The College of New Jersey

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State of New Jersey qualification of nursing applicants who have been convicted of a crime

Standard HR 1.20 promulgated in 2004 by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations  (JCAHO)  in the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals: Official Handbook requires hospitals to verify the criminal background of students and volunteers as well as hospital staff.  Pursuant to Standard  HR 1.20 and our contractual obligation with affiliating agencies, a criminal background check, including  fingerprinting, is required in order for each student to participate in clinical courses.  This procedure is  detailed in an annual e-mail memo from the Clinical Site Coordinator or Program Assistant, and may be found  on the Nursing web site. Students must follow all procedures, submit all forms and pay fees by the established  deadlines to ensure that valid documentation of a clear Criminal History Records Check is received and filed in  the student’s Nursing Student Clinical E-Portfolio.  Only the original background check results letter will be  accepted.  A POSITIVE BACKGROUND CHECK MAY REQUIRE EXPUNGEMENT PRIOR TO BEING ABLE TO START ANY  CLINICAL ASSIGNMENT AS PER AFFILATING AGENCIES REQUIREMENTS.    Once within the nursing program a  positive background check will be referred to the FDSA Committee for disposition. This disposition could result in prohibition of the student’s participation in clinical courses and/or dismissal from the Nursing  major.  Students are advised that annual criminal background checks may be required in the future.

 STATE OF NEW JERSEY QUALIFICATION OF NURSING APPLICANTS WHO HAVE BEEN CONVICTED OF A DRUG RELATED CRIME:  The formulation and implementation of admission policies to schools of basic Professional Nursing is the responsibility of each Nursing school’s faculty and administration. The New Jersey Board of Nursing recommends that in regard to these admission standards, a school policy should be developed informing applicants that anyone who has ever been convicted of a drug related crime may not be permitted to take the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX); and therefore, may not be licensed to practice in the State of New Jersey. According to J.J.S.A. 45:ll-26 and 27 of the Nurse Practice Act, in pertinent part, an applicant for a license to practice Professional and Practical Nursing “…is of good moral character, is not a habitual user of drugs and has never been convicted of drug related offenses or who indicated a dependency on narcotic drugs, should not be counseled into a profession which provides such a vast opportunity for a remission in their rehabilitation.”

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