FORCE leader Dwight Young has been advocating in Springfield for SB 42 so that qualified health care professionals can obtain or renew their health care license. SB 42 addresses the unintended consequences of 2011 legislation that has meant the loss of quality jobs for a number of Illinoisans, including Dwight who lost his job as registered nurse. Prior to 2012, Dwight and other individuals with forcible felonies were successfully and safely licensed by the State in health professions. The following is Dwight's testimony about the impact of SB 42 passing the Illinois General Assembly.
The passing of SB 42 is a great benefit to the health care industry. The state of Illinois is in need of decent, dedicated individuals who will contribute and continue to bring compassion to the health care arena. This will also give some deserving hard-working, committed individuals an opportunity for a career where they can advance and give back to the healthcare field.
My Name is Dwight Young. I practiced as a Registered Nurse in Illinois for four years until April 17, 2014, when my license was revoked due to a past criminal conviction more than ten years earlier.
Unfortunately, all my plans for schooling and furthering my career in the nursing field were derailed in April of 2014. Due to a change in the law, I am no longer eligible to be licensed in the State of Illinois as a registered professional nurse. Pursuant to 20 ILCS 2105/165(a)(3),
“[w]hen a licensed health care worker, as defined in the Health Care Worker Self-Referral Act…has been convicted of a forcible felony…the license of the health care worker shall by operation of law be permanently revoked without a hearing”.
I received word of this change in the law in March of 2014, when I opened the mail one day to find a notice that the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation intended to permanently revoke my RPN license. I immediately sought out an attorney with whom to discuss my options. When I received the Permanent Revocation Order from the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, dated April 17, 2014, I was devastated. I have been denied a profession at which I am very good. I cannot even attend school as planned this fall, since one needs to have an active RPN license to pursue a B.S.N. degree. My entire life has been turned upside down by the recently enacted law discussed above.
SB 42 will give me and thousands of qualified and motivated individuals an opportunity to be a part of an ever growing field and, most importantly, to help others by giving quality care to those in need.
For all those who have advocated for and will be affected by the passing of this bill, it would truly be a dream come true.