Posted by Patricia Ramsey, RN on Feb 5, 2013
What if I have a criminal background?
What if I have a criminal background? I am often asked, “What if I have a criminal background? Can I still be a CNA?” The answer is…it depends. When you register for the CNA exam, you will have to have a Level 2 background screening done. This will display any arrests and/or convictions at both the state and national level. “Level 1 and Level 2 background checks” are terms used only in Florida, based on Florida Statute Chapter 435. These terms are used to indicate what records are searched and how the search will be conducted. According to the FDLE CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECKS / BACKGROUND CHECKS FACT SHEET issued on OCTOBER 7, 2011: Level 1 generally refers to a state only name based check AND an employment history check. Level 2 generally refers to a state and national fingerprint based check and consideration of disqualifying offenses, and applies to those employees designated by law as holding positions of responsibility or trust. Section 435.04, F.S., mandates Level 2 security background investigations be conducted on employees, defined as individuals required by law to be fingerprinted pursuant to Chapter 435, F.S. These background checks will search state and national (FBI) databases for any arrests and/or convictions as well as active warrants and injunctions for protection. This extensive check will involve the submission of fingerprints as well as verification of identity. So, what if you have a criminal history? The state of Florida has an obligation to protect its citizens and mandates background screenings for all healthcare professionals to ensure that employees do not have a violent history or a history of theft, extortion or fraud. Because healthcare professionals often care for physically or mentally ill patients in a variety of settings, including providing unsupervised care in the patient’s homes or a congregate living facility, every effort must be made to ensure good moral character to protect the physical, emotional and financial interests of those patients. Don’t take it personally if you are disqualified…remember, it is all about the patient’s safety, not you. To help simplify this process, it is felonies that they are mainly concerned with. However, if you have multiple misdemeanors, you may run into a bit of trouble too. The Board of Nursing has published a chart to explain disqualifying offenses. It can be found by going to: ...