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A pathway to licensure: changes to law for health care workers with criminal convictions

1/4/2017, 6 a.m.
Effective January 2017, previously barred health care workers and applicants with criminal convictions may once again become eligible for licensure ...

Effective January 2017, previously barred health care workers and applicants with criminal convictions may once again become eligible for licensure in Illinois. Under a new law, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (“IDFPR”) will implement a review process for impacted health care workers. Health care workers include doctors, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, and more. This new law partially rescinds a 2011 law that automatically and permanently revoked or denied licensure for health care workers with certain felony convictions in their past. The new measure is part of ongoing efforts by Governor Rauner and legislators to remove unnecessary barriers to professional licensure while ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

Health care workers who qualify for review under the new law will have the opportunity to present information proving they have been rehabilitated from their conviction. Health care workers with certain felony convictions that have met the timing requirements under the new law may file a Petition for Review to determine whether their conviction is still a barrier to licensure. The new law sets forth the factors IDFPR may consider in determining whether a health care worker has been rehabilitated. Factors include, but are not limited to, the seriousness of the offense, prior disciplinary history, and voluntary remedial actions.

Healthcare workers who have been permanently revoked or denied licensure may immediately file a Petition for Review to prove rehabilitation. First-time applicants must submit an initial application for licensure prior to filing a Petition for Review. If a Petition for Review is granted, the conviction is no longer a barrier to licensure. The previously barred health care worker or first-time applicant must still meet all licensure requirements. This may include submitting licensing forms, fingerprinting, and proving competency to practice.

For more information on IDFPR and the Petition for Review process, visit www.idfpr.com.