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What happens if a nurse is convicted of a DUI?

As a registered nurse, you are dedicated to protecting and saving the lives of your patients. However, sometimes you need a lifeline of your own. You may live a carefree life outside of the hospital or clinic, but if one of those exciting nights ends in a DUI, your nursing career could be in trouble. Here’s how a DUI conviction impacts your professional nursing license.

Receiving a DUI

Whether you had drinks with friends or family or engaged in recreational marijuana, being pulled over for a DUI is a serious problem. You will likely face discipline from your professional licensing board, fines, potential revocation of your driver’s license, court hearings, and even jail time. Of course, you’ll also be held responsible for the potential injury or death of others if your DUI was issued after an accident. 

The first step you must take when receiving this DUI is to report it to the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN).

Related Article: How to Protect Your Professional License from a DUI Charge

Reporting to the BRN

The consequences of a DUI can be severe, especially for registered nurses. The first hurdle you must overcome is reporting your conviction to the BRN. It can be tempting to avoid reporting your DUI, but your board will find out. It’s best that this information comes from you first in order to avoid worse consequences for your actions.

Although you will have to face your board administration, your disciplinary action can vary. Depending on the circumstances of your DUI, your prior records, and your overall work history, you may be able to keep your license intact with probationary stipulations. This is where a nursing license defense attorney can help. When reporting your DUI conviction and facing your board, your nursing license defense lawyer can ensure that everything is reported correctly. Your lawyer will also include statements of what you will do to prevent this from happening in the future. This ally can help your board see that you do not pose a risk to public safety or are a danger to yourself.

Disciplinary Action

Once you have reported your conviction and faced your board, your disciplinary action will be determined. In some circumstances, you may be placed on probation for a certain period of time and be required to attend recovery programs. If your DUI conviction is determined to be severe, your registered nursing license could be suspended or revoked altogether. It’s also important to understand what the policies are of the hospital or clinic you work at. Some employers may choose additional disciplines such as suspension or even termination.

Related Article: How Long Will It Take To Get My Nursing License Back

Receiving a DUI can be a life-changing event and impact your nursing career for years. We understand that these mistakes can happen and believe that they shouldn’t define who you are as a registered nurse. Our nursing license defense attorneys have decades of experience facing the BRN and helping individuals like you protect their professional licenses. 

Unlock Legal provides focused representation in criminal defense and defense for California licensed professionals. Contact Unlock Legal today or give us a call at 949-268-2857 to speak with a professional about your case and your unique needs. You’ll find we are compassionate, easy to talk to, and willing to help in any capacity we can.

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