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Will a Nurse with a DUI Lose Her License?

I am a student, and in class it was stated that a nurse can have his/her nursing license taken away if he/she gets a DUI. Is that fact or fiction? Can a person become a nurse if he/she has a prior DUI. In class, many students considered this unfair.
Liz


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52 Responses to “Will a Nurse with a DUI Lose Her License?”

  1. morghan chambers Says:

    I think in most states, this is only true if the case is a felony DUI, such as that which causes the death of someone else. I’m not sure of that, your BON would be the place to check. Impaired nurses in all states are usually involved in some sort of mandatory monitoring process, though.

    Morghan, ARNP
    Kansas

  2. Liz Says:

    Thank you for answering my question. I will pass on the information to my fellow students.

  3. dave Says:

    Driving Under the Influence …

    If you have a blood alcohol of .08 (at least in the state of Illinois) – and you get stopped by the police – then you get cited for a “DUI” – and the consequences are steep – loss of drivers license, etc.

  4. lookinginotnursing Says:

    same here in New York State dave.

  5. A. Morton-Miller Says:

    I believe if you check with the board of nursing in your state, you should be able to get some answers. My hunch (although it’s only a hunch) is that penalties may vary state to state.

  6. laura Says:

    My Co-worker lost her license. She’s in the process of getting it back. =(

  7. Maria Says:

    Well, I just got my first and last dui and I’m scared to death to report it to the board of nursing. I guess I’ll just have to call and give my nurse manager’s name…:) just kidding; I’ll just fess up.

  8. n00bienurse Says:

    Hiding the truth – no matter how bad it might seem – is always the worst way to go in terms of your nursing license.

    If you try to bury it, the penalties can be worse than if you are upfront about things.

  9. kara Says:

    you may not lose your license but good luck with the jobs. i got a dui in october scared to death to report it, also!

  10. BratRN Says:

    Expet to fess up to the state board and your manager. if you come clean before they find out on their own, it will look better for you. *trust me*. Good luck

  11. Steve Says:

    The state of Missouri has a FAQ y’all might find helpful…
    http://pr.mo.gov/boards/nursing/FrequentlyAskedQuestions.pdf

  12. Savvy Says:

    I do know one RN who had a DWI (same as DUI) in NY State PRIOR to becoming an RN. He had to be individually evaluated by the BON before getting his license, and it was about 5 months before he knew he was getting licensed, but he did get it. I think the BON is the place to check, as so many others have recommended. What is true in one state may not be true in another.

    Savvy

  13. ali Says:

    Hi! I graduated Lvn in 2009. I got 2 dui,s in 2003 ,one was dissmised . i got a letter from BON that i have to prove sobriety(aa, na). I don’t know what to do my school cost me $30.000 and they did the fingerprint ck. one month before graduation. If i knew i will pick a different profesion. I have to pass N-clex, but i.m keep thinking if they will ever give me a license.Please i need help!

  14. susie Says:

    I am a RN on Fl and was arrested for DUI, never been arrested before, I have a lawer for my DUI but dont know if I will be convicted or not. Should I self report or wait to see if I am convicted? Anyone have experience with the Fl BON and a DUI? Thnaks!!!

  15. Tallie Says:

    I got convicted of a dui last year. I self reported myself to the DOH..It took 6 months but I was cleared…now just trying to find a job

  16. RN Says:

    I am a RN in California and received a DUI as well. I have been working for 3 years. I was thinking about hiring a RN lawyer before turning in my paper to report my conviction to the Boards. Do you think this is neccessary? For any RNs that were currently working when receiving your DUI how did it turn out?

  17. marilee Says:

    Hi Susie! Yes, I am in the same “boat”!! 48 yrs old and a nurse for 30 years, just had my first (and last) DUI!!! I haven’t reported it yet as have not yet been convicted, so am also very concerned….Please let me know what happens and when I’m to report it, as I’m SURE they (Board of Nsg) will find out with all the resources now a days…Wish it would go AWAY!! Thanks in advance…mtrettis@yahoo.com

  18. John Marshall Says:

    No! the Board checks the matter very deeply, considering different factors like the harm or potential harm to the public and the what actually cause this crime. You should prepare for your better explanation before the court. This blog http://www.defendca.com/blog/how-will-a-dui-felony-or-misdemeanor-affect-my-nursing-licence/ will guide you about DUI and many more.

