. AND for the idiots that are even brining up expungments as an option, they are full of it!! When it comes to the medical board they will still be able to see it so the expungment will not do you any good!!(they only work for regular employers such as wal-mart ext.) Oh and by the way you dont pay!!! for expungments so the lawyers that scammed that poor lady that thinks she knows everything sweety you may want to call the bar and find out if you can press charges because people with sense usually find out if they can do it theirselves and YES YOU CAN!!! How do I know all of this?? Well my father has been a cop for 20 years, my grandmother is a retired D.A. my brother (who was convicted of a felony at 18) joined the police force 2 years ago and 2 of my friends who were convicted of a felony are both in the medical field! One is a RN and the other is a x-ray tech. So like I said before it all depends on what the charges are!! Do not let the people on here that think they are higher then GOD bring you down it is possible but you have to be realistic. If it was a real bad charge then I advise you look for something else but if it wasnt something major GO FOR IT!!! Oh and by the way, some jobs are actually looking at people with a old charge as an insperation! The fact that you did something wrong as a teen, learned from your mistake the first time, grew up and matured, went to school to better yourself and never got in trouble again makes yourself look better!!! Like I said at a town meeting once that ended in a applause for me, “The only difference from a Convicted first time offender and a person that has never been arrested or convicted of something is THEY HAVENT BEEN CAUGHT YET”. Out of the 100% of people that havent been convicted of a crime 2% have actually never broken a law that would be considered a felony. Think about that! you learned your lesson just make that experience better you as a person. I’ve seen and been thru a lot and trust me when I say educating yourself about things are the best way to go. Never EVER trust a lawyer unless its a personal friend of the family. YES I am a first time offender and that happend almost 10years ago. From that time till now I got a 2year degree in Mechanics, Im a certified phlebotomist, I am a licensed real estate agent, and I am currently in school to become a dentist. I’ve been to plenty of fun raisers, spoken to kids in dozens of schools across florida, im well known to many police officers, judges, lawyers and more. I made something of myself instead of say hey im a felon and everyone said I cant make it!!! Next year I will be applying for a pardon from the governer of florida and im sure ill be granted it. 1 mistake doesnt define you as a person. Remember that!

Answer #27

The CJIS Security Policy 4.5 will keep you from working in my professions. Forget being a paramedic too.

We need to form a lobby group and get our rights back.

Answer #28

In a nutshell, you can’t work in the medical field at anything substantial because a felon is barred from possessing a professional license of any type. That excludes any medical jobs such as nursing, pharmacy, xray, etc. You could get a job working as a phlebotomist (drawing blood), as that doesn’t require a license. I was recently told that phlebotomists are finally making decent money. (When I worked at it, it paid minimum wage!) You’ll probably have to take a little 2-week training course, but you won’t need a state-issued license like a nurse or doctor would. It might be something for you to consider.

Answer #29

I am a convicted felon now for 15 years in Fla. I commited grand theft auto and petit theft. I was also arrested for a couple of violent crimes but charges were dropped (those things will show up as arrests). I did get my nursing license and was told when looking for a job that I MUST get my rights restored in order for them to hire me. You can get a license.. the job is a different story. I did get my rights restored (after waiting for 5 years but I hear it’s quicker now). Your best bet is to act as if you already are licensed and ask employers str8 up “would you hire me knowing what I’ve done”? All they can say is NO.. and then you will have someplace to start when you are ready.

Answer #30

No! You’re better off learning how to be a better criminal!!!! The medical field is very picky, and you’ll have to have a full pardon or expungement, which is a time-consuming and costly endeavor. At one medical school, they want your background regardless of any post-conviction relief: so, you’re better off in one of the skilled trades. Forget about the medical field, you’ll never get in or licensed. That would be a real tragedy to owe a lot of student-debt and not be able to get into your field!

Answer #31

I have a friend who had several charges for a crime spree she was involved in. 2 years after the trouble she tried straightening up her life and attended a school where she had to obtain board certification. She has “flown straight” completed college, past state boards. But the panel did not want to just give her the certification with out discussing the legal trouble she was in sooo, the panel wanted to meet with her. At the meeting they asked her a lot of questions about her crime, what she has done since then, and why she wanted them to give her a chance.. After all this. they did give her her board certification, she works with the public, provides a service, and does things she never believed she would be able to do again.. Moral of this entry? Each person IS looked at individually. Some of her stipulations is that she be on probation for 2 yars for her certification, also her employer has to report on her monthly to the state board. She must report any changes of employment, address change, marriage within 30 days.. It was a pretty simple thing for her. Time consuming in that she had to drive to the capital city where the panel is, but she strived and accomplished her goals.. So it can be done with honesty,openmindedness, and willingness.

Answer #32

Felony charges were brought against me, but were dropped-never went to court. I have been a licensed nurse for decades, never any problems…but now when background checks are done, employers will not hire me. I cannot get an expungement right now as I do not have the funds…it is a continual cycle. Do I have any recourse? These charges were brought against me as a smoke-screen for others criminal activities in a civil matter. After so many years with a totally clear license, shouldn’t someone be willig to give you a chance???

Answer #33

II was covicted of a felon in 2008,and I am going to school for Ultra Sound Tech. I have bben so worried about this, Its makes me feel so much better to hear that people have been in the same place and got a great job. Thank you so much.

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