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How can a DUI affect your nursing career?

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2022 | Employment Law

Becoming a nurse is a dream that many Idaho residents hold dear in their hearts. However, everything could change in the blink of an eye if a person is arrested for DUI. It’s crucial to know what can happen to your career if you face charges.

DUI’s effect on nursing school

If you aspire to become a nurse and have a prior record of driving under the influence (DUI), it’s fair to worry about whether the nursing school of your choice will accept you. Fortunately, many schools don’t conduct background checks. Others may, but that doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be disqualified from attending classes. If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, many schools will overlook that. If the offense took place several years in the past, it’s also often excused.

A record expungement means the school cannot find out about a DUI. You are under no obligation to reveal that arrest or conviction.

Consequences of DUI on your nursing career

A DUI arrest doesn’t automatically mean your career as a nurse is in jeopardy. On the other hand, a conviction could carry serious consequences on your personal and professional reputation. Depending on the severity of the offense, you may be subject to fines ranging from $500 to $10,000. You could also face probation and random drug or alcohol testing and be ordered to enter rehab or counseling programs.

In some cases, with a DUI conviction in your background, you might lose your nursing license. This could result in the loss of your job and difficulty obtaining a new one. This is a scary prospect that could have lasting ramifications for your future.

The licensing board might also impose sanctions and fines against you if you get a DUI. However, certain factors are considered such as your prior criminal history, how long you’ve been a nurse, financial hardship, severity of your alcohol or drug problem, whether you have sought rehab and damages caused by the DUI.

A DUI charge is scary and could be life-changing if you have a nursing career. You might have to undergo an investigation, but being honest is best.