Qualifying for a Health Care Worker License in Illinois
Convictions That Bar You From Obtaining a Health Care Worker License in Illinois
Did you know that certain convictions will bar you from becoming a licensed health care worker in Illinois?
In 2011, the state legislature amended the licensing code to prohibit anyone from obtaining or keeping a health care worker license due to certain crimes. Those crimes include: 1) sex offenses, 2) a battery to a patient (during treatment or care), and 3) a forcible felony (or attempt to commit).
A forcible felony is defined as: aggravated battery, robbery, unlawful restraint, home invasion, possession of a deadly substance, and car hijacking. For a complete list of forcible felonies, click here.
A health care worker is defined as: dentist, dental hygienist, LPN, RN, pharmacist, physical therapist or assistant, physician's assistant, social worker and speech pathologist. For a complete list of health care workers, click here.
It is important to point out that it does not matter when the crime took place. Crimes committed before applying for a health care worker license will bar you from obtaining a license. Similarly, crimes that occurred before obtaining a license will today result in license revocation proceedings.
In 2013, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), the agency responsible for granting health care worker licenses, started revoking those licenses. They also began denying new licenses based on the legislature's revisions to the licensing code. The decision of the IDFPR cannot be challenged.
In 2014, the Illinois legislature tried to modify the law. A bill that was proposed would have given current licensed health care workers and license applicants the right to appeal the department's decision after it has been made. The bill, however, failed to pass.
Until the Illinois legislature revisits this issue, the bar will stand. The Illinois Supreme Court held in 2014 that the licensing bar is constitutional.