LSBN has witnessed an increase in the number of applicants with a prior serious criminal action and/ or substance use disorder applying for licensure, reinstatement, and the right to practice as a student nurse. Since the Board has a duty to exclude individuals who pose a risk to public safety, the rules will now deny applicants who have been convicted (or similar plea) of felony crimes of violence, sex offenses, and crimes involving the distribution, manufacture and production of drugs. Prior to the revision, grounds for permanent denial were only for crimes of violence and crimes involving the distribution of drugs. The revised rule also permanently denies applicants convicted of certain felony property crimes such as Medicaid Fraud and Identity Theft.
The second addition to the rule will deny applicants for a minimum of five years following the final disposition of the criminal case for any other felony convictions or for two or more misdemeanor crimes which reflect the inability to practice nursing safely. Additionally, applicants will be denied for a minimum of five years following a misdemeanor conviction and the existence of aggravating circumstances including but not limited to ongoing substance abuse.
Finally, the grounds for delay of an applicant have been increased to include recent diagnosis or treatment for substance use disorders. This will allow individuals to demonstrate rehabilitation prior to entering the challenges, temptations, and added stressors of nursing school and or licensure.
In 2010, there were 1,353 qualified applicants not admitted to Pre-RN Licensure Programs (LSBN Annual Report, p. 31). The revisions to this chapter will provide admission guidelines for schools of nursing and assist prospective students in determining their eligibility to practice nursing. Please see the attached grid for more specific information as well as links to the crimes of violence and sexual offenses that will result in permanent denial.
Applicants with a serious criminal history that may not have resulted in a conviction or similar plea will be required to provide evidence that they are fit to practice and that the underlying conduct surrounding the criminal incident(s) will not prevent the practice of safe nursing care.
Denial or Delay of Licensure Chart
Louisiana State Board of Nursing17373 Perkins RoadBaton Rouge, LA 70810
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