These days a background check and clean criminal record are expected in many professions, and the standards in healthcare (travel nursing in particular) have always been high.  And now Florida has tightened its standards.

florida mapA new law, 456.0635, Florida Statutes, now disqualifies health professionals from licensure or license renewal if they have been convicted of or plead guilty/nolo contendere to certain felonies involving drugs, abuse, violence, or fraud, unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or pleas ended more than 15 years prior to the date of the application.

During the Florida Board of Nursing meetings in August 2009, applications were denied to several candidates seeking exemption for minimally offensive felonies that had taken place between five and fifteen years ago.  The Florida Board of Nursing has issued a notice to all nursing school deans and directors in the state and posted a link on their web site under the heading “IMPORTANT NOTICE.”

Your travel nursing agency should be able to assist you with licensure questions because travel nurse jobs often require you to practice in a number of states. While some states may have mutual agreements or reciprocity, many do not. Different states and jurisdictions have different requirements as to which categories of misdemeanors or felonies must be reported to medical licensing boards, as well as  which offenses may result in a revocation, suspension or denial of licensure. Be sure to check your local board(s) if you’re at all concerned.

You may find the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to be a good place to start.