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First-time DUI applying to nursing school in Fall 2012

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by erik88 erik88 (New) New

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Let me tell you about my experience with the CA BRN. I began an entry level NP program in the Fall of 2009. I got a DUI in December. I didn't have any problems with clinicals in the pre-licensure portion of my program. The trouble started when I went to apply for the NCLEX. The BRN declined my application which set in motion a process which eventually led me to get a probationary license. I got my license just in time to start clinical rotations as a NP student. There weren't any major obstacles while in school and I was able to graduate with my cohort. Keep in mind that the Board may change its protocol regarding enforcement but the way it is currently structured NP licensure is possible in your situation. My advice is to be hyper-vigilant about deadlines and getting paperwork in. Everything you do will need to be approved by the BRN and things take longer (ie. my application for furnishing license has not been approved yet and I applied in March).You will have lots of hoops to jump through so you'll have to decide if its worth the effort. The conditions of my probation are that I attend 1 AA and 1 Nurse Support group a week. I have to check in daily with a lab service and randomly submit to urine drug tests. All employment and volunteer positions requiring a license must be approved by the Board.You will also have to explain your probation status to any potential employers; some will find it unacceptable but others are sympathetic. Its just more difficult to get a job. My lawyer explained to me that if I had had him on my case initially he could've gotten me out of those requirements so hiring a lawyer could help you when negotiating your probationary license. BTW expunging your DUI doesn't make any difference to the BRN. Hope this is helpful.

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6 Posts; 598 Profile Views

Hi I was wondering how things went with you because I am in a similar situation at the moment

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Everything depends on the board in your state. I got a DUI in 2011. I was already practicing as an RN and was in a nurse practitioner program at the time. I got a lawyer and reported the DUI to the AZ State Board of Nursing within the required 10 days after receiving it. The DUI didn't affect my clinicals at all since it took 2 years for the board to address it. By that time I was already finished with school. It did delay my NP license though. I had no problem taking my certification exam through the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (which I was eligible to take in December 2012, halfway through my BSN to DNP program). I graduated in May 2013 and the board finally issued my NP license and put me on probation in October 2013. The probation restrictions will be for 2 years, and include: doing random drug/alcohol testing twice a month for the first year (then once a month for the second year), attending substance education classes, seeing a counselor specializing in substance abuse 1-2 times a month, and having another physician or NP on site when I am working who has to submit a quarterly evaluation form to the board. The last requirement is what has made it difficult to find a job as an NP. I do not want to work in the inpatient setting. I have applied for numerous jobs in clinic settings. I have had 2 interviews. This is probably partially due to the fact that I'm a new grad, although many applications require a description of any license restrictions. Both employers seemed eager to hire me until I told them about the monitoring requirement. This restriction means I can't be on-call, I can't round on patients in the hospital independently, and I can't see any patients when a physician/NP is not in the clinic. Both employers said that those restrictions were a deal-breaker. I had no problem at my current job since I work in a large hospital as an RN. Meanwhile my co-workers are wondering why I am still working as a nurse 8 months after I graduated from my NP program. A nurse in one of the groups I had to attend who had moved here from another state said she got 3 DUI's before the board in her state did anything (she eventually lost her license due to substance abuse issues/stealing medications). The outcome of your court case won't change anything with the board. I wouldn't pay a lawyer to fight that. Your alcohol level was elevated. What can they really do? Just plead guilty. FYI: I hired a lawyer specializing in medical/nursing law to deal with the board but I don't think my case turned out any better because of it.

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Please do not despair. There absolutely is hope, and the first step is completing your program, paying your fine, and completing any other term of your probation. Sorry if I didn't disclose this, but I am an attorney that emphasizes in the field of DUI law. In California, an expungement pursuant to California Penal Code Section 1203.4 allows you to withdraw your plea of guilty, enter a not guilty plea, and gives the Judge discretion to dismiss your case in the interest of justice. The expungement would be your second step, but is essential to clear your criminal record.

Even though a DUI does carry a stigma, it is not considered a crime of moral turpitude. This means a DUI conviction once expunged should not prevent you from being licensed in the nursing profession. The key is that you must disclose the conviction in response to any direct question in any application for licensure by any state agency. However, if you disclose the conviction and explain it has been expunged, it will not prevent you from getting licensed.

If you are on probation, you may still be eligible for an early termination of probation under California Penal Code Section 1203.3. If the court grants this motion, they should expunge your case at the same time.

I hope the information above is helpful, and most of all I hope I was able to provide the piece of mind you needed.

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sirI has 30 years experience as a MSN, APRN, NP and specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB.

14 Followers; 19 Articles; 13,140 Posts; 137,511 Profile Views

Thank you, Bmironerlaw, for your input.

The key is that you must disclose the conviction in response to any direct question in any application for licensure by any state agency. However, if you disclose the conviction and explain it has been expunged, it will not prevent you from getting licensed.

I do want to add something that I highlighted above .... it should not prevent you from getting licensed. Everything by the BON is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Honesty (you must disclose the conviction in response to any direct question) is 100% true. The BON will individualize your case.

Good luck.

Edited by sirI

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6 Posts; 402 Profile Views

If you get your DUI expunged, you'd look better in front of the board because basically your conviction has been dismissed. This can be described in a positive light, and the Board can't legally deny an applicant based on an old conviction that has been expunged. For more details, check out this article: http://www.mironerlaw.com/expungement-nurse.php

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407 Posts; 7,675 Profile Views

If you get your DUI expunged, you'd look better in front of the board because basically your conviction has been dismissed. This can be described in a positive light, and the Board can’t legally deny an applicant based on an old conviction that has been expunged. For more details, check out this article: http://www.mironerlaw.com/expungement-nurse.php

 

Patently false.

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jojonavy specializes in Med-Surg/ Tele/ DOU.

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My experience with a DUI; got a DUI in February 2008 1st semester of Nursing School, graduated in December of 2010 and took the NCLEX in January 2011. Just had to jump through a few hoops for the BRN but not bad, had to send a letter stating the situation and what I had done to rehabilitate myself. I got my case expunged in March of 2011, and haven't had an issue with finding a job. It's completely true about early termination of probation, I think most counties you can get probation terminated in as little as 1 year.

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31 Posts; 780 Profile Views

What was the result of your case being sent back to the AIG. I am in the same situation and I am wondering if they will revoke

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