  19. christy Says:

    I am a RN since 1998. I have a DUI but my court date is in May. I am in the process of reporting it. I think all the horror stories you here is from nurses who didn’t self report. If I had to quess I think if it is done the right way our lisence will be suspended for a short time and have to go to hell and back to get it back. But if you think about it most of what needs to be done is asked by the court anyway to get our drivers lisence back. In the mean time think positive and consider it a break from nursing. Get your unemployment because finding a job will be difficult.

  20. Leslie K. Machuzak Says:

    It does depend on the state but most states have a mandatory monitoring program and several hoops to jump through before they let you practice nursing without supervision. Most likely once they get the information or if you decide to self report they will have you evaluated and go from there. The BON takes alcohol and drug incidents very seriously, however there has been a rise in in alcohol and drug abuse within the profession or shall I say it has begun to come to light due to the age of technology and society really coming down hard on drunk driving and drugs. Either way it is the ultimate responsibility of the BON to protect the public, however I do believe nurses should be given a chance to practice again. That was my story and now my insight related to this issue and helping other nurses has been a gift and a big part of who I am as a nurse.
    Please feel free to contact me lkmachuzak@yahoo.com

  21. Karl Brown Says:

    My gf is an RN currently, and it is really sad for me to see her taking such a risk by drinking and driving. I’ve told her that she has so much to lose to be going about her choices so recklessly, but she is 24 and thinks that she is invincible for some reason (I’m 31). Its tough because I can’t tell another adult what to do…

  22. Tosha Says:

    I graduated from LVN school april of 09 and got a dui in 08. I reported my dui and had to send the board proof of the court orders on classes and rehabiliation and they finally sent me my license in 2010. well i got a job offer and went and got my fingerprints done and social services denied my license. and now i am in the process of appealing my denial till this day(may 2011). i still dont know for sure if they will give me my license but if they do denial i can not reapply until 2 years. so if you can prevent yourself or another nurse from drinking and driving please do. its nothing but a waste of time, money, and emotional stress.

  23. Michelle Says:

    I am considering a start on prereqs this fall, but I got 2 dwis, one in 94 and one in 96 and I have been clean since. I am wondering what my chances are in New Mexico of this plaguing me and chances at a future degree?? Perhaps I should give up now??

  24. kandice Says:

    if i had a dui when i has 19, and im in school for nursing now . ill be done when im 25 which is in 3 years. do you think they will let me be a nurse when i finish my courses? or am i wasting my time. i live in florida and it was my first and only crime. besides a speeding ticket

  25. George Says:

    I got a DUI in April. I’m 19 years old and got accepted into my nursing program days before I got my DUI. I haven’t not told the Bon or my nursing department. When and how should I tell them. I’m very nervous I will be kicked out of the program entirely. Any info would be great, thanks.

  26. Paul Says:

    In California I believe first offense is a suspension. Second offense is loss of license, period. In answer to the student who first responded. You have one of the most responsible jobs on planet earth and you have HUMAN being under your care. You think it is unfair you loose your license, what is wrong with you. Grow up and get another profession, you clearly are irresponsible and should not be allowed anywhere near sick or needy people. Alcohol impair judgment and a DUI shows you are too irresponsible to have human lives in your hands. We have laws for a reason. You sound like my ex girlfriend who is an RN (and passed the M-CATS) and drinks and drives 2-3 times a week. She will get caught one day soon. She is just as arrogant as everyone else who drinks and drives then regrets it when they are sitting in a jail cell wondering what went wrong when they killed an innocent pedestrian.

