Students With Criminal Background Check In Nursing Education and Dealing With Them

Nurses Educator 2

Nursing Education and Dealing With Students With Criminal Background Check

Students With Criminal Background Check In Nursing Education and Dealing With Them

Criminal Background Checks In Nursing Education, Example of Criminal History Background Check Policy and Faculty Role.

Criminal Background Checks In Nursing Education

    In addition to mental health issues, which can compromise patient safety, the student who has a record of criminal activity can also compromise patient safety. Patient safety is a major concern for state boards of nursing and health care accreditation agencies. 

    The Joint Commission (2008) states, “Staff, students and volunteers who work in the same capacity as staff who provide care, treatment, and services, would be expected to have criminal background checks verified when required by law and regulation and organization policy” (para 1). 

    Therefore nursing programs often require criminal background checks. Many states, including Louisiana, Ohio, Maryland, and Texas, for example, require applicants applying for a license to practice to have a criminal background check. A search of individual state boards of nursing websites will provide students with information regarding background checks prior to licensure.

    The number of nursing programs requiring background checks has increased, although recent data on the number of programs is not readily available. Whether or not a school requires a criminal background check before admission, faculty have a duty to warn students that, although they may have successfully completed the nursing program, licensure could be denied if a student has a criminal background. 

    Additionally, clinical agencies, as noted previously, may have requirements for background checks and may refuse clinical placements based on the results of the criminal background check. An example of a criminal background check policy is found in Box 4-3.

Example of Criminal History Background Check Policy and Faculty Role

    At the time of your application, you were required to submit a current national level criminal background check, which was part of the criteria used to determine your eligibility. Criminal background information will be maintained in your student nursing file, is considered confidential, and no results will be released. 

    The student is responsible for notifying the Department Chairperson of any new charges or additions to one’s criminal history promptly. Failure to report new charges may result in dismissal from the program. Used with permission from Indiana State University Nursing Program Department of Baccalaureate Nursing.

    Denying admission based on the results of a criminal background check requires careful consideration. Decisions need to be made in line with state law and clinical agency policy. Guidelines for making decisions need to be readily available to all faculty and students. 

    When admission decisions are made, faculty need to consider the nature of the criminal conviction and how long ago the offense occurred, and afford due process for those denied admission. Philipsen et al. (2012) question the value of criminal background checks for students, as students are under close supervision of faculty. 

    Nevertheless, they acknowledge that faculty must follow the policy in place for the clinical agency. They also note that the results of the criminal background checks must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

    Evidence does support that criminal background checks prior to admission may help to identify students who may commit crimes while enrolled as a student (Smith, Corvers, Wilson, Douglas, & Bienemy, 2013). 

    Of the more than 3000 applicants for registered nurse licensure during the year 2006 in the state of Louisiana, 14.7% had a criminal history. One should note that the Louisiana Board also required a criminal background check prior to enrollment in clinical courses.     

    Because of a large difference in sample size, a matched pair cohort was constructed for analytic purposes. Among the findings was the fact that 10% of those who had a criminal record prior to enrollment had subsequent criminal activity, whereas, only 2.3% of those without a prior criminal record did.

    The areas of criminal background checks and drug testing continue to evolve and nursing faculty will need to keep apprised of changes in health care agency policies and state laws. 

    The National Council of State Boards of Nursing has published a position paper and a resource packet, including model statutory language for state boards of nursing to use in crafting laws regarding criminal background checks (National Council of State Boards of Nursing, 2006a, 2006b). The National Council of State Boards of Nursing continues to update its policy recommendations.

    The needs of students with learning disabilities, chemical dependency, and mental health problems are presented, along with faculty responsibilities associated with teaching these students. Interventions are identified for assisting students to cope with a disability or impairment that can be used for all students to promote academic success.

    Nursing faculty are responsible for creating a learning environment that supports the teaching learning process for all students. By creating a caring environment, students may be more willing to disclose their disabilities (Ridley, 2011). Working with students who have disabilities or impairments brings special challenges to the student faculty relationship. 

    No specific rules say what level of disability or impairment prevents admission to a nursing program. However, faculty who are knowledgeable about the legal issues related to students with disabilities or impairments, their institution’s and school’s policies and procedures related to students with these special needs, and the interventions designed to help students maintain their self-esteem and be successful will find themselves capable of meeting these challenges in a caring, facilitative manner. 

    Viewing disabilities not as hindrances but as differences may help faculty to better make appropriate accommodations for students while still maintaining academic standards. 

    Furthermore, if faculty are open to working with students who have disabilities, students might be more inclined to disclose, without fear of adverse consequences, that they have a need for accommodations. Developing strong partnerships with clinical agencies may also be a key to successfully integrating those students with disabilities into the nursing program (Kneafsy, 2010). 

    Educating faculty, nurses in practice, and students to view persons with disabilities not as persons who are ill will go a long way to encouraging those with disabilities to enter the nursing profession. 

    Conducting large-scale studies of nursing students admitted with disabilities and their subsequent success in the program and in practice following graduation will help provide more evidence regarding what accommodations can be made that will foster integration into practice following graduation. 

    Those with disabilities will continue to seek enrollment in nursing programs. Faculty may need to consult resources that give guidance on how to accommodate those with disabilities.

Post a Comment


Give your opinion if have any.

Post a Comment (0)

#buttons=(Ok, Go it!) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Check Now
Ok, Go it!