Help Community

Clear all

Can I Obtain CNA Certification If I Have a Criminal Record?  

Member Admin

This was a question sent in through email. The answer is written below -

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.

If you have any additional questions regarding this, leave a reply below and our team will gather the information for you 🙂

This topic was modified 1 year ago by careercrawlers
Posted : 25/04/2019 8:11 pm
Brittanie Stephens
 Brittanie Stephens
(@Brittanie Stephens)

My liscense expired, how do I get them reinstated? Also can you have felonies and still work in the medical field?

Posted : 04/12/2019 4:17 am
Member Admin
Posted by: @Brittanie Stephens

My liscense expired, how do I get them reinstated? Also can you have felonies and still work in the medical field?

What state are you in and we'll look up how to get it reinstated for you.

If you have a criminal record you can still work in the medical professional however this will depend on the conviction you have. Do you have a felony and what is it for? We will talk to our network and gather as much information as possible to help you in the right direction. Here's what we do know -

- Working in the medical field is still possible but this does depend on the seriousness of the felony. 

- If you have been convicted of a felony, you may be able to get an expungement or pardon after 7 years to have it removed from your record. 

- The final decision does come down to the employer or medical school.

- Some states DO NOT do a background check when applying for a license. 

We hope this helps. But get back to us with some additional information and we'll speak to the State department to gather all the correct information. 

Posted : 05/12/2019 1:46 pm

I live in michigan. I got into some trouble 4 years ago and it left me with a felony on my record. I haven’t been into any trouble since that happen though. I’m currently in a CNA program and I just want to know will that felony stop me from being a fully licensed certified nurse assistant? 

Posted : 11/10/2020 9:40 pm
Member Admin


We want to thank you for your comment. We are also very sorry to hear about your felony conviction four (4) years ago. 

To answer your question, it would be very hard to give you a definite answer however we can guide you in the right direction. We did some research and found the following information. 

First, you MAY not be able to obtain your license if you have been convicted of a felony. In the Michigan Compiled Law 333.16243(1)(c) , it states that laws are in place to protect patients in health care facilities. More information can be found here -

However, being disqualified really does depend on the type of felony/conviction you have and how long it has been since your last felony. You stated you have been clean for four (4) years so this MAY work in your favor. For example, here is some information we found -  

"Unsurprisingly, most states will automatically disqualify a CNA who has been convicted of violent crimes such as homicide, murder, assault, battery, arson, kidnapping or rape. If the offense was committed more than a few years in past, some states will allow CNAs to apply for an exemption." -

With that said,

You MAY be able to OBTAIN your CNA license within the State of Michigan because it has been four (4) since the conviction and you have had NO conviction since then. However, here is another essential FACT to keep in mind. Even if you get your license, many employers MAY opt NOT to hire you because of your previous criminal record. Employers tend to do a background check before hiring a healthcare professional. This is especially important to them since you will be working hands on with patients, etc. If possible, yo should try and get the felony removed from your record in a process called "criminal record expungements". For this contact your Michigan Department of Corrections

In terms of your CNA license and what is the next step for you, we recommend to contact the Michigan CNA board here - 517-335-1980.

Below you will find a link to the Michigan Public Health code where they have more information on felonies and convictions. Please let us know if you have any further questions. 


Posted : 12/10/2020 3:33 pm

Leave a reply

Author Name

Author Email

Title *

Preview 0 Revisions Saved