  27. Roxanne Says:

    I know nurse who have been through similar situations with DUI and they still have a license. Here is the the main thing be honest and have a plan ready for the BON of how you will prevent this from happening ever again. So just make sure you are honest with them and you will have to submit you court records, employer reviews and of course you letter explaining the events. For those that think id you have a DUI, this doesn’t make you a bad nurse. It mean you are human and have been taught a lesson to learn from . I have had a DUI and hold a current active license. So this is familiar territory. Do not let people tell you that you will not be because of these incidents. You can over come and lets face it, if you are truly sorry, you are probable a stronger nurse than most because you pursue your dreams. If you do get license, remember how hard it is for one incident to get reported and do the right thing every time

  28. Diana Says:

    Hi i got a dui in 2009,I informed the board they sent me a letter saying they were not taking any actions against me. I just filed to renew my license,i should be ok right? since they allready know and i did all things i had to do w no further trouble..any insights would help..am a lvn in CA

  29. Jenn Says:

    I have a friend who is an ER nurse and has been addicted to drugs and alcohol for many. Recently letters have poured in the state and local health and medical agencies even the hospital. My friend has been suspended 3 times over this with the BON investigating but the hospital sabotaging their investigation bc many nurses and doctors are also addicted in the department and the hospital turns a blind eye to it all endangering patients daily. I hope and pray my friend gets caught while using as does the others who are risking everyone’s life no matter how good a nurse or doctor is how dare anyone risk another persons life while working and most of all I hope the New York hospital gets caught for this

  30. Gretchen Says:

    I think it depends on the severity of the condition like any other medical condition. If you have a severe medical condition, then the State will revoke on medical grounds. Alcoholism is a disease like any other, so it’s best not to drink at all. AA is a social group, by the way, so it might not be too bad to join in order to avoid any type of incidents. The only requirement to join is to stop drinking. You do not have to hit any sort of criminal offense to join the group and there is quite a bit of non-drinking social activity.

  31. Gretchen Says:

    also it is a desire to stop drinking. So you really only need a desire to stop drinking, not necessarily a prior offense. Thanks for reading, and AA is open to anyone, which makes it accessible to anyone in this predicament. It is a disease and it is important not to criticize anyone with the condition.

  32. SALLIE Says:

    I am an RN in NC,have a pending DUI,not on scene at house post accident involving a deer at 15mph,no alchol preaccident. Police arrived 2hrs later and I was arrested in my drive way after going out to explain the situation to the officer.I have over a year to renewal & I also have RN in another state. Lawyer feels that I will get off, do I need to report?

  33. jules k Says:

    I dont know but I wish I did. I recently was arrested for an OVI and im an LPN. I have never been in trouble before, I feel like my whole career of 18 years is gone. Do you have any news on your aituation?

  34. Jen G Says:

    I am an RN in Colorado and up to renew this summer. I am 28 and got my first DUI this past summer. I have not self reported, my past employer was forgiving and i continue to work as an RN. I haven’t got a lawyer as of yet. The court has decided to defer the judgement due to my vlean an clear past record. I did however get a DUR in December. I had reason to drive at that time. I am planning on getting an attorney. Has anyone had experience with a DUI in Colorado? Im worried because i unfortunately made wrong decisions but realize the value of my job as a professional nurse. The last two years have been rough – divorce, bankruptcy, child custody issues. I have certainly learned from my mistakes and am hoping for the best outcome.

  35. max Says:

    I am a graduate student, currently writing a paper concerning the impaired nurse. I am amazed about how many nurses think they can break the law,drunk driving, and not have any repercussions. You make a conscious decision to drive drunk, you have to pay the price. It’s called breaking the law!

  36. mel Says:

    Wow I can’t believe how judgmental some people can be. I am in no way defending a dui but seeing as you are drinking and your thought is impaired it may not be a conscious decision to break the law and there are plenty of people who hold their alcohol well and are pretty coordinated at a .08 or .09, so they may not feel they are not that inebriated. You can think all you want to you make one stupid mistake and your in that boat.

