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February 16, 2008


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LaTonia Denise Wright, RN, BSN, JD

Thank you for your comment Smart RN. I would like for nurses to continue to post here on the blog because it allows other nurses to see the issues involved in various legal matters. You are right, I cannot provide legal advice on a blog but I can provide guidance and most of the time it is schedule an appt. with an attorney in your state for assistance. Most nurses do not retain legal representation before the State Nursing Board and this is why you see so many of us posting questions online to try to figure out what to do. In a perfect world every nurse would retain an attorney at the first sight of a pending State Nursing Board complaint. But we know the world ain't perfect and there will always be healthcare professionals/paraprofessionals who (for whatever reason) proceed pro se in these matters.

LaTonia Denise Wright, RN, BSN, JD

Thanks for your comment. Anytime you have criminal convictions or your criminal charges have been diverted at pre-trial or you have some type of "alternative plea" arrangement, you need to consult with a nurse license defense attorney in your State about your suitability for licensure as a healthcare professional or paraprofessional. If you really want to be a CNA and maybe a LPN or RN then take the time to spend a few dollars now and consult with an attorney licensed in your state about the specifics of your situation.

Al Black

Yes i have a question I had a PI ( public Intoxication) 7 years ago and I am wanting to be a cna, Also i have a juvinile record i was 16 and me and some girls got into a argument and they took me to court over teraristic treatning. I am soo worried and have been wanting to be a cna for soo long, any advice would be helpful PLEASE!.. thank You soo much

Smart RN

No offense to you LaTonia, but I don't understand why RN's are posting questions and their situation when LaTonia clearly can't give any advice. This is especially due to the fact she doesn't practice in those other states. Instead of wasting time, seek a qualified attorney in the respective state.

LaTonia Denise Wright


You should contact your State Nurses Association or the State APRN Association for referrals. You can also see www.taana.org for a license defense attorney in your state. You can also google "nurse license defense" or "nurse attorney" and your state to find an attorney. You need counseling and guidance on the best way to proceed not guesswork which is typical in these cases. Good luck and best wishes. LaTonia


I am just about frantic....APRN with recent first time DUI. Knew someone was going to report me to board so I went ahead and self reported. Told procedure was to send letter and after my disposition (haven't been to court but have criminal attorney) the board would open the case for an investigation. I thought I'd be proactive after hearing I'd be given a consent order and volunteer for IPN program...that's before I realized it is a four yr program with ridiculous restrictions for a first time DUI...same disciplinary action as a nurse who diverted drugs/received felony conviction. It seems very odd that in the judicial world there are levels of sanctions but in nursing the same sanction can be issued for a first time DUI or felony narcotic diversion, repeated at that---go figure. After discussing with my immediate supervisor, a nurse, and my collaborating MDs--all who know my character and nursing skill and who have never suspected impairment on the job because there has been none to suspect---they have advised me to seek legal counsel as well.

I need legal counsel asap with knowledge on defending licensure--can't seem to locate anyone and the nurse on the nurse attorney website doesn't do private law anymore...any advice is greatly appreciated!!!!!

Concerned Nurse

Hello. In September, I was arrested and initially charged with a low level felony. I went to court today, and after talking to the prosecutor, was able to get my charge lowered to a misdemeanor. My question is, will my license be affected by the misdemeanor? I contacted the Nursing Board and was told I didn't even need to report the charge until 2011 when my license was up for renewal. I cannot find whether it is reportable or not. First and only time I have ever been in any trouble. Was not working at the time of the incident, seeking employment now.


I was at a wedding and pulled over due to lights not on coming out of hotel parking lot. I admitted I had 2 glasses of wine and passed the roadside tests but I refused a breathalizer. I am now facing DUI charges in Phoenix, AZ. I am a RN. I don't live in that state. Can anyone recommend an Arizona attorney for me?


