Section 1 (148.192) establishes the requirement for the criminal background checks.
Subdivision 1 requires the Board of Nursing to complete a criminal background check on each applicant for licensure before the board issues a license. An applicant is required to submit a full set of fingerprints and provide consent authorizing the board to obtain the applicant’s state and national criminal history record information in order to determine the applicant’s suitability and eligibility for licensure.
Subdivision 2 requires the applicant to complete a criminal background check if more than one year has elapsed since the applicant last submitted a background check to the board.
Subdivision 3 states that the applicant is responsible for all fees associated with the preparation of the fingerprints and the criminal background check. The fees shall be determined by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and are not refundable.
Subdivision 4 states that the board will not issue a license to any applicant who refuses to consent to a criminal background check or fails to submit fingerprints within 90 days after submitting an application. Any fees submitted are forfeited.
Subdivision 5 requires the board to submit the fingerprints to the Minnesota BCA. The BCA is required to perform a check for state criminal justice information and to forward the fingerprints to the FBI to perform a check for national criminal justice information. The BCA is requires to report to the board the results.
Subdivision 6 authorizes the board to require an alternative method of criminal history checks for an applicant who has submitted at least three sets of fingerprints that the BCA or FBI is unable to read.
Subdivision 7 authorizes the board to issue a temporary permit to an applicant for licensure by interstate endorsement who has submitted fingerprints, consent to a criminal background check, and meets all other requirements for a temporary permit. A license shall not be issued until the board receives and completes its review on the applicant’s criminal justice information.
Subdivision 8 requires the board to provide an applicant with an opportunity to complete or challenge the accuracy of the criminal justice information reported to the board before the board takes any disciplinary action based on a criminal conviction.
Subdivision 9 requires the board to deny licensure to an applicant who has been convicted of any of the crimes listed in this subdivision.
Subdivision 10 states that for the purpose of this section, a conviction means that the applicant has pled guilty or nolo contendere, been found guilty, or entered an Alford plea for any of the offenses in this section.
Subdivision 11 authorizes the board to consider when determining the suitability and eligibility of licensure, an applicant’s conviction of a crime that is not listed in this section or public records from a juvenile delinquency proceeding where there has been a judicial determination that the elements of an offense occurred.
Subdivision 12 authorizes the board to issue a public order of denial once an applicant has been denied licensure because of a conviction of a crime listed in this section and following an opportunity to challenge the accuracy and completeness of the criminal history report. The board is not required to provide a hearing to the applicant before the denial of a license.
Subdivision 13 states the crimes in which an applicant who is denied a license due to a conviction of one of these crimes may not request reconsideration of the denial and may not reapply for licensure until ten years following absolute discharge from sentence or has received a court order of expungement, or a pardon of conviction. This subdivision also lists the crimes in which an applicant may request reconsideration of a denial and states what the applicant must provide to the board. The board may impose limitations and conditions on the applicant’s license.
Subdivision 14 classifies all state and national criminal history record information obtained by the board from the BCA or the FBI as private data on individuals and restricts the use of the data to the board, its members, officers, staff, agents, and attorneys for the purpose if evaluating an applicant’s eligibility for licensure.
Subdivision 15 authorizes the board to request a licensee to submit to a criminal background check if there is reason to believe the licensee has been charged with or convicted of a crime.
Subdivision 16 requires the board to collaborate with the BCA and DHS to establish a plan for completing criminal background checks of all licensees who were licensed before the effective date of this section by no later than 2017 and may be contingent on the BCA’s implementation of a system in which new crimes that an applicant or licensee commits after an initial background check are flagged in the BCA’s database and reported back to the board.
Section 2 (148.261, subdivision 1) modifies the list of grounds for which the board may take disciplinary action by eliminating the five-year time period in which a conviction of a felony or gross misdemeanor may be grounds.
Section 3 (364.09) exempts from chapter 364 (rehabilitation of criminal offenders for purposes of licensed occupations) any person who has been denied a license to practice nursing by the board of nursing under section 148.192.
Section 4 provides for an appropriation to the Board of Nursing.
Section 5 establishes an effective date of July 1, 2013, for sections 1 and 2 or as soon as the necessary interagency infrastructure and related business processes are operational, whichever is later. An immediate effective date is included for sections 3 and 4.