It is nursing license renewal time for R.N.s in Indiana.
What happens if I answer “yes” to the question on the renewal application about criminal convictions?
If you have been arrested and/or had a criminal conviction for OWI (Operating a motor vehicle while impaired), possession of an illegal substance, shoplifting, etc., you are required to report that to the Indiana State Board of Nursing. Even if you have previously reported it to the Board and it has happened since your last renewal, you must answer “yes” to Question #3 on the renewal application.
Nurses sometimes believe that they do not have to report it because it did not impact their job or patient care. However, that is incorrect. Any arrest (not a traffic ticket) must be reported. It is reported by answering “yes” to Question #3 and providing an explanation of the incident in the box below the questions.
A positive answer to Question #3 will result in the Board changing your “active” status to “valid to practice while being reviewed” on their website. The Board will require you to appear to explain the arrest or conviction. The Board will then decide whether to renew your license, not renew your license or to renew it with conditions.
The Board may also refer the matter to the Attorney General’s office for investigation. Since your license is necessary to practice as a nurse, it is strongly recommended that you obtain legal representation prior to reporting the arrest or conviction to the Board.
What if I was arrested and then the charges were dropped?
You are still required to report it to the Board. The Board can still take action against your license even if the charges were dropped.
What happens if I don’t report it?
Failing to report an arrest or conviction will result in you obtaining a license under fraudulent circumstances. If at a later date, you were to apply for an APRN license, compact license or move to another state, it is likely that this matter will come to light with a criminal record check. You will then be in a position to deal with not only the consequences of the arrest/conviction but also licensure fraud. If the Board chose to discipline your license, which is very likely, you may not be eligible for a compact license or allowed to practice in another state. You may not be allowed to be certified as an APRN.
The best course of action is to seek legal counsel regarding your situation and resolve the problem.