I am not licensed to practice law in Illinois and even if I was licensed in IL I wouldn't give you legal advice and counseling without establishin an attorney-client relationship. Thank you for contacting me however. I would suggest you contact Nancy Brent who represents nurses in disciplinary matters and investigations in IL. She is a buddy of mine; let her know I referred you. Good luck.


I have been an LPN for over 3 yeras in the state of illinois.Also iam about to sit for RN exam soon.I got a DUI last month.My first and last one.I got a misdemeanor.I have completed all court reqirments.Should i report to state board.What are my chances in getting the RN licensure.


Hi Nicole,

I would suggest you contact a nurse license defense attorney licensed in your State for further assistance. See www.taana.org.


Hi, I am an Rn in the state of Kansas. I was stopped for a DUI but my court date is in two months. I have a DUI lawyer working on my case now. My question is do I need to turn it in to the state now? Or do I only turn it in if I'm convicted? Also I may be starting a new job soon that I need to get a license in another state (Missouri). Do I need to turn it in to them? Or only if I have been convicted.....Thank you


I agree with latonia. I just went to a job interview for a hospice, the first thing this witch says to me is " I am with the state board of bla bla" yada yada, she just HAD to wave it around my face before telling me my resume was shit and oh, good luck! grrrr, just like my nursing instructors, old, crabby ass hags who have nothing better to do then fuck with peoples lives because they cant find a man to have sex with them. Thanks for letting me vent. Amen, and yes, I too, am struggling as a new grad who got a dui the day before i took my boards. Yay, life is pleasant. Keep rolling with the punches ladies!


Mary, congrats on your sobriety and remember to take it one day at a time. I am not licensed to practice law in California, but I would suggest you speak with a nurse license defense attorney and a director of admissions at one or more nursing programs before you enroll in nursing school. You can also contact your State Nurses Association. Before you invest tens of thousands of dollars in a nursing education, be proactive and address any possible issues with clinical sites, suitability for licensure as a nurse and your employability. Contact Melanie Balestra, NP, JD who is licensed in CA and AZ or Kathleen Murphy, RN, JD who is licensed in NV and CA.


I have had DUI in 2003 and got another one in 2009. My DL was suspended for a year and not able to get restricted license. I am almost done with 18 months program. I just got into the nursing program in northern CA. I am not sure if I will be allowed to be in nursing program. If yes, I am told that Kaiser permenente has very strict policy for the pediatric dept.
Can somebody advise me or give me some hope that I will be able to start the nursing program successfully...
There were no accidents of ANY kind in both convictions.
I dont drink as of April 24, 2009 and will abstain my whole life.


Hi J,

One of my sisters is enrolled in a dental hygiene program. Dental hygienist and RN is a nice combination. I would suggest you speak with a nurse license defense attorney in your state and have the attorney review the SPECIFICS of your DUI convictions and discuss your suitability for licensure and future employability with you. You don't want to spend several bands to attend nursing school to find you have trouble obtaining a licensure and securing employment as a RN. Schedule an appt. with an attorney to review and discuss your situation before you start nursing school this fall.


I am a licensed dental hygienist now and am planning to go to nursing school this fall 2010. I called the board and asked them if I would have any problem getting my nursing license since I got a dui in 1999.2000 and 2004. They told me I should not have any problems as long as I did what the court ordered. Should I trust this information? Also, I am worried about getting a job in a hospital, will a hospital still hire me with this record? Should I report these on my job applications or just hope that the background checks they do don't go far enough back to find them? Help!! I got these DUI's when I was a bartender and I don't even drink anymore.


I am a LPN. My husband and I went on a cruise and I smoked pot. I wasn't working as a nurse at the time but decided to apply for a position a week after returning. I tested positive for THC. I have never had even a speeding ticket. I did a year of probation, 12 months of urine drops at $50.00 month. My name appeared in the Board newsletter reporting my discipline and I am on the "bad nurse" list posted on the Board website. Its been several years and I can't find a good job. You can't make mistakes in nursing even with the Board knowing in the beginning nursing started with hookers and alcoholics. I gave it up and I am going back to school for something less demanding and less degrading. I wish everyone luck. This is one of the reasons why there is such a nursing shortage. Nurses are people too!!!!!!!!!!!!


