Can I Get a Job as a Nurse or Medical Tech. in PA W/ a Felony?

Question by Matt: Can I get a job as a nurse or medical tech. in PA w/ a felony?
I am a 29 year old male from Pennsylvania who is interested in going back to school to peruse a career either as a nurse or medical technician. The highest level of education I completed was high school and have been working in manufacturing since then. I have been unemployed for almost two years now and am tired of the industry and field I am in. I am looking for higher pay, job security, but more importantly want to help people and feel as if I am contributing to the well being of others. My local community college has a stellar nursing program that my ex fiance graduated from, and has a great job. I just don’t know at my age if it would be more beneficial to go for nursing or becoming a radiology tech (or any tech for that matter). I feel as though at my age I am not in a position to “switch majors” so I need to make a decision and stick with it. I know this is what I want to do though. Also one other thing that may hold me back is a felony I have on my record dating back to 2002. I have stayed out of trouble since then, but don’t know if this will be an issue. I also moved backed in with my parents and they have agreed to let me go to school full time and work part time to help me out. If anyone has any advice they could give me, I would be very grateful.

Best answer:

Answer by Simpson G
If other than this last hiccup, you’ve kept your nose clean and have a solid community record since the arrest and conviction, it may not be a problem. As an employer, I’d expect lots of volunteer work to help show your remorse and change in society.

As far as nursing and RadTech, you need to contact the boards/certification authorities for each career and ask them. You’ll need to disclose what the felony was, how it was remedied, and what you’ve done since then to change.

I will say drug, theft, or abuse charges are more likely to follow you around. Such charges need to also have therapy or rehab documentation.

I can’t pretend to know what the job market is like in every city in PA, but I can say that for most of the better jobs and for most hospitals, a BSN will be required. However, if you think you can find work with the ADN (which is 2.5-3 years), then go with it. Then, immediately enroll in a part time online ADN to BSN program so you can move forward with your career as you gain experience.

Good Luck.

Answer by monique
It depends on the type of felonies. States do have a list of criminal charges that prohibit individuals from working in certain settings, I see this moreso for nursing homes and home health, hospice regulations. My state has even more stringent requirements for staff who do in-home services (i.e. hospice, home health)…..since these individuals are going into patient’s homes alone and such. State hospital regulations are probably not going to be as stringent, but each state is different of course.

I checked out the PA Department of Aging website, and they do have a list of crimes that would prohibit employment in certain health care settings: You will notice that on some of the crimes listed, it says “any” meaning any charge. They even have a few misdemeanors on the list. This list is titled: Unit 4 Background Checks Figure 5 – Prohibitive Offenses

They further define the settings for this:
“The Act 169-1996 Amendment to OAPSA requires a criminal background check for all employees and administrators of nursing homes, personal care homes, domiciliary care homes, adult day care, and home health care providers. In addition, Pennsylvania Department of Health has defined home health care organization or agency to include: hospices and birth centers, and the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) has concluded that the Act is applicable to all DPW-licensed and DPW-operated entities: Personal Care Homes, 55 Pa. Code Ch. 2620; Community Residential Rehabilitation Services, 55 Pa. Code Ch. 5310; Long Term Structured Residences, 55 Pa. Code Ch. 5320; Community Homes for Individuals with Mental Retardation*, 55 Pa. Code Ch. 6400; Family Living Homes*, 55 Pa. Code Ch. 6500; ICF’s/MR* (private and state), 55 Pa. Code Ch. 6600; State Mental Hospitals; Residential Treatment Facilities (Adults) and Nursing Facilities. A Home Health Care Agency is further defined to include those agencies licensed by the Department of Health and any public or private organization which provides care to a care-dependent individual in their place of residence…..” (same link above)

Some states may have a waiver process for individuals who have crimes that prohibit employment in these settings…..not all states do. The waiver process includes their case being reviewed by a panel who will look at whether or not the person is considered a risk……the applicant will have to submit letters of support/references, evidence that they have changed for the better, etc. It is a long process.

And health care entities will of course have their own policies and procedures which may be even more stringent than state regulatory requirements. I remember the case where one nursing home would not hire anyone who had any type of felony, for example.

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