I just graduated in May this year (2023), and in my last semester of senior year, I was caught cheating on an exam and have academic dishonesty on my record, and I'm trying to apply for accelerated nursing schools for 2024/2025. If the application on NursingCAS does not ask you about past institutional actions, do I need to address them? It is not on my transcript but in my internal records. Though, if asked, I will be honest. I want to understand when to disclose it. If I disclose it, do I need to provide all the details of how I cheated or just the cheating, what led to it, and what I learned from it? (i.e., in April of 2023, I was caught cheating on an exam.) I was also told this is not on my public records, just locked up, and only if the law asks will they provide this information.
No, you don't need to volunteer such things. If the university at which this happens considers it a closed issue then you should too unless you are asked. Then, I suggest you be honest in answering.
But, as with many human failings, it is good to let the past be the past. Presumably your university applied whatever punishment they thought appropriate, so you should let it go.
And hopefully you have learned, and practice, better behavior. Especially in a health related field.
I agree that if the form doesn't ask, you're not required to volunteer it. However: Everyone who cheats says they regret it and they learned their lesson and they would never do it again. And it's almost always a lie. The only thing they regret is getting caught.
You have an opportunity here to volunteer truthful information that could harm you, and there would be no consequences if you chose not to do so. I wouldn't even say that you're ethically required to volunteer the information; this would be above and beyond. But you say you're a better person now? This is a chance to prove it, if you so desire.
I'm not advising that you definitely do this. Being as honest as possible is good, but there is a risk. You might mitigate the risk somewhat by including a clause stating that the records of the cheating aren't public, but that you felt you needed to admit it in the interest of honesty. It's still a bit above and beyond, but it makes it clear that you aren't just saying this out of fear of being caught again.