The Kentucky Board of Nursing is authorized by law to deny a license or to issue a license under disciplinary conditions because of an applicant's criminal conviction. KRS 314.091(1) states, in part: "The board [of nursing] shall have power to reprimand, deny, limit, revoke, probate, or suspend any license ... to practice nursing issued by the board or applied for in accordance with this chapter ... upon proof that the person ... (b) has been convicted of any felony or a misdemeanor involving drugs, alcohol, fraud, deceit, falsification of records, a breach of trust, physical harm or endangerment to others, or dishonesty ...."
KRS 314.031(4) requires that all misdemeanor and felony convictions occurring in Kentucky or in any other state, regardless of when they occurred, must be reported to KBN. A person has been convicted if they pled guilty, entered an Alford or nolo contendre plea, or was found guilty in any court. All criminal convictions are individually reviewed by KBN. The person must supply to KBN a certified copy of the conviction record and a letter of explanation. The letter of explanation is a personally written summary of the events that led to the conviction. It gives the person an opportunity to tell what happened and to explain the circumstances that led to the conviction. KBN will take into consideration the nature of the offense and the date of the conviction.
KBN may seek to deny an application because of criminal convictions. It that happens, the applicant may request a formal hearing before a KBN Hearing Panel. The request must be in writing. The applicant will be notified of the date, time, and location of the hearing. The applicant may be represented by an attorney. The Hearing Panel will consider the request for licensure. After hearing the evidence presented, the Panel will make a recommendation to the full Board regarding the approval or denial of the application for licensure.
For more information, please refer to the KBN brochure Mandatory Reporting of Criminal Convictions [PDF Format - 28k]. You may also call the KBN office at 502-429-3300 or toll free at 800-305-2042, ext. 3325 or 3339, to obtain a hard copy of the brochure.