I am an lpn, with 2 dui,s over 8 years apart. Both were misdeamors. I have NEVER done anything to get my license in trouble and have letters stating I am an excellant nurse. I am not trying to say that getting these was not a mistake, and both times was under a huge amount of personal stress,(I did not take it to work..)now I have been refused a license in one state and may have my license expire because the state boards are taking months to make decisions.
Does anyone have any advice? I have been to couseling, and am taking medications
to help with the stress and depression. I was told by one state board that i should have been at the meetings. Has any one looked at the economey lately? An LPN doesn't make that much......One tme I had Cancer, and during the other I was going through a tough divorce...Ive seen nurses who sold drugs that were allowed to pratice so I don't get it. I have stated I will comply with any programs they have so no I don't get this at all......


Dear R,

Contact a nurse license defense attorney in your state. See www.taana.org.


I am an RN in Louisiana. Yesterday I received what I believe will end up in a DWI. Only I was injured after a car wreck. It it all pending the blood test I submitted. I was just curious if anyone new what to expect out of Louisiana's State Board. I had a DWI 5 years ago which I completed and had put behind me, 1 year before I became a licensed RN. Now what should do? If this is considered a misdemeanor what am I looking at as far as my license. I am afraid I'm going to lose my license.


I got a DUI a couple days ago. When am I suppose to let the BON know about it? Do I let them know after my attainment date or after I receive my actual charges? Also, I currently have my LPN license and 5 months fro graduating my ADN. Will this affect either or both and do I need to report this to my job and school as well; and if i do have to report it to them do i do it after my attainment date or after i receive my charges?


Hi Linda. Each State Nursing Board looks at DUIs differently. This is your daughter's 2nd DUI. I would suggest you contact a nurse license defense attorney in CA to determine how this will impact her license and employment in CA. I cannot answer your question. You can contact Melanie Balestra, NP, JD who is licensed in CA or Kathleen Murphy Jones, BSN, JD who is licensed in CA and NV.


My daughter in law just received her second DUI in California. Can she lose her job? If it is known that she has a drinking problem will the court order mandatory rehab? Thanks.



Have your friend speak with a nurse license defense or administrative law attorney in your State or jurisdiction. Thank you for your comment.


A friend of mine received a felony dui 7 years ago in California. She paid the required fines and participated in the manadatory programs. However, when she sought legal assistance from two separate attorneys regarding employment she was told that for nursing positions all perspective employers would order a 'live scan' and the conviction would still show up even after getting it expunged. Does that sound correct? Is there another type of legal counsel she should seek?


Hi JW,

Thank you for your comment. I cannot provide legal advice on this blog. You can contact the Kentucky Board of Nursing or contact me offline to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation as you get closer to graduation. I would also suggest you review the KBN publication available on its website about Criminal Convictions and Licensure.


Latonia, I am a nursing student in Kentucky. I plead guilty to a dui about two years ago. I had just turned 21 and had only been home from Iraq for a few weeks and make a stupid decision to drive drunk. I have nothing else on my record and no other offenses were given in the arrest. I paid all fines and completed my outpatient treatment. I still have 2 1/2 years left to complete my BSN program. Do you think this will interfere will my ability to earn a license in KY? Also I believe the law in KY is that you can get conviction expunged after 5 years, so that is an option. Thanks in advance.


Dear Annie,

Your husband should speak with a license defense attorney in your state. Nancy Brent, RN, MS, JD is a nurse attorney who is licensed in IL and represents healthcare professionals in licensure matters. You can also contact the American Association of Nurse Attorneys for a referral to an attorney in IL.


my husband is in CNA school and has 2 misdemeanors on his record from when he was 17- 10 years ago- and a DUI from about 7 years ago. (misdemeanor)
Are those misdemeanors - battery, and criminal sexual abuse, for having sex with his girlfriend when they were both 17- are they going to prevent him from getting his CNA license in Illinois? Is there any kind of waiver he can get ?
thank you!


