Are you planning on a career in nursing? If you are studying to become
a Registered Nurse (RN) in California, or if you plan to begin studying
to be an RN in the near future and you were arrested for
driving under the influence (DUI), you may be worried that a DUI could bar you from becoming an RN.
Continue reading as we discuss this issue in detail.
First question: Ae you required to report convictions on your application?
According to the
California Board of Registered Nursing, “All convictions must be reported, except for minor traffic violations.”
The Board goes on to say that applicants are required to report misdemeanor
and felony convictions, including those for driving under the influence (DUI).
What About Expunged DUIs?
Even if an applicant had a DUI and it was expunged under Penal Code Section
1203.4, he or she is still required to report it on their application.
Does that mean that a DUI automatically disqualifies someone from becoming
an RN? Not necessarily; the Board does review an applicant’s criminal
record history, including DUIs. A DUI, especially a drug-related DUI,
can certainly affect an RN’s job since nurses have direct access
If the DUI was an isolated incident and it happened a long time ago, the
more likely the Board will be willing to overlook it. If the DUI was recent
and involved a high BAC, child endangerment, an accident or bodily injuries,
then it may be more of an issue. Each DUI conviction is handled on a case-by-case
basis; however, the Board does consider the following:
- When the DUI took place
- The severity of the offense
- If the applicant enrolled in rehab
Essentially, the Board does not render a decision about a DUI without examining
the facts of the case and the totality of the circumstances. Can a DUI
lead to a denial? Yes, it is possible, but it’s not for sure.
If you’re facing DUI charges and you have a promising nursing career
ahead of you,
contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. to see what can be done to shield you from the negative consequences of a DUI.