I’m a Student Nurse with a DUI and the BRN Won’t Let Me Get My License
There is a trend among student RN’s in California, and it isn’t the color of their scrubs. Student Nurses with DUI’s are finding that they may just have gone through nursing school for nothing. They are completing their courses and getting ready to take their exams and they are being denied by the Board of Registered Nursing. I get upset when I waste 15 minutes in traffic- I can’t imagine the panic that these student nurses are feeling when the Board tells them that they may have just wasted 4 years.
But that isn’t really the case. The Board isn’t going to deny student nurses their licenses indefinitely- they just want the student RN to squirm a little, pay a little fine, jump through some hoops and hopefully be so terrified that the thought of drinking and driving EVER again is the furthest thing from their minds.
Here is what is happening to my clients: They are completing their courses and applying to sit for the boards. The BRN is saying “no, first explain this DUI in your past.” The student RN submits the court docs, letters from their professor and written explanation with a reasonable amount of contrition and crosses their fingers. The BRN comes back and says “no… that still is not good enough, you will have to appeal this.”
At this point the poor student nurse with a DUI is thinking that they are NEVER going to get their license and that one night 4 years ago, before they even considered nursing school is going to haunt them for the rest of their lives. Again, this isn’t really the case.
The student nurse with a DUI is going to have to appeal the Boards initial decision. It is at this point that I recommend the Student RN getting the help of a lawyer because the BRN forwards the case to a Deputy Attorney General and if the Board has a lawyer, the nurse should to. This isn’t just a simple case of “my lawyer can beat up your lawyer,” it is actually a way to get the appeal done the right way, be taken more seriously and get the process handled more expeditiously. Also, it is not as expensive as one might imagine and it the thousand or so that it will cost will be made up within the first month of getting paid RN wages.
So if you happen to be one of these unfortunate RNs-to-be, don’t panic; you didn’t just waste 4 years for nothing. You will still have to pay the BRN their blood money, you will still have to jump through some hoops, but if your DUI was a fairly low BAC, you shouldn’t even have to face a probationary term. A letter of reprimand or a citation and fine should suffice.