Hi Sue,

You should contact TAANA at wwww.taana.org for a referral to a nurse attorney in your jurisdiction ASAP.

Sue Ann

Hello; I'm an RN in WI (compact state) and I also hold a CA RN license. I will be having misdemeanor charges brought up against me so. I cashed a LTD check after I went back to work. How do you think this will affect my RN license? Thank you,


I still shake my head when nurses or nursing appicants anyone associated with the profession fail to see the coorlation between DUI's and their licensure.
Its called character, responsibility and knowing what your licensure law and codes are.
Obviously none of the people here making comments about the importance of maintaining responsibility ever had to clean off the pavement after a drunk or buzzed driver killed an innocent family. Geezzzz people get a grip here, it does matter and ignorance is no excuse.


Dear Ed,

I would suggest you contact a CA licensed nurse attorney now. Both Melanie Balestra and Kathleen Murphy are nurse attorneys who are licensed to practice law in CA.


I am an RN in Ca and got my first and last DUI in February. I completed all court mandated programs and classes. I just sent my renewal for my RN license to the California Board or RNs and now I await for the next step. Should i retain an attorney or wait for the board to contact me first. I dont know what the Board is going to require from me...help


Thank you for contacting me. I would suggest that you contact Melanie Balestra who is licensed in CA or Kathleen Murphy who is licensed in CA and NV.



Thank you for your comment. I would suggest that you contact a IN nurse license defense attorney for a consultation regarding the specifics of your situation. You can contact my office to schedule an telephone appt. if you are interested.


i got a dui last year 2008 in illinois, i now live in indiana and i am still in school. I am wondering if i can still get into nursing school here and get a rn license. it was my ist offense and all the fines and classes are done. any recommendations are appreciated, thanks

-worried life ruined


Hi Gina,

I would suggest you contact a nurse license defense attorney immediately in New York. Contact Edie Brous who is a buddy of mine and an excellent attorney. She represents nurses before the Board.


I have a very different type of nursing job that I may not be able to keep it due to a DUI. I was parked on the side of the road calling for someone to pick me up, out of the car, knowing that after a few drinks, I could not drive. Stupid me was happy to see cops thinking they would help me with a ride home and I was still charged with DWI! My lawyer thinks he could plead me down to DUI and this is a good thing??? And I am an RN. I am a single parent of 2 children, put myself through college and have my 4 year nursing just obtained RN license in 2008. Had my LPN for 6 years. However, I am a community health nurse who drives for a living house to house. I am in the state of New York and with a hardship license, and a conditional license, which at the minimum will be 3 months, I will only be able to drive to and from the office between the normal hours. I may lose my job, just due to the nature of the conditional license. Not to mention the lawyer fees, the license fees, the court fees the increase in my car insurance. Attempting to do the right thing? I have nothing else on my license, not even a parking ticket! I don't feel I should just take a DUI and have to deal with it with my nursing license and my job at stake. Any help with this????

Nurse Liz

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply.
God Bless you, and I will let you know how it goes.


Hi Liz,

Thank you for your comment and your kind words about my blog. You have made my day!

I don't know how the CA Board of RNursing looks at DUIs because I am not licensed to practice law in CA. I would suggest that you contact Melanie Balestra, who is a NP and an attorney in California. Melanie has experience representing nurses before the Boards of Nursing in CA. Take care of yourself and either consult with or retain a nurse license defense attorney in California with Nursing Board experience to assist you.


