2011 DUI (18 y.o) will it destroy employment opportunities?

by Socal_EMT Socal_EMT Member

Specializes in Emergency Medicine, Cardiology. Has 4 years experience.

Hello ladies and gentleman, I just got accepted into RN school (yay!). I was convicted of a DUI approximately 6 years ago, I was 18 years old at the time. Since that time, I have grown as a young man, matured, and am making better decisions. Not to say it was a valid "excuse", but at the time my mother passed away of stage-4 liver cancer. I was dealing with depression at the time. I am now an EMT working in an outpatient medical specialty clinic in Southern California.

Will my 6 year old DUI effect future employment? By the time I graduate and pass the NCLEX (of course if all goes well) my DUI will be 8-9 years old. From my understanding after 7 years (California), it will fall off background checks for employment.

Has anyone known an RN with a similar situation?


llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 45 years experience. 13,469 Posts

I doubt it will hurt you. I work for a children's hospital that is very strict about such things and I am 99.9% sure that even we would hire you. The fact that several years will have passed ... at that you were a teen at the time of the offense and have since grown up and become more responsible ... would outweigh the "youthful indiscretion." Of course, that assumes your record stays clean.

Good luck on getting accepted!



3 Posts

I would highly recommend getting your DUI expunged if you haven't yet. It won't show in private background checks for non-public hospitals. It also helps to get it expunged because there was a law that passed where boards cannot reject your license when you have the record expunged or dismissed.

When applying for the RN boards, make sure you are honest and disclose. You have to write a letter and you can explain your situation there. You definitely want to have a packet that includes everything they ask for on the website. I went through something similar although it wasnt' DUI. You want to have all your documents as well as evidence of rehab. Your letter of explanation has to be good and so do your recommendations. Good luck to you. I'm pretty sure you'll be fine.



Specializes in Emergency Medicine, Cardiology. Has 4 years experience. 102 Posts

The only problem is that expungement does not remove it from the DOJ/FBI records. Thus, when becoming licensed it will ALWAYS show up. I know for employment purposes they only go back 7 years in California, so I think I should be okay in that regard by 2018.


JofAllTrades, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case Management. Has 3 years experience. 2 Articles; 124 Posts

I'm in a similar situation - I had a DUI in November 2011, convicted Feb 2012. I've since had the DUI expunged and maintain a clean record - and have also obtained a Master's degree and other certifications in the health field since.... I start an Acc-BSN program in January of 2017, and hope that my DUI won't hinder me terribly when it comes my time to request permission for NCLEX testing towards the end of 2018.

Will keep tabs on this posting!


LL2788, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, MS & Case management. Has 11 years experience. 44 Posts

A job may not be as hard as a license. When I graduated in 2011 I had a DUI that was one year old. I am in NJ and had no problem with NJ, NY, CO, and HI BOn. They laughed in fact when I called the BON and inquired. CA BON is notorious for being strict with DUIs. I've called and spoke to multiple people at the ca Bon and none will give me a straight answer like the four states I listed above, so I don't bother applying Bc I don't want to be denied or offered a license with probation. Mine is now 6-7 years old, I think the magic # for Cali is 10 years old. If I were you I would apply to another state that will def license you, this way you don't start your career with a red flag on your license and make it even more difficult to get a job. It also depends on your bac and circumstances surrounding your DUI. (Injuries etc). Go somewhere that has a high RN need and a job with DUI shouldn't be a huge issue. You can anonymously call HR of hospitals too maybe? Good luck