Nursing student with recent DUI. Need advice

  1. Two weeks ago I was arrested for a DUI. Although I have a totally clean record before this awful experience I am ashamed and depressed. I am in my second semester of nursing school in Illinois. My question is will this effect my ability to sit for the Nclex and become an RN? At almost 50, nursing is my second career go around. I'm at a crossroads because if I'm not able to sit for the Nclex and become a RN then there is no point in finishing the program. Any light anyone can shed on this is most appreciated.
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    First of all this stuff is very state specific so check with Illinois's Board of Nursing for input. However, I'm pretty sure you can finish school at the very least. I'm also pretty sure they are going to place you in some sort of monitoring program. How this affects your ability to sit for the boards and start work I have no idea. I do know these monitoring programs are no fun. You will be subject to all sorts of torment for your indiscretion. I got a DUI in Pennsylvania and had to do rehab, go to nurse support group meetings, have restrictions placed on what kind of work I could do, submit to random drug & alcohol tests & all this stuff goes on for years. Do yourself a favor and contact the BON to take the uncertainty out of what you face and then decide if the costs are worth it
  4. by   Lisacar130
    Hi, I am from Illinois and in a monitoring program. Well, you haven't been convicted yet. I've known a few people that were somehow able to get their DUI arrests decreased to a lesser charge, like wreckless driving. They had to hire a good lawyer though and probably got lucky as well. You haven't been convicted yet but if it were me, I would do anything possible to get enough money to hire someone good, even getting a loan, to try to get it reduced. It would follow you no matter what field you get into. Of course that is a risk because you could still end up with a DUI conviction and out money for the lawyer but I'm just saying what I would do.
    As far as your nursing license, you would have to report it (if you do end up with a conviction for a DUI) with your application for your license. If you don't, the BON will find out and the punishment would be worse. I'm thinking you would for sure get a license but the question is if it would have a mark on it or not and either way, mark or not, you would end up in a monitoring program as well. This is what I think anyway. The monitoring program is a few years of random drug tests where you can't have any alcohol at all, or drugs obviously, as well as 12 step meetings. As long as you don't have a mark on your license then no one has to know about it or the monitoring program, but if you do have a mark then it would make getting a job harder. Either way though a DUI would show up on any background check for any field which is why I would try to get the charges reduced if it were me. Tell you what... I am scheduled to talk to my case manager anyway next week on Jan 4th and she would know. She's very nice. I'll ask her about it and post again for you.
  5. by   RainMom
    Also from Illinois here. Several years ago, my husband also had a huge lapse of judgment & got a DUI. Since he had no prior record of anything, he was able to plea to a lesser charge (with the help of an attorney & about $10,000). Suspended license for 3 months & had to follow up with counseling (6 months I think?). My understanding is that nothing will show on his background check. However, if he ever screws up like that again, it will count against him as a 2nd occurrence; so it's still there, but "hidden".

    Get an attorney to help you figure it out. I don't think the system let's an individual plead a deal like above on their own.
  6. by   BCE2802
    Thank you for taking the time to respond and share.
  7. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    I hope you can get the charges reduced to reckless driving. If that's possible I believe that's a traffic offense and nor reportable to the BON. I agree with Lisa consult an attorney and get ready to fork over some $$$ I guess but this program has cost me many thousands of dollars. I'd pay $10K to get out of it in a heartbeat. Even now after I basically did all their BS
  8. by   BCE2802
    Dear Lisacar130,
    I want to thank you so very much for responding, sharing and offering to ask your monitoring person. I did hire an attorney and although there are no guarantees he thinks the best outcome for me is to get the charge pleaded down to reckless driving. Until my court date in February there is no way of knowing. He did say that even if (it's a big if) it's pleaded down anyone looking for any sort of offense will know that it was a DUI pleaded down because if the language/number codes used by the court or Secretary of State. I'm still unsure of what that means and how that might shake out. I want to thank you again and ANY information you may be able to get from the monitoring person is GREATLY appreciated no matter how insignificant it may be.
  9. by   BCE2802
    Thank you SO much for your input. I did hire an attorney but am unsure still how this shakes out. May I ask...was your husband already a nurse or a student? Since it was pleaded down did he have to go into a 12 step program and/or monitoring in addition to what you already listed? Again. Thank you SO much for responding and sharing your experience. I appreciate it more than you know!
  10. by   RainMom
    Quote from BCE2802
    Thank you SO much for your input. I did hire an attorney but am unsure still how this shakes out. May I ask...was your husband already a nurse or a student? Since it was pleaded down did he have to go into a 12 step program and/or monitoring in addition to what you already listed? Again. Thank you SO much for responding and sharing your experience. I appreciate it more than you know!
    Sorry, no my husband does not have a professional license, so can't say for sure in your circumstance it will allow you to be licensed or not, but I would think it is the best chance if what he was told is true about it not showing up (our insurance didn't even spike higher). It wasn't exactly a "12 step" program, just a required amount of 1:1 sessions with a counselor within the specified time frame.

    .............
    Ok, went & talked to hubby & a little Google. It was court supervision for one year after which the charge is dismissed without conviction, meaning it does not show up on a routine background check. This is what you need to discuss with your attorney to help guide you thru it.
  11. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    It sounds a lot like the ARD program here in Pennsylvania. I got in that program and the court dropped the charges. They still sucked me into the monitoring program. I hope the same doesn't happen to you
  12. by   BCE2802
    Thank you again!
  13. by   Lisacar130
    Hi again, no problem. Isn't the difference between reckless driving and a DUI a class A misdemeanor and getting a felony? Sounds like a deal to me. I know in Illinois you can't get a DUI expunged and it's a felony so again that's why I would do anything to try to get it reduced. You might still have to put the reckless driving on your application for the RN license but I'd much rather report a misdemeanor than a felony any day. I will ask my case manager about any difference between reckless driving and DUI too.
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