In 2009, I pled guilty to theft by deception and identity theft as a result of a situation involving a co-worker who stole a check from a patient while I was employed as a Certified Nursing Aid. There was no jail time. I have paid my restitution and completed my probation. In 2011 I completed a Practical Nursing certificate in hopes of becoming an LPN in the State of PA. I knew that it was going to be an uphill battle but I felt that it was worth a try. I graduated near the top of my class with honors and a high GPA. The State Board of Nursing denied my application to sit for the licensing exam. My family paid thousands of dollars to an attorney who represented us in our appeal in front of the State Board of Nursing. We presented witnesses, there were recommendations from teachers, classmates, my probation officer and even a PA Senator. The State Board of Nursing denied my appeal due to the criminal record. As a result, my once potential lucrative career is down the drain. I am responsible for paying $27K in student loans for a profession that I will never work in. As a result I am unable to work and have gone back on Public Assistance. It’s ironic that the State has taken away my ability to make a good living, but at the end of the day they are still supporting my family through food stamps and cash assistance. I don’t want to be on welfare. I want to be working as an LPN but because of one mistake made many years ago I’m forced to remain a welfare recipient.