Dear Latonia,
I have been a California RN for nearly 18 years. In January of this year, I got a dui. No accident or injury involved so I thank God for that. It is a misdemeanor. I am meeting the courts requirements, and adhering to the laws of my dui probation. What I am mostly worried about now is how will this affect my license? I have to renew in December, and will have to self report this dui conviction. Can you tell me what the steps are, what happens when they accuse you?
I am wondering how we can be punished twice, and both are very harsh. I understand the court's punishment, but not the BRN. I have never had a problem or complaint against my license. I don't understand the double jeoprady of this system. Please help. I appreciate this web site, it is the only one I have been able to find that offers me any help. By the way, my Boss knows about my Dui. I told her about it back in january, as well as my DON.
Thank you so much
Frazzled Califronia Nurse


Hi G,

I would suggest you speak with a license defense or administative law attorney in Florida about your job prospects after your CNA training with a DUI. I don't practice law in Florida and I am not familiar with the employment of healthcare professionals in Florida therefore I cannot answer your question. See www.taana.org or you can post your question in an online forum for nurses and healthcare professionals in Florida.


hi i am in cna school now and have 3 juvenile misdemeanors and 1 felony and on my adult record i have a DUI.None of which are disqualifying offenses for the board.And nursing homes can only check adult records in Florida.So what are my chances of finding a job with a first time DUI.


Thank you for your comment Stephanie. I would highly suggest that you contact a nurse attorney or adminstrative law attorney who represents nurses in Michigan as well as Colorado for specific advice and counsel related to your situation and the impact of the DUI.

In Michigan, contact Carol Holmes. Her website address is as follows: http://www.carolholmespc.com/


If someone gets a DUI, is it mandatory in Michigan to report it to the Board of Nursing. I am a traveler and plan on telling the Board of Nursing in Colorado. Are they then obligated to tell Michigan about my criminal offense?


I would suggest that you contact Melanie Balestra, who is a NP and an attorney in California who represents nurses before the Boards of Nursing in CA and AZ. You can also contact Teresa Sanzio, who is also a nurse attorney in Arizona and represents nurses before the Board. You can also see The American Association of Nurse Attorneys website at www.taana.org.


Pleae help me. I just got DUI in Arizona. My car is impounded. I am a RN and I am losing my job.


Denise, thank you for your comment. I would suggest that you contact a nurse license defense attorney or nurse attorney in your jurisdiction for assistance. Maybe schedule a consultation to discuss the specifics of your situation.


Need advice on laws in CA regarding a DUI. I am an RN, Ca is not my original state of licensure, I have never had a problem working as a critical care RN in the ER/ICU/travel/agency/strike or Peds transport team until I went back to work in CA. They renewed my license with no problem even though I had a DUI on my record from 3 yrs before. The Board of Nursing is not the problem, well for now, that may be a different story when I try to renew again. Anyway, I have been refused jobs by mostly Kaiser Permanente and Mercy facilities, they all seemed disoriented on the policies of the hospital when it comes to a DUI. I am told they do not hire anyone with a DUI until 7yrs have passed, and that applies to travel nurses too, but they are all unclear on the policy. My DUI was not a felony charge, all requirements were met, and the board of nursing did not penalize me. So my question for RN-JD is, is it legal for the hospital to refuse employement for those reasons?? What are the laws regarding hospital policy on DUI's? Can they use their discretion? Are they not governed by State Law? or is it Federal law? Do they go by the Board of Nursing policies??

Worried RN

Thanks LaTonia. I plan to get one this week.


Dear Worried RN,

I hope you are okay after your accident. You should contact a license defense attorney in your state ASAP. Do not rely on the off cuff legal advice you may receive from colleagues and family regarding your situation. Your situation is serious and you need attorney representation. LaTonia

Worried RN

hi, I am a RN and had a dui 5 years ago. I devulged it to the board of nursing and had to get letters of recomendation from my coworkers as well as prove that I had completed everything court required (payed fines, one year probation, 50hrs community service, dui school, etc) and send a letter to explain my actions, what Ive done to change, etc. I was fortunate to keep my license and my job. I thought it was all behind me.
But, last week I had a few drinks after work and on my way home was involved in an accident. I am now charged with another DUI. I am completely destraught! I am hoping to get some advice for what will happen to my license and career now that its a second one. I recently changed jobs and am afraid that my employer will find out.


