DUI and becoming a nurse?

  1. 0
    Hi all,
    I was wondering if any of you could shed light onto my situation. I am a firefighter in Philly and I would like to go back to school to become a nurse, however, as the title states I have a DUI. Believe me, I learned my lesson and still feel so ashamed of what happened. Thankfully no one was hurt and I still have a job. I recieved a DUI June of 2010 and I am currently in PA's ARD program. Will this DUI and/or ARD program prevent me from ever becoming a nurse in PA? I emailed the State Board of Nursing for PA , but I'm still waiting for their reply. Im curious if anyone else has been in this situation or may have heard of the outcome. Thanx

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  2. 13 Comments...

  3. 0
    PA "strongly suggests" that applicants for licensure not have any substance-abuse related conviction in the 10 years prior to licensure. See what the Board has to say, but be prepared to rethink your plans.

    Good luck to you.
  4. 0
    I don't believe it is an absoulte bar to becoming a nurse but it is a complicating factor. There has been a fair amount of disussion about this on this board try a search and also look here:\
  5. 0
    Let me move this to the Nursing with a Criminal History forum.
  6. 0
    the following is from pennsylvania board of nursing. this same information is in regards to taking nclex and state nursing license. is your offense to be expunged ard, or ard. i know that i did something stupid but luckily it was part of a expunged ard and pa bon does not require you to declare it according to their terms.

    "13. what crimes must be reported by the applicant for licensure?
    answer: if you have ever been convicted, pleaded guilty, or entered a nolo contendere,
    or received probation without verdict, accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ard) as to
    any felony or misdemeanor, including any drug law violations, or have any criminal
    charges pending and unresolved in any state or jurisdiction.[color="deepskyblue"] you are not required to
    disclose any ard or other criminal matter that has been expunged by order of a court.
    14. what type of documentation does the applicant need to submit in support of the
    application if he/she has a prior criminal record?
    answer: a personal explanatory letter, it should include the following information:
    • the date of the criminal offense
    • circumstances leading up to the arrest or action
    • actual conviction or administrative action
    • actual sentence or agency order
    • current status of sentence or order
    the applicant must contact the proper licensing authority where the action was taken and
    request that a certified copy of the order be sent directly to the pennsylvania state board
    of nursing at the above address.
    in addition, the applicant must provide a current criminal history records check from the
    pennsylvania state police. for out-of-state applicants, obtain a criminal history records
    check from the state where you are living. the criminal history records check must come
    from a state law enforcement authority.
    applicants with a criminal history should apply as soon as possible because the
    application review process is longer for these applicants. applicants with prior
    convictions will experience a delay in the processing of their applications while all
    documentation relating to the matter is reviewed. after an initial review by the board
    staff, the applicant may be asked to provide certified official court documents relative to
    the criminal record.
    every completed application will be reviewed and considered. some will be referred to
    the pennsylvania state board of nursing’s application committee. the committee
    meets in conjunction with the board meetings, so the decision may take some time.
    applicants should be aware that neither a temporary permit nor an authorization to take
    the examination will be granted until the review has been completed and a final decision
    has been made regarding the application."
  7. 0
    A lot of it depends on how forthcoming you are about any prior history regarding substance misuse. A lot also depends on your BON. Boards are there to protect the public. If you are deemed a risk to the public or commit a crime that can be substantially related to your career as a nurse (and most boards consider a DUI to be substantially related), you may have to prove every minute of sobriety since the event. Advice from one who has witnessed this? Go to a lot of AA meetings (even if you don't need or like them) and have an attendance card signed by the secretaries. If you are REALLY serious about this, get an arrangement between you and your doctor for random drug screens. These can detect small amounts of a liver enzyme that elevates in presence of small amounts of alcohol...I mean, like vanilla extract in your cookies. Then, when it comes time to get your RN, you can prove that the DUI was a fluke. This advice is probably way beyond reasonable if you are not having drinking problems. However, it is not considered way beyond reasonable from the perspective of the BON. I have heard horror stories especially from YOUR state.

    Good luck to you.
  8. 0
    Thanks for the replies. I am still waiting to hear back from the BON...maybe I will call if I don't hear anything from them soon.

    Quote from *LIG
    The following is from Pennsylvania Board of Nursing. This same information is in regards to taking NCLEX and State Nursing License. Is your offense to be expunged ARD, or ARD. I know that I did something stupid but luckily it was part of a expunged ARD and PA BON does not require you to declare it according to their terms.
    Upon successful completion of my ARD program my criminal record will automatically be expunged. However, it will still be on my driving record. Can't the board discover this and as a result question my honesty? It says:

    "You are not required to disclose any ARD....that has been expunged by order of the court."

    It doesn't say:

    "Do not disclose any ARD...that has been expunged by order of the court."

    I feel I should check "yes" to that question b/c of this. Am I looking too much into this? Any thought?
  9. 0
    Well the BON emailed me back today so I thought I would share their response for others in the same situation.

    "If your ARD is successfully completed by the time you apply for licensure, it should not be a problem.* If it has not been completed, the Board may ask you to go for a drug and alcohol evaluation.* If the evaluation indicates no impairment issues, a license will probably be granted."
  10. 0
    i dont know if this helps but i recieved a dui and im a nurse i fought the charges and they were dismissed but i still have to do a pnap/vrp type of thing for 3 years in order to maintain my license..heres the deal..if you dont click yes and then its later found they can revoke your license for not being honest..it all depends on your BON like previously stated..also if u say yes theyll probably send you for an evaulation to see if u have a problem..u sit with a psychologist have some convo and fill out a questionaire..so its a double edge sword...i would say call the BON and ask..my expierence they never return emails and phone is quicker..then go from there...but if ur honest you wont have to worry about it haunting u later
  11. 0
    Hey I am in the same boat as you OP. I entered the ARD program and completed it. However, I will say my charges are more serious than yours, and yes I know DUI is a serious charge. I contacted the people who deal with expungement for the State police, and this is what they told me...an ARD is a non conviction and the record has been dismissed under the circumstances that you completed the ARD. However, your arrest and print is still on file.

    Now when someone, say a hospital or the BON, runs a background check on an individual, typically if that individual has no record or previous arrest then their record will show up as a "no record" within few minutes of running the background check. In your case you have done ARD and what will show up to the person running the background check will say "under review" under your name. They will get a response ~1 to 2 weeks later clearing you of any record and you will receive a "no record" status.

    However, the ~1 to 2 weeks time gap when you are "under review" MIGHT bring up some suspicion on the person running the background check on you, and it's up to them if they want to further dig deeper into your past or not. However, once you get your record expunged then you won't run into this program of being "under review" and instead once you get your record expunged, and if someone did a background check on you then in a matter of minutes it will show up as a "no record".

    I am entering nursing school this fall and was afraid of that same thing. I also live in Pa and have hired an attorney to expunge my record, but it's taking longer than I want. I am just hoping they don't dig deeper and find out I was in the ARD program, but my advisor said ARD isn't as bad as a conviction.

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