To self report DUI or not

Nurses Criminal


Hi all, 

I posted a while back about how I am a licensed nurse in Connecticut and received a DUI last year but never heard any helpful information on that post. Embarrassing as it is, it is my second one. My first one was completely dismissed and I never had to disclose it to the DPH/BON. Unfortunately that is not he case with this one and I have been convicted of a misdemeanor. My license is set to be renewed in a couple weeks and I am beyond nervous. Judge me if you want but I have a serious question... has anyone ever just not reported being arrested or  having a new conviction when completing your license renewal application and gotten away with it? How would the DPH/BON even find out about my DUI unless I told them about it? I'm sure I would be completely barred from ever having my license again if they found out I lied on my renewal, but I'm just weighting EVERY option right now. 

I would definitely tell them on your license renewal. Not sure how they find out but they always seem to, even if it takes a few years. I know I had to do a full background check at my last renewal. And you are correct that lying on your renewal will not go well for you. I would contact aa lawyer, they would better be able to advise how the BON might find out.

I did a quick Google search on how the board might find out and one site said it may be reported by law enforcement. In my state the court does ask if you're employed and where so that makes sense.

Have you been through a similar situation? If you have can you tell me a bit about it or point me toward your post?

 I have a feeling I'm either going to be offered the HAVEN program or be put on license probation. The judge did ask me where I work and I refused to answer saying I didn't want to disclose that publicly. It was mandatory to tell my probation officer where I work though as part of the rules of probation, so maybe law enforcement does eventually tell other state departments?

My job is fully aware of the situation and the VP of Meducal Services and Director of Nursung are both ready to go to bat for me in terms of telling the board there are zero issues at work. The only reason I am even debating not disclosing it is because if I get suspended I'm not sure how long they can hold my job position before having to fill it.

It just seems ridiculous to me that I can be put on probation for up to 4 years (from what I've seen on the states disciplinary section on their website), or have to go through the HAVEN program for up to 5 years, when I do not have an alcohol problem. I can count on one hand the number of days I've consumed alcohol in the last 2 years. For sure I have clearly made a very stupid choice otherwise I wouldn't be writing this right now, but 4-5 years of drug testing and counseling for a one time temporary lapse in judgement (also there were huge extenuating circumstances, not making excuses at all but it plays into it) 

sorry for the rant. I'm just worried that it might be easier to find a new career before even going through this... I'm feeling I should just ride it out until the board finds out on their own about it. At least I would have XX amount of time to still make decent money before I am screwed. 

Drub testing, possible AA meetings, therapy sessions, who knows what else. How does one do this for 4-5 years straight while holding a full time job. I work 3rd shift so it will be especially difficult as all the stipulations would have to take place during the day when I should be sleeping. 

Mine was for drug diversion(s) and I didn't have criminal charges so I'm not 100% sure how that works. You can take a look at my post hx though! 

I bet your probation officer might report it to the board. I would think they'd be mandatory reporters but not sure. 

I think with 2 DUIs, the board might think you have a problem and have you go through the HAVEN program. Even if your first was dismissed, I think they may still find out about it. I would definitely consult with a lawyer if you haven't already. 

Each state's program is a little different, but mine did not allow night shift, so you may need to switch to days during the program. You'll likely be unable to pass narcotics for 6 months-year even though your charge is for alcohol. 

I did 3 years in my state's program and really didn't think it was that bad. I didn't apply for early dismissal, but I think it is an option in some states. I was able to do both therapy sessions and NA online, which made it super easy to fit into my schedule. I found a small lab to do my drug screens at and got to know the staff. They usually had me in and out in under 10 minutes! I now have my unencumbered license back and have 2 great jobs that I love! 

Hang in there, I know this period of uncertainty is tough! Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions. 

Well... I renewed 2 days ago and self reported on the renewal application. On the E-license look up my license is showing as active and current, and the expiration date has updated to January of next year. I have not received a copy of my license over email though. I read another post where someone didn't get their disciplinary board hearing notice in the mail for almost 18 days after self reporting on renewal. So... I have a feeling I'll be able to practice for the next couple weeks and then it will come to end and the disciplinary board will be coming down on me. Going to be so devastated to lose my job.. I'm finally in a position and a job that I would love working at until retirement and have no complaints. Well.. I did it to myself. Here's the start to a longggg few years.

ill keep ya posted on what happened and that way future readers can find out what happens in CT with similar scenarios. 

thanks again for all the information 

Just to update...I received an email yesterday  containing the link to a copy of my updated renewed license. Just to keep a timeline going, this was three days between applying for renewal and getting my new license emailed to me. I have no clue if this means I'm in the clear or not, or if it just means the board still has not caught wind of it yet. Will keep posting updates as things unfold. 

Specializes in MICU/PICU.

the BON will always find out when you change jobs and get a background/fingerprint. potential employers are obligated as this is a reportable offense to send your failed background check to your home states BON. 

