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5 facts about NY's "good moral character" requirement for nurses

New York State's Office of the Professions requires nursing candidates be of "good moral character" in order to have a nursing license in the state. In order to meet this requirement, the office requires those who wish to receive or a renew a license in the NY disclose the following:

  • Criminal convictions. The first question relates to any criminal convictions in any court. The office requires the applicant disclose any findings of guilt, guilty pleadings, no contest ruling or nolo contendere rulings.
  • Criminal charges. Not every charge results in a conviction. However, the Office of the Professions requires applicants disclose any criminal charges in their application.
  • Licensing issues. The office also requires disclosure of any previous licensing issues including revocations, probations, fines and other form of disciplinary action.
  • Professional misconduct. The applicant must also disclose any charges relating to professional misconduct.
  • Disciplinary action from hospital, clinic or lab. The office also requires disclosure of any disciplinary actions by a licensed facility that resulted in a restriction or termination of professional training or privileges as well as voluntary or involuntary withdrawals from employment to avoid disciplinary action.

The agency states an affirmative answer to any one of these questions "will not necessarily disqualify" the applicant from a license and that the office reviews applicants on a "case by case basis."

How can an applicant better ensure a successful renewal or initial application for a nursing license in New York?

Applicants who are concerned about their ability to meet the good moral character requirement can better their chances by seeking the counsel of an attorney experienced in nurse licensing matters. A legal advocate experienced in this niche area of the law can review the application and provide representation in the event of a dispute with the New York Board of Nursing.

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