FAQ: Reporting Criminal Conviction(s)

State law requires that licensed/credentialed individuals report criminal convictions to the Kentucky Board of Nursing (KBN) within ninety (90) days of the conviction KRS 314.109.  Administrative Regulation 201 KAR 20:370 Applications for licensure also requires applicants to report criminal convictions and states what information must be submitted when the conviction is reported.

This web page addresses the most commonly asked questions by individuals with criminal convictions.  For additional information, contact the Board office.

Q: What criminal convictions must I report to the Kentucky Board of Nursing?
A:
The Kentucky Nursing Laws require that ALL misdemeanor and felony convictions occurring in Kentucky or any other state, regardless of when they occurred, must be reported to KBN. Federal and military convictions must also be reported. Any person licensed/credentialed by KBN shall, within ninety (90) days of entry of the final judgment, notify KBN in writing of any misdemeanor or felony criminal conviction in this or any other jurisdiction. Upon learning of any failure to notify KBN under this section, KBN may initiate disciplinary action under KRS 314.089.

Traffic-related misdemeanor(s), with the execption of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, do not have to be reported.

Q: What is the Board’s definition of a conviction?
A:
KRS Chapter 314.011(21) defines a conviction as the following:
   (a) An unvacated adjudication of guilt;
   (b) Pleading no contest or nolo contender or entering an Alford plea; or
   (c) Entering a guilty plea pursuant to a pretrial diversion order; Regardless of whether the penalty is rebated, suspended, or probated. 

You should contact the court to determine whether the above definition of conviction applies to you.

Q: How do I know whether I’ve been convicted of a crime?
A:
You have been convicted if you have pled guilty to, entered an Alford plea or Nolo Contendre plea, have entered into a pre-trial diversion program or were found guilty of a criminal offense in any court.  You should contact the court to determine whether the conviction was a violation, misdemeanor or felony offense.

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Q: What if my charge was dismissed?
A:
You are not required to report charges that have been dismissed by the court.

Q: Do I report convictions when I was a juvenile?
A:
Juvenile convictions that occurred when you were under the age of 18 do not need to be reported unless you were convicted as an adult.

Q: How will my conviction be reviewed?
A:
There are three methods of criminal conviction review:
   1. Staff Member Review
   2. Board Member Review
   3. Credentials Review Panel

A determination by the Board can be made to request additional information or to request a personal interview with you.

Q: How long will it take for my conviction to be reviewed?
A:
It may take up to three or more months to review your information. You may be contacted by mail if additional information is needed.

Q: Will my conviction make me ineligible for a nursing license?
A:
Not necessarily.  The statute states that KBN may take action on criminal convictions that bear directly on an individual’s qualifications or ability to practice nursing.  The regulation clarifies that the type of convictions referred to are those that involve dishonesty, substance abuse, sexual offenses, breach of trust, danger to the public safety, or physical harm or endangerment.

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Q: Can I be denied licensure?
A:
Yes. The KBN can deny a license for criminal conviction(s). 

Q: What if l am denied licensure, what can I do?
A:
You may request a formal hearing before a KBN hearing panel.  Your request must be in writing:

  • You will be notified of the date, time, and location of the hearing
  • You may bring legal counsel
  • The panel will make a recommendation regarding the Approval or Denial of your application for licensure.

Q: Will a Denial of licensure be on my permanent KBN record?
A:
Yes.  Denial of licensure is a formal disciplinary action.  The Denial will be published in the KBN Connection and reported to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s Disciplinary Data Bank.

Q: What if KBN previously reviewed my conviction?
A:
Attach a letter of explanation to the application to inform KBN about previous conviction reviews.

Q: What documents do I need to submit to the Board when reporting my conviction(s)?
A: For felony conviction(s):

  • Submit a letter of explanation for each conviction
  • Provide certified copy of court records

For misdemeanor conviction(s) and (DUI) conviction(s) five (5) years old or less:

  • Submit a letter of explanation for each conviction
  • Provide certified copy of court records

For misdemeanor conviction(s) and (DUI) conviction(s) over five (5) years old:

  • No documentation required

Q: When do I send the information to KBN?
A:
The letter of explanation and certified copy of the court record must accompany your letter of self-report and/or your application.

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Q: What is the letter of explanation?
A:
The letter of explanation is a personally written summary of the events that led to your conviction.  It gives you the opportunity to tell what happened and to explain the circumstances that led to your conviction.

Q: Where do I get the certified copy of the court record?
A:
You should contact the court clerk in the county where the conviction occurred to obtain a certified copy of the court record.  The certification verifies the conviction, date of the conviction and the judgment entered against you.

Q: What if the court can’t find a record of my conviction?
A:
If a court record has been “purged” or expunged, you may submit a statement from the court to affirm that the physical record no longer exists.  This certified statement from the court will be accepted in lieu of the court record. 

Q: What additional information may be requested from me?
A:
The most frequently requested information is proof of compliance with a court-ordered alcohol education/treatment program or of successful completion of a court-ordered probation.

Q: Do I report a conviction that has been appealed?
A:
You should report the appealed conviction to KBN.

Q: Will KBN verify my criminal history?
A:
Yes.  KBN requires a state and federal criminal history search on applicants.  The record search is NOT the official court record.  Discrepancies related to criminal convictions or failure to report a criminal conviction will delay the processing of the application.

Q: What if I fail to report a conviction(s)?
A:
Failing to report a conviction on your application, or failing to report a conviction(s) within ninety (90) days of entry of the final judgment is a violation of the nursing law and you could be subjected to disciplinary action.  In some situations the Board may issue a consent decree.  A consent decree is not “formal” disciplinary action taken by the Board.  The consent decree will consist of the applicant/licensee/credential holder paying a civil penalty to the Board.

Q: What additional information may be requested from me for failing to report a conviction(s)?
A: You must also submit a letter of explanation, explaning to KBN why you failed to report the conviction, 
the circumstances that led to your conviction, and certified copy of court records.

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