Are you in AA? do you have a sobriety date? if you do report it to the board they want to know you have learned and grown from this. admitting to 2 DUIs can raise more red flags for them. I hope you documented everything for yourself. talk to an attorney to at least get a free consult, or a cheap consult. knowing what to put together to defend yourself and your license is far more invaluable than any reprimands you would/could/will receive from not reporting this.  

Tiffany Reed. Please read the above posts. I did self report on my license renewal. I am not in AA or do not have a sobriety date as I am sober and have spent most days of my life sober. I can count on 1 hand the number of times I've consumed alcohol in the last two years. It's not a substance abuse issue, it was me making a poor decision. I do not drink on a regular basis. 

It's been about 2 1/2 weeks since I submitted my license renewal, and in that renewal I typed up a small explanation explaining how I was convicted of a misdemeanor DUI. I renewed on January 22nd. Since then, my license has remained active and current with a new expiration date for next year on the DPH/BON portal, and I was emailed a new copy of my license via email. As stated in my last post, I do not know if this means I am in the clear or not. I will be waiting for the BON to take action until my next renewal at least. 

Also Tiffany Reed. Thank you for some insight into how the board may find out. How did you come about learning that employers are mandated to report to the BON when things arise on a background check? Have you been in a management/hiring position before where this has happened? Or has a potential employer had to report you to the board? Just curious how you found out this type of communication occurs between employers and the board? 

Specializes in MICU/PICU.
ct-RN said:

Tiffany Reed. Please read the above posts. I did self report on my license renewal.

I apologize for speed reading. the most the board will do is reach out and request a copy of the police report. if you disclosed the city/township/village it took place, they could possible obtain it themselves. every BON has investigators and attorneys to uphold that their licensed nurses in that state adhere to the nurse practice act. if you did not violate the nurse practice act, have remained sober and noted this on the renewal explanation you might be able to get away with either a warning or a reprimand. 

Specializes in MICU/PICU.
ct-RN said:

Also Tiffany Reed. Thank you for some insight into how the board may find out. How did you come about learning that employers are mandated to report to the BON when things arise on a background check? Have you been in a management/hiring position before where this has happened? Or has a potential employer had to report you to the board? Just curious how you found out this type of communication occurs between employers and the board? 

anything found on a background check for employement that is a violation of the nurse practice act, questionable conduct or drug/alcohol related is a reportable offense. your individual state will have varying offenses that they require to be reported when the background check is completed by any employer hiring a nurse. you should be able to find this list on that BONs official state website. 


I have been in nursing for a while, I have had friends confide in me regarding issues that have been brought to the boards attention. 

a nurse I have known for a while was convicted of a DUI in the 90s. they were later working at an ER that alleged she was abusing a homeless patient. during employement subsequently they had a narcotic discrepancy and was sent for a cause drug screen. when the BON contacted this nurse, they asked why she hadn't disclosed the prior DUI, from 30 years ago. long before she was an RN. the BON even had a complaint that was filed against her regarding a noise complaint for a party she had over the Summer and questioned her about that. from what I've gathered with friends and myself, the board usually won't open an investigation if they do not think that the nursing practice act was violated. but if someone has multiple arrests, charges or even a pattern of behavior they have to investiagate. some of these people just give their side of the story and have never heard back from the BON. 


I also knew an RN that failed a random drug screen while employed as a floor nurse for THC. they were sent to rehab for drinking, polysubstance abuse and was told there was a pending investigation against them. fortunately the healthcare enterprise we worked for had a world-renouned program for rehabilitating nurses and other licensed professionals. upon completion of the hospitals program, she called the state BON program and was told the case against her was closed. 


the BON makes different decisions for every case. you could have someone with the exact same story that now has a consent agreement. we are not in the place to question these decisions. 

Tiffany Reed. While I appreciate you giving me an insight into what you have witnessed happened to your co-workers, etc. in the past, with all do respect it sounds like you are speaking more from speculation or hear say from your friends rather than fact. It sounds like all of your friends were reported to the board for issues that occurred at the work place. It sounds like the issues at the work place is what put them on the boards radar. How do you know for a fact that as soon as an employer sees a DUI on someone's background check they are required to notify the board? Where have you read this information before? Is this information your posting coming from a legitimate source such as the boards website, the board themselves, straight from a hiring manager, or a nursing attorney? Or is this what your friends have told you when they got into trouble? I'm not trying to come off aggressive, it's just when people speak from speculation instead of facts that have been obtained from a reliable legit source, it starts fear mongering and that is what this post was supposed to avoid. This post was supposed to be for readers to come and get clear concise information. If you have been told by the board themselves, or from hiring managers themselves, or from nursing attorneys themselves that upon submitting an application for a job they are mandated to report your DUI to the BON, that's one thing, then I take back what I say and I should thank you for the information. But when it sounds like you are coming to conclusion based off stories and hear say from other nurses, it's hard to take that as facts. How do you know for a fact the most the board will do is reach out for a copy of the police report? From what I have read on others posts submitting a police report is just the tip of the iceberg and not even close to the most the board will do. 

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