Looks like that's exactly what I am going to pursue for now.....I have seen some other applications for other hospitals and they ask for specifically misdemanor or felonies. I really want to move to California or Texas....does anyone know where I can get more information on that.


Mr. T, thank you for your comment. Anyone considering nursing in this day and age with a criminal conviction(s) needs to keep in mind there are three hurdles: nursing school and clinical sites, licensing, and employability. I would seriously urge anyone in nursing school or considering nursing to consider all three of these hurdles beforehand rather than after the fact.

On the bright side of things, you will be able to be employed in nursing homes and maybe you can gear your career towards a specialty in geriatrics rather than emergency care. There is nothing wrong with a career focusing on geriatrics or long-term care but I can understand your frustration as your career options are limited from the beginning of your career.


I going to graduate in May with my RN. I have been convicted of possession of a joint, DWAI and DWI. All of these offences are violations, not misdemeanors or felonies in the 2 states I was arrested. Luckily, my board of nursing is only interested in Misdemeanors and Felonies, so getting a license shouldn't be a problem (I have talked to them). But getting a job in a hospital seems to be a problem. Most applications ask for any criminal offence and DWI's will definitely deny your application for consideration. Unfortuantely, I wish I could change the hands of time but I can't. I worked so hard to get my life together and for what? I am 28 and these incidents occurred 22, 23, and 28yrs respectively. I hung out with the wrong crowd and made some really bad choices. The DWI counselor saw no addiction issues. Both DWAI and DWI occurred at weddings. My issue is that how are we supposed to reform ourselves and do better if society won't let us. I know there are many incidents with DWI's that lead to horrible accidents and loss of life but what about people who want to change. With society's attitude there is no reason to change instead commit more crime because you don't have hope. All I am asking for is a chance. I don't want to drink alcohol but the only job I can get is in a Nursing home. I am graduating from my program with 1st Rank in my class, but what't the point. I had a dream to go into ER but looks like I won't have the chance to make myself and my folks proud. I have so much to prove especially to those who said "He's never gonna make it." Now, I have hit a roadblock that I can't simply go around. No hospital will hire you because you are a liability in their eyes. HOw lucky are the nurses who immigrate my other countries with very lax court/criminal systems? There is really no way to check their backgrounds, even their laws may be different. Plz don't accuse me of being against minorities, my mother suggested this to me! Our country has the manpower and the knowledge but we make it so hard for own people. I understand with anyone who states getting a DWI after working as a RN but what about others who never go a chance to work!


CW and Sara,

Thank you for your comments. I would suggest that you both consult with a license defense attorney in your state or jurisdiction to discuss how the State Nursing Board views DUI convictions and initial nursing licensure. You may have to pay for consultation however you need to obtain legal advice and counseling regarding your specific situation as opposed to relying on general information provided to you by others.


I am a recent nursing school graduate, I got a dui on march 20, 09 Does anyone know if this will affect me when I apply to take my boards? I am completely freaked out and feel like i have just screwed up my entire nursing career and wasted the past 2 years of blood sweat and tears to finish school. I cannot find any information. Thank you to to anyone who has information


I am a terrified nursing student who recently received a DUI. I have never been in any trouble before, and this particular incident was/is completely out of character for me, and just such an obvious mistake, which of course I regret every day. I completed my 3 day driver intervention program, mandated by the court, as well as probation, and random alcohol testing. During the driver's intervention, I also took some standardized tests related to addiction, and was assessed for alcoholism/drug addiction. No treatment was recommended for me, and the assessment found that I have a 1% chance of being an alcoholic. I am graduating from nursing school soon, and will be applying to take the state boards. Does anyone know in Ohio, is it likely that I will be denied my license? If I'm lucky enough to be allowed to become an RN, will I have to be on some kind of probation as a new nurse? I checked the state board of nursing website & really couldn't find info specific to DUIs, only drug offenses. I dread the thought as being labeled/negatively stereotyped, but will accept it, since I got myself into this. I am just scared, and looking for any information. Thanks so much.


