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FAQ

CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECKS

 

NDCC 43-12.1-09.1

DOES NORTH DAKOTA REQUIRE AN FBI BACKGROUND CHECK OR CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECK FOR NURSES/UAPS?
YES.  All individuals seeking reinstatement, reactivation, or initial licensure or registration as a nurse or unlicensed assistive person (UAP) to assist in the practice of nursing in the state of North Dakota must submit, along with the other requirements for licensure/registration, the required documents and fee to BCI for the purpose of obtaining a Criminal History Record Check (CHRC) from the Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

WHY IS IT NECESSARY FOR THE BOARD OF NURSING TO CONDUCT CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECKS (CHRC)?
The Board of Nursing has a responsibility to exclude individuals who pose a risk to the public health and safety from licensure/registration.  Nursing care is often of an intimate physical nature which affords nurses/UAPs access to information about a client as well as to the client’s personal property and loved ones in a way that is not available in a business or social relationship or to the public.

Another major reason to implement CHRC relates to the interstate Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC).  North Dakota, as a participatory state that has enacted the NLC, must meet uniform core requirements to participate in the compact.  A uniform core requirement of the NLC is that CHRC be conducted prior to a license being granted.  North Dakota has agreed to comply with this requirement and must do so in order to continue participation in the NLC.

HOW HAD THE BOARD OBTAINED INFORMATION ABOUT CRIMINAL HISTORY IN THE PAST?
The past system relied on self-disclosure of criminal history information by the individual applying for a license or registration.

WHY DID THIS SYSTEM NEED TO BE CHANGED?
Self-disclosure by individuals is not the best means of public protection available to regulatory boards.  The Board of Nursing does not have verification that the individual has disclosed the information other than by the word of the applicant.  CHRC is used to verify that information disclosed is truthful and constitutes full disclosure.  Individuals who are not worthy of the public’s trust are excluded from practice.

Once a license or registration is issued, it becomes a property right.  It is safer for the public and more cost effective and efficient to deal with the issues prior to the issuance of a license or registration rather than after such a property right has been granted.

CAN I BE APPROVED TO TAKE THE NCLEX WHILE WAITING FOR THE RESULTS OF THE CHRC?
Yes.  The Board may grant eligibility to take the examination and issue a 90-day non-renewable work authorization to practice as a graduate nurse to an applicant for initial license by examination who has applied for a CHRC within 60 days of graduation, provided the applicant has met all other licensure requirements.

CAN I BE GRANTED A TEMPORARY PERMIT FOR LICENSE BY ENDORSEMENT WHILE WAITING FOR THE RESULTS OF THE CHRC?
Yes.  The board may grant a 90-day non-renewable temporary permit to an applicant for initial licensure by endorsement who has applied for a CHRC provided the applicant has met all other requirements for the temporary permit.

CAN I BE GRANTED A TEMPORARY PERMIT AS AN UNLICENSED ASSISTIVE PERSON (UAP) OR MEDICATION ASSISTANT WHILE WAITING FOR THE RESULTS OF THE CHRC?
Yes.  The board may grant a 90 day non-renewable temporary permit to an applicant for initial or reactivation registration who has applied for a CHRC provided the applicant has met all other requirements for the temporary permit.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECEIVE MY WORK AUTHORIZATION/TEMPORARY PERMIT? 
The length of time to receive the work authorization or temporary permit will vary depending on the applicant’s circumstance.  The Board may grant a nonrenewable temporary permit or work authorization to an applicant for initial licensure or registration who has applied for a CHRC provided the applicant has met all other licensure or registration requirements. 

CAN I USE THE SAME CHRC IF I AM AN LPN AND OBTAIN MY RN LICENSE?
 
If your previous CHRC was completed within the past ninety (90) days, you are not required to submit to an additional CHRC.  This also applies to obtaining other registrations/licenses; i.e., UAP to MA, UAP to LPN, LPN to RN, RN to APRN.

WILL A CHRC BE REQUIRED FOR RENEWAL OF LICENSES AND REGISTRATIONS?
No.  At this time, an individual currently licensed or registered in ND will not be required to obtain a CHRC for licensure/registration renewal.

WHAT HAPPENS TO AN INDIVIDUAL WITH A POSITIVE CRIMINAL HISTORY WHO APPLIES FOR A LICENSE OR REGISTRATION?
The Board of Nursing will continue to make decisions on a case-by-case basis.  Each case is examined individually and a determination whether or not to grant a license or registration to an individual is based on the facts of the case.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST AND WHO WILL PAY FOR CHRC?
The individual applicant for licensure or registration is responsible for all costs associated with CHRC.  Please view the Criminal History Record Check link on this website for the most current fees.    The cost for the fingerprinting will vary dependent upon the local law enforcement agency or private companies that provide fingerprinting services.


IF I ALREADY HAVE A CHRC THAT I OBTAINED FOR ANOTHER PURPOSE, CAN I USE THAT REPORT INSTEAD OF GOING THROUGH THE CHRC PROCESS AGAIN?

No.  An additional CHRC would need to be completed as required by the Board of Nursing.    Fingerprints submitted to other agencies cannot be used by the Board of Nursing to obtain criminal history record checks from the BCI and the FBI.  According to the CFR, Section 50.12…“records obtained from the FBI may be used solely for the purpose requested and may not be disseminated outside the receiving department, related agency or other authorized entity”.

HOW LONG WILL THE CHRC PROCESS TAKE?
The Bureau of Criminal Investigations will process the requests as quickly as possible.  However, it is important that you plan ahead!  Your license/registration will not be issued until your CHRC report has been reviewed and approved for processing.

MY CHRC CAME BACK WITH A CRIMINAL CHARGE I FORGOT ABOUT.  WILL I AUTOMATICALLY BE DENIED BECAUSE I DID NOT DISCLOSE THE OFFENSE TO THE BOARD OF NURSING?
You will not be approved for licensure/registration without providing the Board with information concerning the offense.  Failure to disclose an offense must be explained to the Board of Nursing in writing and may result in disciplinary action, including denial of licensure or registration.

WHAT CRIMES OR LICENSE DISCIPLINE MUST BE REPORTED TO THE BOARD OF NURSING?
A. Crimes.  All felony related arrests, charges, or convictions must be reported.   This includes all felony related crimes, including felony arrests, felony charges, or felony convictions that result in a plea agreement, misdemeanor, nolo contendere, deferred imposition, dismissal, record expungement, or other action. 
B. License Discipline.  All prior or current disciplinary action against another professional license must be reported, whether it occurred in ND or in another state or country.

I HAVE A PENDING CRIMINAL CHARGE AGAINST ME.  DO I HAVE TO REPORT THIS TO THE BOARD OF NURSING?
The Board of Nursing requires that all felony related arrests, charges, or convictions be reported to the Board.  This includes all pending felony related criminal offenses and/or disciplinary action.

 

Board Approved:  3/08
Reviewed/Revised: 10/12