Previous DUI and Nursing school admission

Nurses General Nursing


I have a DUI from 17 years ago - back in 1986, and I am wondering if nursing schools would not admit me due to this. Although it was a stupid mistake I made years ago, it was not a felony and it was even in another state and does not pull up on my DMV record today when I do a search. Although I seldom if ever even drink today, and NEVER NEVER drink and drive, I am ashamed about doing this years ago and hope it will not cause me problems getting into nursing school.

Of course, I have not told the Dir. of the Nursing Program, but with my other qualifications, she told me that after finishing my 2 prerequisite courses that I will start in August that I could sign up for her ADN RN program after that and then, I will be able to start in 2005. At the time I sign up on the waiting list, I have to pay for a criminal background check and I do not know what it will show up but if the nursing application forms ask me to include any arrests, I of course will have to include this 1986 DUI that I had. On the Nursing admissions dept, it listed many different convictions that would cause a student to NOT be considered for admission, and DUI was not listed as one of them. However, I am wondering, if it will be a problem. Please help. :confused:


110 Posts

RN2007, I am in the same boat but not in nursing school yet. I have tried to call my state BON to talk to someone cos' I want to know NOW if my DUI (not sure if DWI) which occurred in 1987 and have not had tickets since would impact my nursing career. If it does then I will not bother going into nursing so want to find out now. My suggestion would be to call your State BON and find right person to talk to and if you want give only your first name or whatever, explain situation and see what they say. I think it might also make a difference if it was felony or misdemeanor. Mine was misdemeanor. I like you know this was a huge and stupid mistake on my part but hate to thing that it will stop me from pursuing a career I have wanted for years. You could also pay for own criminal background check and see what it pulls up - I think it's expensive and lots of sites on internet provide this service. If you want to email me privately my email is [email protected].. Good luck..


117 Posts

What does BON stand for?


6,011 Posts


(State) Board of nursing.

sanakruz, ADN

735 Posts

In CA they will yank your (nursing) license for a DUI. Its quite serious, always a felony and BAL .08 is considered intoxicated/impaired.

That said, check with the BON in your home state about any concerns. It seems to me you are in the clear and that it should not hold you back from entering school. Good luck!


117 Posts

I just left a msg for someone from my states BON to return my call re: this. Oh, and like I thought, I rechecked on the internet and at least in the states of CA, FL, and SC specifically, a DUI or DWI is a misdemeanor if you have two or less arrests for such. It becomes a felony DUI / DWI if you had 3 or more arrests for it , or if they were found to also have illegal drugs in their possession, and/or if someone else was hurt or killed as a result of it. I would assume that most other states have extremely similar laws.

So, if the nurse in CA had their license taken away, there must have been much more to the story than what was told, because one DUI is not a felony. Anyway, as much as I hate that I have the DUI on record 17 years ago, I would hope that the nursing board would not hold this against me, especially since it was so many years ago, and after all, I have known and worked with quite a few nurses and they certainly were not nuns without a background. Many have done things that would make your hair stand on ends. But regardless, I do understand just how serious and stupid that having a DUI at any age is, given the problems that it can cause. :eek:

sanakruz, ADN

735 Posts

Yes.My collegue who had her license yanked was also charged with resisting arrest because she slipped out of the handcuffs and crawled onto the squad car floor to hide! Her punishment was probation(from the BON) for an amount of time and had to work as a CNA. But it was eventually reinstated.I guess resisting arrest is a felony.(?) HOPE I NEVER FIND OUT!!!

I always do my drinking at home:D


10 Posts

Would it been viewed differently if the DUI was prior to having a license verses currently being licensed and then getting a DUI?

Several years ago, I met a man who eventually was convicted of forging perscriptions, and he was an RN,... it was an ugly situation. He lost his license, and spent some time in jail,...

I am thankful to those who see the errors of their past and strive to overcome. God bless, and very best wishes to you.


121 Posts

I will try to answer your question from my own experience. Prior to Nursing School I had TWO DUI's. When I first entered nursing school you had to list felonies. In my state three DUI's in 5 years is a felony...not two. So, I did not list them. However, when I went to write the BON for testing purposes I had to list all charges including misdemeanors (this included the DUI's). However, since I had completed an alcohol and drug abuse program fhree years before taking the boards and had remained sober for those three years (recovering alcoholic) I was able to take the boards, pass, and go to work. I have since obtained my BSn and was also licensed in another state and yes I have to tell each state about my past. I then continued my education and obtained my MSN and currently practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner and yes, I had to tell the BON in this state about my sordid past as well as sending court documents to all three BON I have applied for. I also had to send the state bureau of dangerous drugs and narcotics copies of the same court documents. In addition, I had to send the United States Drug Enforcement Agency the same doucments as well as a letter of explanation of what happened and what has happened since. The bottom line is be HONEST with the Boards, the Bureau of Narcotics, and the Drug Enforcement Agency and you shouldn't have any problems. I currently practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner with prescriptive authourity for schedules III through V scheduled drugs. For those who are interested....July the 24th will be my 10 year sobriety date....BY THE GRACE OF GOD.


163 Posts

RN2007 - I, too, had a DUI prior to starting nursing school. That was over 10 years ago. I have now been a RN for 7 years. I had to write an assay before getting accepted to school. And then again in order to take state boards. And I still list the DUI on every job application I fill out. Someone told me that after 7 years I didn't need to list it anymore. But I figured that it was better to be up front about it. Although it has caused me some embarrassing moments, it has never stopped me from getting into school nor getting a great nursing job. Good luck!!


117 Posts

Thanks very much for your replies. Have any of the rest of our board members here had a DUI before they were admitted to the nursing program, and what problems did it cause you getting into the nursing program and with the boards?

I hope all of you are having a nice Friday so far! TGIF!! I plan on doing some gardening and just relaxing this weekend.


110 Posts

Level2Trauma and atownsendrn - I also wanted to thank you for posting and letting me know that career in nursing is possible despite DWIs.

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