  37. sam Says:

    I recently got a DUI and am in nursing school and scared. I blew a 0.08 and didn’t wreck or cause any property damage or anything so if I get convicted it will be a class 5 DUI misdameaner.I have put soo much time, money and effort into this, for it to be for nothing. I am almost through first year and I don’t think I will be convicted by Aug., so if they do another background check will it show up, if it is still pending? My mom is a nurse and I know she works with a few nurses who have had this issue, but they were already licensed. I know I will have to write the BON about what happened and they do a case by case investigation to see if you can get licensed but is this before or after you take the NCLEX? And if my instructors find out will I be kicked out of the program? I am soo scared and don’t want one horrible mistake to take what I have worked so hard for.

  38. robrn Says:

    Just wondering, does anyone in Illinois know if you have to report arrests to the BON without any convictions upon license renewel?

  39. Kat Says:

    It is entirely possible to work with dui. I know it because I am one that made the mistake. And I know others practicing that made the same mistake. Being forthcoming to the Board is definitely needed. I know it is scary and I waited a few years to re-instate because of that fear. my atty told me I wouldnt believe how many nurses have come to him. Hopefully reading these posts u know ur not alone!

  40. Sally Says:

    I got 1st DUI at age 45 on New Years Eve night.
    It has been a night mare ever since.
    I hired THE BEST ATORNEY that only does DUI and he has been great.Hire Atorney that does ONLY DUI law because it is so VERY COMPLEX.

    You must report to BON or they can take away your RN License.It is part of renewal.I have that from a DUI expert Lawyer and he has MANY RNS and MDS that have got him as their Lawyer.I spent now about $15,000 since this happened.
    Thank goodness now i have only to go to Probation Officier for 12 months and can only drive to work and home.
    I did get my offense down to “less safe DUI.”
    My advise to to hire the BEST ATORNEY that money can buy and than do anything he tells you to.

  41. Julie Says:

    I am an LVN licensed since 08 just got a DUI and havent reported to my job yet because I’m not yet convicted therefore it doesn’t show up on my record yet , right? I plan to give notice at my job rather than tell them what happened to leave a clean slate as I have worked there ever since I got my LVN license . I know that when it’s time to renew the boards will find out anyway so my question is ; is it wise to give notice and lose all my wages and job prior to conviction ? Does boards know that I have been arrested ? I’m in the state of California . I don’t know how I will pay all my fees w out a job but I have to do what’s right I can’t just continue working . I’ve read some nurses righ away told their boss I just don’t feel this is necessary given the fact I am not yet convicted . Is that wrong ? I’m so scared and overwhelmed and literally have no one to turn to .

  42. je Says:

    julie tell you r boss it is much easier to go through this with a job and many bosses are very understanding

  43. Karl Says:

    Julie, and everyone? If you have a DUI, there is very little chance that your BON will grant you a license, or allow you to keep a current license. Think twice about enrolling in nursing school with a DUI- just because they allow you to enroll, means nothing. It is worse every day, the affects of even basic, non-injury DUI, with BONs. Aside from that, you must report any arrest to your school, employer, BON, etc. promptly, and face the consequences. You cannot hide an arrest. This is a digital world, and state agencies instantly transmit arrest information to a myriad number of data bases- to be found out, rather that self report immediately, will only make things worse. I got a DUI in 2010, lost my license in one state, was allowed to keep it in another (but, that state would not grant me a license with a DUI, if I had not have already had it). I am writing a book about DUI, (“DUI: Ticket to HELL”), and my experience- and some of the information and comments and beliefs I see posted in this forum are so out of touch with reality, it confirms my realization that my book had to be written. Don’t hold out false hope- if you have a DUI, you are facing much more serious problems that even your lawyer knows of, or will tell you. Again, Julie: Inform the BON, your employer, everyone immediately of your arrest, in CA, particularly, you will certainly have your license revoked if you do not inform the BON within 30 days of any arest. They will also require vast, detailed information- a copy of every form, an explanation from you, in detail, concerning the DUI, why, when, where, etc. Welcome to Hell, people…one that will last your lifetime.

