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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.

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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.

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    Thank you so much! I wanted to have a clear idea. I definitely learned a lot from the situation and my shortcomings, and I will continue to grow from the case. I understand that integrity and ethics are very important in the health-related field, so such behavior is not accepted. I knew that then and know that now, but I made a poor judgment call in the midst of fear and I've definitely taken necessary steps and will continue to take necessary steps to make sure that this will never happen again. Jul 2, 2023 at 20:29
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    You've served the sentence for your crime... No point punishing yourself further Jul 3, 2023 at 14:31
  • @Premedstudenf2023: I agree with Buffy's answer. It is enough for me (and I think many other morally fastidious people) that you commit to being honest if asked about your past, and moreover have taken necessary steps to ensure that you don't fall into dishonesty again. I wish you all the best, and I hope that nobody will hold that past mistake against you in the future! =)
    – user21820
    Jul 6, 2023 at 4:19
  • @user21820 thank you for your kind words! and I will definitely be honest and I do not plan on hiding the situation, but just wondering if it something to put forward or just wait till they ask. Jul 6, 2023 at 20:43
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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.

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    I have talked to many nursing schools admissions addressing my circumstances in an honest manner, and most said that they appreciate the honesty and the vulnerability but we don't need that kind of information if it has been dealt with the university and not on the transcript. In the schools that do ask about this, they also thanked my vulnerability for coming forward with that information and that it won't affect my application as they've seen much worse and those people still became nurses. I understand that most people regret only when they get caught, but that is not the case. Jul 6, 2023 at 20:49
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    I may have cheated on the exam but in the end I have cheated myself and I regret doing that knowing I have the capability to do well, but just had poor judgement in the midst of fear thats the reason why I regret what I did. Jul 6, 2023 at 20:51
  • Glad to hear that you were open about it and that it seems to have worked out for the best.
    – Ray
    Jul 6, 2023 at 22:45

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