Well, I am back again. I am so furious with the board of nursing, they denied my case for my cna licence and I have complied with courts with the things they have asked of me and like I said spent money and time trying to show I will not drink and drive again. And that Im taking this serious. I have broken the law but my life doesnt revolve around drinking. I have been without work since dec 2008 and I am in school thank goodness. But I cannot continue to pull out student loans. Like I said no justification for what i have done but this doesnt help me. This happend jan of 2008 and I have been down and out but I refuse to have this keep holding me down. I have and I am still paying for what I have done. I will look into the attorney for nursing so thanks for that info. I also no nurses with dui's and they never even been investigated by the board so why isnt this sraignt across the board. Who knows but I dont want to give up and throw in the towell although I feel that way. But I had great compliments at my job by some of the head nurses and other people I worked for. I may have to get letters from them but I will defeniatly look into the attorney. I am leary to continue with nursing maybe change this to another healthcare field. I dont want to spend all that time then have them still deni me. kristen.



Thank you for the comment. latonia


I am a healthcare professional. I have not recieved a dui, but I know nurses who have and it has destroyed several of their lives. I am close friends with two and know all about their situations.

The treatment of physicians is much more reasonable; they are disciplined and censored but not nearly the "crucifiction" that nurses received from their nursing boards. Embarrasingly, even the docs freely admit this discrepancy themselves.

The reason its embarrasing is that everyone else seems to recognize the difference of treatment of nurses, except those on the nursing board- interestingly enough, most do not do bedside care, and there is a reason for that..... its embarrasing that these our our governing bodies, our "leaders." They aren't in touch with reality, and it boils down to a catty display of power and control that none of the other allied health professions suffer in this way.

Of course I do not condone drinking (not even one drink) with driving- in fact, I very much support legislature making it mandatory for ALL cars to have breathlyzers. However, destroying a persons life as punishment, and having them pay for their crime in untold ways for their entire life with this Scarlet Letter, that is absolutley counter-productive.

If a person really does have a drinking problem, loss of their job, (on top of all the other civil punishments) and all the extremely unrealistic requirements to maintain or re-instate the license simply makes their life struggle worse. Why do so many people assume there is all this "help and assistance" out there?? Not everyone has multiple supportive family members- and AA is notorious for being non-female supportive, overall.

If the person doesn't really have a problem, they are still labelled as such- if they want to keep their license they have to accept the lifelong lable. It becomes a senseless nightmare. Its like a big witch hunt: "you confess, and we'll think about letting you live."

A Real Problem would be if a nurse is impaired or hurts someone while on the job. However, the way the nurse laws are stated, getting a dui means you are unsafe to practice. Its ridiculous.

The laugh will be on these women on the nursing boards who receive extremely substandard care when they are old and infirmed- because THEY contribute so much to dehumanizing nurses, thereby contributing to the nursing shortage.


Dear Kristen,

Thank you for the comment. I know you mentioned money is an issue however you should speak with an attorney about your case. Maybe schedule a consultation with a nursing license defense attorney if you can't afford full scale legal representation. I find that most NCLEX-Applicants and nurses for that matter do not fully appreciate the role of the Nursing Board and the process and procedure related to licensure with a criminal conviction. Good luck with everything.


I do not agree with the board of nursing taking away your license. I am not proud of it, but I got a dui and i am still trying to receive a new license. I worked for six months at a long term care unit as a CNA, and i have excellent recommendation from employer about my performance. The Board will not give me license until second determination through their meeting. I have spent a crazy amount of money just to see a counselor advised by them to do one case study on me. That doesnt even apply to my job history of not drinking, on a one time evaluation on me. So in the meantime i have been jobless for three months, how does this benefit me? I have taken classes went to outpatient treatment and have interlock and have to wear an ankle monitor. I am not saying what i did was right on the other hand i have never had a problem on the job. Getting my license determines on what this counsler sends back is crazy. She asked me my goals in life. I told her I want to continue school and continue to become an RN. She told me I that sounded wishy washy and i never stated i wouldnt ever drink again. Well hello lady even in AA they tell you never to say never. My goal is just never to drink n drive. I am doing what i need to and doing what the courts ask. Frustrated.