  44. Karl Says:

    BTW, in my research, I have located almost 30 online data bases at the local, state, and federal level that contain arrest information, many specifically just for health care providers. Many of them have my own arrest information within them, even though I had never known of the existence of all of these sites. Trust me, you cannot escape a DUI arrest, or any arrest, being stored in countless data bases. The instant you are arrested, it is transmitted to local police and agencies, then to the state police/court sites/misc. (BON, for example), then federal (FBI is one of many), etc. Also, even you if you acquitted, the arrest has already been splattered all over the internet, so you cannot tell people you have not been arrested. You must admit it, then tell them you were acquitted- but that has no positive bearing ona nursing license.

  45. stewie Says:

    It’s really sad reading these posts. Don’t you think you should figure out your drinking problem before you worry about your RN license? I mean, what’s more important? Loosing your license or killing someone due to your very bad judgement? Who’s to say you won’t come to work messed up and kill someone there? If they don’t take away licenses for DUI, the should. I would never want any of you to care for me.

  46. Suzy Says:

    People in these situations need positivity and encouragement, not ridicule and judgment. People make mistakes and most BONs understand this and review each nurse individually. I have 2 DUIs from several years ago. I actually got the second in LPN school. I reported it the day after it happened and was granted a license. 2 years later I got my RN with no problem. Now, I am at a state university working on my master’s degree in nursing. I work in an ICU and I’m a great nurse. I’m upfront with the BON and employers about my past. Of course I’ve been turned down for jobs, but as my convictions get older, I’m not experiencing that as much anymore. My advice is don’t give up and be honest. Also, address the reasons you got the DUI without making excuses. Maybe you barely ever drink, and that one night was just a glitch in the matrix. Or maybe you need counciling. Either way, good luck to all of you. I don’t believe someone’s career should end over a poor choice made under the influence of alcohol outside of work.

  47. rocky Says:

    hey, i just got a dui, this past weekend and im wondering if i would be able to get my career in nursing that im currently working on

  48. Lena Says:

    It is sad that we live in a world where so many people do not believe in forgiveness or a persons ability to change. Making a mistake should not preclude someone for working as a nurse. Many felons cannot find a decent job when they get out of prison because no one will hire them due to their criminal record. The effect of this is to drive them back to crime and repeat the cycle. I assure you all the haters on here posting self righteous comments live in glass houses and shouldn’t throw stones. To err is human to learn from our mistakes and grow that is what is important.

  49. Tim Says:

    I have gotten 2 dui’s in michigan within the last 5 years. I went through a treatment program and currently work a 12 step program I’m currently working on my prereqs for nursing. Due you think I’m wasting my time.I’m also a paramedic but I’m pretty sure I will lose that licence. I have never has any issues at work.

  50. mb Says:

    Has anyone in ga had these issues
    I drove sleeping on lunesta, my prescription legal

  51. sl Says:

    My situation was not for a DUI, but was under a pain management clinic. My supervisor knew I was under pain management, and knew of the medication a month before she put me in a PRN status. She knew it 4 months before she hired me full-time. My supervisor and I had a discussion about the medication, and I informed her I did not take it while I was working, only Motrin and my Neurontion. Well I went to Detox to get off of the pain medication on my own. I did not tell my supervisor where I was at, because I felt it was a private matter. I had to tell her when I returned because I went into a secondary withdraw. I reminded her of the conversation we had about the meds and she denied it. She turned me into the BON, and it took 8 months for them to review my case. I found out my supervisor had lied and there was a COC to prove it. I went for an Investigative Interview thinking it would help me and they would drop my case or cut down on the time of the Consent Order. Well, I was wrong, they did me worse and put a Narcotic Susp against me for 2 years, probation for 5 years, and so much more. I don’t have the money to hire an attorney. I know I could beat this, for the way she lied on me. So take my advice and never appear before them, they don’t care about the truth, or you. Just let them do what they are going to do, and get an attorney if you can afford one, for you will need it.

  52. marie Says:

    I was charged with a DUI not convicted. Can I get a job as an RN

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