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anurse415 anurse415 (New Member)

RN License in NJ with prior DUI misdemeanor

Criminal   (246 Views 1 Comments)
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Just wanted to post my story since I have also lurked around this board and the Recovery board for many years now and never really got the answers I looked for.

I live in NJ, but I was arrested in 2013 for a DUI in the state of NY where it is a misdemeanor and they automatically require an interlock device installed in your personal vehicle. I'm a super small human and after a night out with friends, I blew just over the limit. (.09)

Fast forward to 2016, I begin nursing school. I had already contacted the NJ BON and they claimed it would be a case by case basis, but they assured me I'd be able to obtain a nursing license. I also contacted the head of NJ's nurse monitoring program at the time, and she was very optimistic I'd encounter no issues.

Okay, now it's 2018. I graduate nursing school in May. I receive my ATT to take the NCLEX in early June and PASS it at the end of June. In the meantime, the board had requested "more" information about my charge. After hiring a lawyer to move the process forward, I finally found out in early July that the NJBON had voted I get evaluated through RAMP before they would issue a license due to the interlock device. They claimed I'd receive a letter "asap."

Weeks of radio silence go by. Luckily, my lawyer was able to push the process along and I finally began RAMP in late August. I sped through it in record time, probably because I have no substance abuse or mental health issues whatsoever, and was discharged in the middle of October. Trust me when I tell you after hearing the stories in those groups, I am one of the super rare lucky ones. After using my lawyer once again to harass the board, my license was finally posted as active just before Halloween.

When all is said and done, after my DUI itself cost me over $10,000, getting my license this summer cost me $2500 in lawyer fees and $1500 in RAMP costs for the brief time I was in there.

If you're dealing with the NJ BON specifically and RAMP, I'd advise consulting a Nurse Lawyer with RAMP experience, otherwise you risk getting stuck in a monitoring program for five years with serious restrictions on your license. Be honest with the BON always and submit as many documents as you can obtain. Good luck to all those out there dealing with these super strict boards. One mistake can be held over your head for your entire life.

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