With a criminal record, we often worry that it will jeopardize our chances of securing a job or even make it harder to get licensed. If you are working towards becoming a certified nursing assistant, having a criminal record should be a concern. However, the good news is you can still attend a CNA program and write the CNA examination. On the other hand, just like any job, you might have a hard time getting hired because employers are very careful when screening people during the process. They look to hire people who won’t put others in danger, can be trusted, and work with others in society.

I’m not saying you have “absolutely” NO chance of securing a job once you’ve completed your CNA examinations, but that there are factors which will determine how successful your employment application will be if you have a criminal record.

Before you can be fully licensed as a certified nursing assistant in any state, they’ll request the following information –

  1. A certified copy of conviction orders
  2. Proof that you fulfilled all court ordered requirements (paid fines and restitutions or letter from the probation officer)
  3. Compose a letter explaining the events that led to the criminal conviction. Stick to the facts only; do not make excuses
  4. Recommendation from employers describing your performance at work.

The approval of your licensing application will depend on your conviction, and how serious the conviction is. Something serious like murder will disqualify you from getting your license. But, getting licensed is on a case by case basis and will solely depend on conviction, timing, state laws, etc. Make sure when handing in supporting documents that you are totally honest because nothing hurts your chances more than lying on an application.

Additional Resources –

Here are a few things which will improve your chances –

  • The seriousness of the crime. If you have a DUI charge, it won’t be as bad as having a record for aggravated assault.
  • When the charge happened. For example, if you were convicted 20 years ago, then it’s better than having something appear on your record from what you did last year. A conviction 20 years ago, may still hurt your chances depending on the charge, but they might turn a blind because so much time has passed, and you have a clean record ever since.

If you applied to have the conviction removed and your approval has been granted. Instead of the employer waiting for it to come off your record, they’ll hire you with a pending condition. Visit your state courthouse to find out how to have a previous conviction removed.

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