Nursing Law Bandit

Dear Susan,

thank you for the comment. DUI is a public policy issue and has been for several years with more and more citizens being injured or killed by drunk drivers.

Its a privilege to hold a nursing license, not a right therefore the State Nursing Board has authority in accordance with the Nurse Practice Act to determine the guidelines for renewal and issuance of a nursing license. Some State Boards may not inquire about DUIs, but I know the Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana Nursing Boards look at DUIs.

I am seeing more and more RNs, LPN, APRNs, and NCLEX Applicants with DUIs in the last two years than I have in my eight years of licensure defense.

The Board examines whether or not the nurse or NCLEX-applicant has a chemical dependency, the circumstances surrounding the DUI (was there injury or death to another party, is this the first DUI, is this conviction one in series of convictions involving drugs or alcohol, etc.), whether the individual is safe to practice nursing, and whether any restrictions or monitoring of a license should be proposed.

Employment as a nurse requires a State-issued nursing license by a State regulatory agency (State Nursing Board). Remember the role of the State Nursing Board is to protect the public and criminal laws are written to protect the public safety and welfare. DUIs and criminal convictions (even if arguably unrelated to one's nursing practice and committed during's one's personal time off the clock) can be reviewed depending on the State Nursing Board and the nursing law and rules.

Happy New Year!!!!

Susan Perticone

I am an RN in California. I agree with the above comment until it gets ridiculous. If you make a mistake and get a DUI, that is a horrible thing. You put people at risk. But, it is not a malicious, planned crime. The court punishes you with enormous fines and multiple hours of classes. However, like the separate of church and state, I don't see how a DUI should affect your nursing license. You're not drinking at work, right? And no, I don't have a DUI.

Jack Stem

Unfortunately, this is a far too common thought process when it comes to this issue.

We have a lot of work to do and many obstacles to overcome before we can change the way people react to the disease of chemical dependency. Myth, mis-belief, and misunderstanding are the basis for most of the negative attitudes. Unfortunately there will always be those who simply won't change their view no matter how much scientific evidence is gathered and presented. You can lead a person to knowledge, but you cannot make them think.



Concerned Citizen,

You are obviously not a licensed healthcare professional or a licensed professional. Thank you for the comment anyway.

concerned citizen

What is wrong with people!? A DUI has nothing to do with how a nurse practices. A DUI has nothing to do with how anyone performs their job. You might as well take away the license of any professional who drinks period. You have a drink you lose your license. A drinking nurse that stays home is no different than one that drinks then drives home. If you get drunk at home, you should lose your license. Drinking and practicing nursing are completely unrelated. People, are soooooo stupid. Hey, how about this, if you drink you should not be on any medical/nursing review board.

You may have a drinking problem. Getting drunk when your not working (driving or not) affects your judgement at work? Anyone who believes that should not work. They are obviously too dumb to be working. Ok, anyone who gets drunk should not work when their sober. Lets create a drinking welfare state.

Getting drunk on a weekend means you are unfit to perform any kind of job during the week when you're sober (DUI or not). Taking away someone's job will make them drink more, you stupid idiots. This is some bullcrap way of practicing prohibition.

DUI Lawyer Hennepin County MN

A DUI on your record affects more of your life than you realize. To start you may have to pay fines, surrender your driver's license, or even have you vehicle impounded. A charge on your record may also affect your employment or ability to borrow money. If you can, avoid the charges being placed on you but if you can't or don't avoid them, seek legal counsel.

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