Nursing Student W/ prior DUI

  1. I am now 23 years old and am currently a student at a junior college taking the prerequisites that are necessary to enter nursing program that I have chosen. I contacted the my school for an application to their program and noticed an area that asked if you have ever been convicted of any ‘criminal’ crime—even if it was expunged from my record.
    It never really occurred to me that the DUI that I had when I was 19 might compromise my future in nursing. It’s been 4 years since I pleaded guilty. I have been working really hard to maintain a high GPA, which is imperative to be considered in such a competitive program.
    I am really hopeful that someone reads this posting and has some helpful advice to offer me. The school doesn’t really request the information but warns you that after you graduate the licensing board will ask you.
    Last edit by Alternator81 on Oct 5, '07 : Reason: Email addy edited out of post for privacy reasons
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    About Alternator81

    Joined: Jan '05; Posts: 291; Likes: 117
    Health Sciences Tutor
    Specialty: 5th Semester - Graduation Dec '09!


  3. by   VickyRN
    We have the same situation with our ADN program in North Carolina. We let all prospective students know that if they have any criminal record at all, that they may not be allowed to sit for boards once they graduate from our program. We are not involved with any of the details, so we have no way of knowing beforehand how the board will respond to a particular criminal record.

    I don't know what the procedure is in Arizona, but all new nursing graduates in NC have to undergo a very extensive criminal background check, which involves fingerprinting, etc. We advise our students to tell the truth and to never try to hide anything from the board.

    My advice to you is to contact your BON in AZ and ask to speak to one of the education consultants about your circumstances. You many also want to schedule an appointment with an academic counselor at the University of Arizona.

    Wish we could give you some more definitive information, but each case is probably reviewed on an individual basis by the board. Best wishes.
  4. by   mattdixon
    I can try to help the best I can... I'm in my first semester of nursing school right now and when we applied we had to answer the same question. Upon answering the question I then had to provide documents of my records and such to the Louisiana State Board of nursing.

    I had very minor offenses like getting in a fight while in high school, and underage possession of alcohol when I was 20. Well anyways, I was never convicted of any of the charges and they were dropped with no records even available to give the Nursing Board.

    I thought it wouldn't be a big deal, but was I wrong. Even with no records, the board put me on probation the whole time I'm in nursing school. This probation consists of a 1 time appointment with a clinical psychologist, a psychiatrist, and a drug assessment counselor all at my expense. Also I had to send them 200 dollars to "process" the information the previous three places said about me. Also the information that they conclude about me is not covered by any privacy act which essentially means anyone can get their hands on it. Which really isn't bad since all three of them were very nice and said some very nice things about me, but its just the point. On top of all that, I have to send the Nursing Board 25 dollars a month while I'm attending nursing classes, and also am subject to drug tests monthy which doesn't include the tests the nursing school gives randomly. All of this at my expense for charges that were all dropped in court because I really wasn't guilty of them, just wrong place wrong time wrong people situations.

    I can't say much about other state nursing boards, but the one in Louisiana really either has issues, or is out to make money... which i think it's a blend of both.

    And I do realize that Nursing Boards need to take measures like this to keep criminals out of hospitals so they won't hurt patients or steal medicines, but right now I'm about 2500 dollars in debt over something I was never convicted for, and I feel like I'm being treated like a drug addict with the mandatory drug testing they are imposing on me even though none of the charges I ever face were related to drugs.

    It's a crazy thing to have to go through, and if you face the same things I'm going through just make sure you have a big net of support and comfort through family and friends because they are the only reason I haven't broke down from all the stress the "process" has put me through.