Can I get hired as a RN with a DUI? Short answer: Of course! Long Answer: probably, but it will not be the most desirable job, it will depend on what the BRN has done to your RN license and whether that is public record and whether you have to disclose it to the employer- and all of that hinges on the following:
When a nurse is arrested for a DUI, there are immediately 3 issues at play: 1.) the criminal aspect – the DUI itself; 2.) the DMV aspect – your driver’s license and 3.) the BRN aspect and your RN license. For nurses, there is always a forth concern, the employment or job aspect and whether you can get hired as an RN with a DUI.
EVERYTHING HINGES ON THE CRIMINAL ASPECT- The DUI
The outcome of both the DMV and the BRN will depend on the outcome of the DUI arrest and conviction itself. If you are charged with a garden variety misdemeanor DUI, you will likely end up with either a misdemeanor DUI conviction or a misdemeanor Wet and Reckless conviction if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was over .08%. This conviction is public record and MUST be disclosed as a conviction to potential employers if they ask…. And they all ask. Because you must disclose a prior criminal conviction, this may make it more difficult to get hired as a RN with a DUI. Once you have the DUI expunged, you no longer are required to disclose the conviction to employers.
THE DMV CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT- The Driver’s License
DMV hearing are notoriously hard to “win” and by win, I mean that you are able to keep your driver’s license without it being suspended or restricted. Most often, your driver’s license will be suspended for a bit and then you’ll be given a temporary license to drive to and from work. If you need to drive for work (transport, or home health, etc.,) then you will not get hired as a RN with a DUI.
THE BRN IS WHAT REALLY MATTERS- Your RN License
The BRN is going to do one of two things following a DUI conviction: they are going to issue a Citation and Fine, or they are going to issue an Accusation. If they haven’t done anything, you either really lucked out or they just haven’t got to you yet, it’s probably the later. The BRN will issue a citation and fine for a properly and timely disclosed Wet and Reckless conviction. This is a HUGE deal and a dream result, because you do not have to disclose a citation and fine to employers and it will not be attached to your RN license on the Breeze License Verification website. Of course, this makes it much easier to get hired as a Rn with a DUI. If an accusation is filed and that accusation results in any sort of discipline, then the potential employer will be able to see that you have been convicted of a DUI and your RN license disciplined by the BRN.
There are 3 types of disciple available 1.) Letter of Reprimand; 2.) Probation; 3.) Suspension or revocation. Now obviously if it is either of the last 2, you are not going to get hired as a RN anywhere,
because you won’t have a valid RN license. Probation for a DUI can either require all 19 probation requirements or 1-15, that will all depend on your lawyer and your DUI details. It is difficult to get a job as a RN on probation, but it isn’t impossible. Click here for much more on probation and how that can impact your job.
So, the legal answer is this: yes, you can absolutely get hired as a RN with a DUI. There is nothing in the BRN’s rules and regulations that prevents you from being employed as a nurse following a DUI conviction. There is likely not anything in the HR manual at the job for which you are applying that precludes you from being employable. But the reality is, employers don’t want to hire RN’s with criminal convictions. They don’t want to deal with the hoops they think they will have to jump through if your license is placed on probation and they don’t want to hire someone and invest in them, only to have the nurse lose her RN license down the road.
HOW TO ENSURE YOU’RE EMPLOYABLE AFTER A DUI
The best way to ensure that you will be hired as a RN after a DUI is to defend yourself on the front end. I know this sounds like a lead in to self-promotion and it is; but it is also very true. If you find a DUI attorney who can get the charges reduced to a wet and reckless conviction, have that expunged as soon as possible and have an attorney help you properly disclose it to the BRN, you will get a citation from the BRN. You won’t have any issues with getting hired. Even if you are convicted of a DUI and that is properly disclosed, there is a chance that the BRN will only cite and fine you. The point is – it is worth it to find a team who knows what they are doing to help you with the DUI and the BRN. The amount of money you spend on a good attorney can be recouped within a month or so of working as a RN.
If you’ve been recently arrested for a DUI, please call me. Our expert panel of RN license defense attorneys have defended thousands of RNs in your situation and to date, we’ve kept every single one of our clients licensed and they have been able to find careers or keep the jobs they have.