I'm going to assume that this is a NYS conviction. If it's not, you can let me know by replying here on this question thread. The health care industry, like education, law and the financial sector, is a highly restrictive industry when it comes to hiring practices. A felony, even a very old one, would likely be a dealbreaker. BUT. . . New York State is one of the minority of states that offers protection from employment discrimination on the basis of a criminal record
. In order to get that protection, you would need a Certificate of Relief
from Civil Disabilities. I assume that this is the certificate you mentioned in your question and, if so, yes, it is very much in your best interest to apply for that certificate. Attached is what that certificate can and can't do for you. I have also attached the application. Once you have a certificate, it would be unlawful for a NYS employer to deny you a position based solely upon your criminal record. You would be able to take a prospective employer to court
if they did. The only exception would be if there was a direct relationship between the particular crime you committed and the position applied for. In other words, it shouldn't bar you from hospital work, but the banking industry could still turn you away.