Yesterday, I got the news. I am a bonafide RN.
7 years ago when I started school, I thought I knew what that meant. 3 years ago when I started nursing school, I thought I knew- and now, 1yr and 3 months after graduation...
I got a DUI nearly 9 years ago. In June of 2015 I applied for my license in California. I sent in a few character reference letters with my application and November 2015- my application was denied.
8 years later! I was still denied!
I really couldn't believe it. I was devastated. And so the appeal began. I signed up for some formal chemical dependency education classes and got myself a chemical dependency evaluation. I sent in several more character reference letters. And waited. In April of 2016, I received a Statement of Issues. This was the real beginning of the appeal. It was scary- to say the least. It illustrated exactly how and why the board denied my application. I received a call from the Attorney General. I made myself very clear that I would not take a probationary license and that I would go to a hearing before ever considering one.
I sent in another cover letter, a work performance eval, copies of everything I had already sent, and MORE character reference letters.
4 days later I received another call from the Attorney General- the board offered 3 years probation with terms 1-19. Are you kidding me!! But, I have done all of these things! How have I not satisified the criteria for rehabilitation!? Did they even LOOK at the evidence I mailed in? I was sick. I said no- I won't take it and I still want a hearing. I was asked if I had a counter offer. I honestly did not have anything thought up but the first thing to come to mind was a letter of reprimand.
The next afternoon I got a call. The board settled on a letter of reprimand- a full license without restriction or probation and no fines.
I had 15 months to dwell on this situation. 15 months to really think about why a DUI is such a big deal. The board is right.
How can a person who risks their own life and the livelihood of others be trusted with the care of others? Why should they let anyone through who hasn't absolutely 100% made right with the situation. How can they even be sure? Why should they take a risk on you being careless again... With other human beings?
If you really don't think a DUI is a big deal- if you think the board is wrong and you lack remorse- maybe you shouldn't be a nurse. If you are not humble enough to recognize why it's such a big deal then you're not ready and you shouldn't be given the privilege or responsibility.
I did not have legal representation because I can't afford it. I also did not lie to the board. I owned it. And I'm fairly certain that's the only reason I made it through. Not unscathed, but without restrictions.
Be genuine, humble, and honest. Advocate for yourself. Don't try to act like it was no big deal. Its a big deal.
I'm happy to share details if anyone needs help. I sought guidance from peers which got me started on the right direction anyways.