Nursing Student Worried About DUI

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I am a nursing student in California. I have a few questions about nursing and I'm not sure who to ask.... hopefully you can help me
    1) Can you become an RN with a DUI and other misdemeanors?
    2) Can you work in a pharmacy if you have been to rehab?
    3) Can you work in Psych if you have had any 5150's?

    Dear Will I be Allowed to Work With A DUI?
    You can work in any area of nursing once you graduate and take the NCLEX. Here's the deal.

    You will either be granted eligibility to take the NCLEX, or not. You will not be granted eligible "but with restrictions". If and when you pass the boards, your license is free and clear. At the time you had problems, you did not have a license, so there are no sanctions on the license you hope to gain in the future.

    The better question is, will you be granted eligibility to take the NCLEX? Every case is decided on an individual basis. The board will look at how long ago it was, your rehabilitation and how you changed your life since then. There are no guarantees. Graduating nursing school does not guarantee NCLEX eligibility in many states. Read Writing a Letter of Explanation to the Board.

    Know that plenty of nursing students have had the same situation and have gone on to become practicing RNs. It is possible that a future employer will ask if you have ever been arrested (although usually they ask about felonies) and they may decide not to hire you based on your arrest history. But they would not hire you and then restrict your practice.

    Hope this helps,

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
    Last edit by Nurse Beth on Mar 6
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,382; Likes: 4,122