If you have a forcible felony conviction on your record, and you applied between 2011 and 2016, you were denied because of an old law. If you were licensed prior to 2011, your license might have been revoked. If you went to school in this field, you may have been told that you could not get licensed.
The law has now changed. You may be eligible to ask to restore or issue your health care worker license. This rule applies to you if you have a conviction in the State of Illinois, another state, or a federal conviction.
What is a health care worker?
Examples of common licensed health care workers are:
- Nurses (RN and LPN)
- Occupational therapists,
- Clinical social workers,
- Dental hygienists, and
- Respiratory care therapists.
You can find a complete list on the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) website.
What is a forcible felony?
A forcible felony is one that involves the use of, or threat of, physical force to another person. Even if no violence occurred in the commission of an offense, your conviction may still be a forcible felony. This includes convictions for attempting to commit a forcible felony are also included. If you were convicted of any of the offenses listed below, or attempt of any the offenses, you may be eligible to ask IDFPR to review your application for licensure:
- First Degree Murder
- Second Degree Murder
- Intentional Homicide of an Unborn Child
- Voluntary Manslaughter of an Unborn Child
- Drug-induced Homicide
- Kidnapping & Aggravated Kidnapping
- Unlawful Restraint & Aggravated Unlawful Restraint
- Compelling Organizational Membership of Persons
- Involuntary Servitude
- Trafficking in Persons
- Aggravated Battery
- Home Invasion
- Forcible Detention
- Causing a Catastrophe
- Compelling Confession or Information by Force or Threat Robbery
- Armed Robbery & Aggravated Robbery
- Vehicular Hijacking & Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking
- Possession of a Deadly Substance
- Making a Terrorist Threat & Falsely Making a Terrorist Threat
- Material Support for Terrorism
- Hindering Support for Terrorism
- Boarding or Attempting to Board an Aircraft with Weapon
- Armed Violence
You are not eligible if you were convicted of:
- Involuntary sexual servitude of a minor,
- A forcible felony for which you have to register as a sex offender, or
- Criminal battery against any patient in the course of patient care treatment.
How long do I have to wait to apply after a conviction?
Your conviction must be at least 5 years old. You must have been released from confinement at least 3 years ago.
How many convictions can I have on my background?
There is no limit. But IDFPR will consider the number of convictions you have. If you have multiple convictions, you may want to include more documents in your application.
If you have a forcible felony, you must disclose all of your convictions. This includes misdemeanor and non-forcible felony convictions which have not been sealed.
You do not need to disclose:
- Sealed cases that are not forcible felonies,
- Juvenile adjudications, or
- Arrests that did not result in conviction.
What if I have been convicted of a felony that is not a forcible felony?
You must disclose any non-sealed convictions in your application. Learn more about getting a license with prior convictions.
How do I get my license?
The process is different depending on if you had your license revoked or denied, or if you are applying for your license for the first time.
Previously denied or revoked license
If your health care worker license was previously permanently denied or revoked, you can file a Petition for Review with IDFPR. It is free to file, but if granted you may have to pay fees.
Learn more on the IDFPR website.
First time applicant
If you are applying for the first time, you must meet all requirements of your chosen occupation. You should first submit your license application and all required licensure fees. Be sure to follow all the instructions for your license application. A list of occupations with application instructions, forms, and additional information is available on the IDFPR website. You can also contact the IDFPR Licensure Maintenance Unit at 1-800-560-6420 or FPR.LMU@illinois.gov.
After you apply, you will receive a “Notice of Intent to Permanently Deny Licensure” letter from IDFPR. You will also receive information related to submitting your Petition to Review.
You only have 20 days from the date on the letter to submit your Petition for Review. You may want to start working on gathering the necessary documents before you get the letter.
Learn more on the IDFPR website.
Completing and submitting your Petition for Review
You must answer all questions on the Petition and sign it. Also attach copies of Certified Dispositions for your convictions and documentation of your release.
You should include documentation of things you have done since the time of your conviction. You should especially include anything that demonstrates your positive accomplishments.
You can include:
- Letters of support,
- Educational documents,
- Evidence of volunteerism, or
- Anything that shows IDFPR that your convictions do not represent who you are today, and you are not a threat working in the health care industry.
IDFPR will review your statement and any supporting documents. IDFPR considers 15 factors in making this determination.
You should include information about your life prior to your conviction. You should also include any changes you may have made since that time. Be factual and straightforward as possible.
If you deny committing the offense, you should talk to a laywer. They can help you navigate how to present this to IDFPR.
You can deliver your Petition for Review in person or send it through the mail to:
Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation
Clerk of the Court
James R. Thompson Center
100 West Randolph Street, Suite 9-300
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Updated: March 2018