California licensing with a DUI

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    Hi everyone, I am posting this to try and get some information about what I can do to better my chances of obtaining an RN license in California with a couple of charges including a dui. My charges include the following:

    Open Container -2008 (citation ticket)
    Public Urination-2006 (citation ticket)
    DUI- 2005 (misdemeanour)

    I am currently in nursing school ad will be graduating with a BSN in December 2013. I have reviewed the licensing application and I read that the BRN allows you to submit letters from recognized recovery programs, nursing instructors, employers. You can also submit Proof of community work, schooling, and self improvement efforts. With that said, I would like to know if anyone has ever been in a similar situation and has succeeded in obtaining a license with a past dui or criminal history. I would also like advise on things that I could do to better my application chances Does anyone think its a good idea to join AA? Thanks.
    Last edit by Meriwhen on Aug 15, '12 : Reason: Formatting fixes
  2. 9 Comments so far...

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    For starters, yes. AA meetings will benefit you in many ways.

    You should refer yourself to a Professional License Attorney Specialist. There are former Deputy Attorney Generals and Licensing Board Prosecutors who have participated in hundreds of matters involving professional licensing.

    Generally speaking, with regard to any inquiry, absent any different approach by someone like your Professional License Attorney Specialist, may I suggest you consider the following:

    I do not know what the licensing board looks for, but my guess is an acceptance of full responsibility and rehabilitative success.

    I would spend much less time on the facts of the arrest and say:

    "The police arrested me for misdemeanor DUI. I accepted responsibility and pled guilty."

    I would then move on to total compliance with the terms of probation, with details that also include your new knowledge of the specifics of impairment and your decision and implementation of a vow to not drive with any amount of alcohol in your system.


    The entire tone of any explanation may be: "I did it, it was my fault and I'll never do it again. This was a singular indiscretion."

    "I learned that it is easy to relax one's standards when not working."

    "I know that when I am drinking, my judgment is impaired and my reaction time is slower."

    "I know that while driving, I need to be absolutely sober and alert, because I do not want to put others at risk."

    ...
    It is safe to say the Board will look for satisfaction and proof that you addressed alcohol and substance abuse monitors, AA, counseling, testing, etc.

    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Aug 19, '12
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    Thanks for the great reply sandiegodui. I have been considering AA meetings and have gotten in contact with an office near my home where I can go. One issue that causes concern to me is that the board of registered nursing might think that I am an alcoholic that is currently seeking rehabilitation. A couple of my friends have told me this. Do you think this might happen?
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    As noted earlier, in 2012 the CA Court of Appeals ruled that any CA nurse can now have her license 'revoked' upon conviction of a FIRST DUI. Another CA court ruled in 2012 that a teacher can also have his certificate revoked upon the FIRST DUI conviction. Knowing this: Is it logical to hope that if you have a DUI prior to applying for a license, that you will be granted a license? Not really. In fact, I suspect you will be facing a shock when you are denied a license, if you graduate. Also, in some states, public urination is now classified as a SEX offense, with resulting sex offender registration. I was convicted of DUI in 2010, and my CA license was spared, just prior to the court of appeals ruling- but I lost my license in other states, and have determined there is no chance of my obtaining a license in other states- this is the new state of the union. In fact, I have written a book of my experience, yet to be published. For those amongst us you who are so pure as the driven snow, here's another bite to ponder: A few states now ask whether you are taking ANY psychoactive meds when you reapply, whether for anxiet, depression, etc.- meaning, a PROZAC Rx can ban you from renewing your license. Yes- the walls are closing in. But again,you might want to take a cold hard look at the new CA laws, to decided whether to continue your nur$ing education.
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    I agree with DavidKarl 100%. No way is California going to license you, despite work history, excellent grades, letters of recommendation, or anything else. I had a DUI that was 10 years old and my application for licensure was denied (I graduated in 2010). I appealed and then was offered a "Stipulated Settlement" which was so totally impossible to adhere to it was ridiculous; it was designed so that someone desperate enough to sign it just to be able to take the NCLEX would fail one of the 50+ criteria and then get a permanent revocation. I also was informed that, if I didn't withdraw my appeal, the Internet record would be available to the public for 10 years (instead of the 1 year that they ILLEGALLY make it available to the public if you withdraw your appeal).

    I have a Bachelor's degree from Notre Dame, a Master's in Clinical Social Work from The University of Chicago, and had worked as a medical social worker for 15 years when I applied for the license. I had (upon appeal) submitted more 'supporting documentation' than you can believe, all for nothing. In addition, the California Board of Registered Nursing FURTHER punishes you by putting the whole thing on the Internet - for all to see: Your denial, your court records, police reports (which, in my case, was absurd because the police report was thrown out of court as being "false" and so I didn't even get convicted for the first item (California DUI's have two separate components)).....an attorney told me the BRN had no legal right obtaining and then publishing that report. AND, then they send your denial to the National Data Bank so anyone who checks can see it. That part never comes off.

    I was lucky: I also applied in another state whose criminal criteria only pertains to felonies, and I was approved. Since then, I have endorsed my RN license to two other states whose criteria ALSO pertains to felonies and who don't consider the fact that one has already been denied for a license in something (check the different states for that). Bottom line is DO NOT EVEN APPLY TO CALIFORNIA because you will be punished indefinitely, in one way or another. Apply somewhere else, go and work there for 2 years or more, and THEN apply to California for an endorsement down the line. This is the only way you will be able to have a career as a nurse. Trust me.
    tyvin likes this.
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    Which states told you they only preclude felonies?
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    The entire tone of any explanation may be: "I did it, it was my fault and I'll never do it again. This was a singular indiscretion.""I learned that it is easy to relax one's standards when not working."[FONT=arial]Wonderfully stated.
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    "Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending". -Maria Robinson (Although this is untrue for nurses in regard to licensure, etc.- it's useful for other aspects of life).
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    is this true?? i have a dui from 6 years ago. nothing before or after the conviction. and yes, it has been expunged. I finished my RN program in june and i am still "pending" to take the NCLEX. I am applying in california. is there no hope??
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    mainecat I am so sorry; hopefully it will happen. I had a DUI in 1986 and I'm trying to endorse my license to WA state. I am currently trying to get a pardon for the DUI because my state does not expunge DUIs. I hear it doesn't matter because the federal finger print check shows the expunged (is that true?). Also, when they ask if your ever been convicted etc... what does one do? If you say no, it's not true though expunged.

    In my case it doesn't matter because there is no chance for it. I applied for the DUI pardon 1 year ago and just called and was told it would take another year. I'm afraid to apply for licensure and get turned down. I don't know if a pardon will make a difference but it's worth a try.

    Anyway, I know people applied to CA and it's tough. I know that the DUI thing in CA is impossible but has anyone ever been approved for licensure with a past DUI recently (sounds like a new thread).

    There are other places but I understand. Bless you and good luck


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