Criminal background checks are mandatory for all nursing students at the student’s own expense.

All information gained will be held in strictest confidence.

Students with felonies or certain misdemeanor convictions will NOT be admitted as outlined below.

Students entering a nursing program must give permission to do a criminal history check to comply with Michigan Compiled Laws, Section 333.20173. No student will be admitted to the program if convicted of a felony, or attempt/conspiracy to commit a felony within 15 years preceding the date of admission; or a misdemeanor conviction involving abuse, neglect, assault, battery, criminal sexual conduct, fraud, theft (or similar misdemeanor in state or federal law) against a vulnerable adult within 10 years of conviction.

Additionally, ANY criminal convictions may prevent admission to the nursing program. Applicants should know that criminal activity of any sort may prevent:

  1. Clinical placements in the program (making success in the program impossible).
  2. The ability to be licensed as a nurse.
  3. Employment in the field of nursing. Employers do not have to hire anyone with a criminal background and some employers are refusing to hire those who have past criminal history.

Criminal activity associated with substance abuse is particularly damaging to the candidacy of an applicant.

Currently the Michigan State Board of Nursing investigates candidates eligible to sit for nursing licensure for the following issues:

  1. Felony conviction.
  2. Misdemeanor conviction punishable by imprisonment for a maximum of 2 years.
  3. Treatment for substance abuse in the past 2 years.
  4. Malpractice settlements. Awards or judgments in the past 5 years.
  5. Having federal or state health professional license or registration revoked, suspended, or otherwise disciplined; been denied a license; or currently with disciplinary action pending against the applicant.
  6. Having been fired, censured, or requested to withdraw from a health care agency staff or have your staff privileges involuntarily modified.
  7. Filed or written a licensing application in another US jurisdiction.
  8. Filed a license application in Michigan.
  9. Hold another license in another state.

A determination is made by the state at that point whether or not the candidate may be licensed as a nurse. No one at GOCC can make the decision about eligibility for licensing as a nurse. We can only confer a certificate or degree, not a state license to practice nursing or any other healthcare occupation. Questions or concerns about licensing should be directed to the MSBON or to the state agency regulating other healthcare occupations.

Due to recent enactment of a new Michigan law, many health care employers are routinely not hiring anyone with criminal backgrounds, regardless of licensure status. Also, all health care agencies routinely drug screen applicants for jobs and employees randomly to maintain patient safety and to curtail the employer’s liability.