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RN whose professional license has a hx of probation: Can I get into a PA program?

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I'm currently an RN licensed in the state of California. May goal has always been to enter a PA program. However, because I received 2 DUIs (2006, 2008), my RN license was placed on probation and will remain on my professional license record for 10 years. I do have 5 years experience working--and continue to work--in the profession.

I have two questions:


1.) Do PA programs accept students with a misdemeanor criminal background (i.e. 2 DUIs)?


2.) Would a PA program accept a student with a professional license that has been on probation?

I appreciate any insights and advice you can give. :)


Thank you,


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The answer is "maybe". But the bigger problem may be getting licensed by the medical board. Only they know what the outcome of any potential investigation will be, and whether a license would be granted with your history.....

The "maybe" depends on how good a candidate you are otherwise. PA schools get a lot of qualified candidates, typically 15-20 for each chair to be filled. They interview about three candidates per chair. Those interviewed are considered to be the most qualified applicants. Your DUIs may keep you from making the interview list, even if you are, otherwise, a "solid" candidate. If you should get an interview, you will need to make a really convincing presentation about the DUIs and they will have to be immensely impressed with your qualifications.


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The problem is once accepted and or before rotations and when applying for licensing and credentialing and a job you get a background check. So you have to face this issue over and over an id make sure before hand you can get licensed before completing a program in vain. CN you get the charges expunged or off the record somehow?

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Regardless of license issues (which are the crux issue ), I would advocate against interviewing an applicant with two DWI. I may be persuaded if there was strong documentation of AA attendance and abstinence. Bottom line, you got caught twice. You weren't caught many more times. You have a history of risk behavior beyond self.


You want to take care of others, you need to show how your past behavior was mitigated and won't be repeated. It's a soft skill - which is important in the interview selection process.

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So, based on all the above, unless you have an ace up your sleeve, snowball's chance in Hades. At least you can continue to work as a nurse while you wait for everything to roll off.


The sad truth that we should all teach our children is that youthful transgressions that may not seem like a big deal ahead of time, can become a very big deal and may adversely affect us for much of our adult lives. Perhaps you can help young people get that message.


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... while you wait for everything to roll off.



Can't speak to how PA boards do things, but in the nursing world, these things NEVER roll off, even if a crime is expunged or sealed, they will often turn up in an FBI background check. In this case, it will come up in every background check ever done (by the school, the state boards, employers, etc.).  It eventually disappearing from the BON's records means nothing.  


I personally am all about second chances, especially when it comes to things from the distant past that may have little bearing on who a person is today, but I'm with the others on this, as harsh as it is.  Why would a school that gets 250 applicants for 10 seats take someone with two DUI's?  Or even one for that matter?  How could someone with two DUI's ever make the list of the school's top 10 applicants? 

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