Can I Still Be A Nurse If I Get A DUI In Ohio?

nurse dui

Nurses and DUI in Ohio

Yes, you can be a nurse if you have a DUI in Ohio.  According to the Ohio Nursing Board's Criminal History Fact Sheet, there are eleven offenses that are automatic bars to obtaining a nursing license for applicants who entered a prelicensure nursing education program after June 1, 2003. This means that the Board of Nursing (Board) is prohibited from issuing a license to a person who has pled guilty to, been convicted of, or has a judicial finding of guilt for one of the offenses listed below.

  • Aggravated Murder
  • Murder
  • Voluntary Manslaughter
  • Felonious Assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Rape
  • Aggravated Robbery
  • Aggravated Burglary
  • Sexual Battery
  • Gross Sexual Imposition
  • Aggravated Arson
  • or a substantially similar law of another state.

In addition, the Board may propose to deny an application, or place restrictions on a license granted, for a conviction of, a plea of guilty to, a judicial finding of guilt of, a judicial finding of guilt resulting from a plea of no contest to, or a judicial finding of eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction for the following:

  1. any felony (that is not an absolute bar);
  2. a crime involving gross immorality or moral turpitude;
  3. a misdemeanor drug law violation; or
  4. a misdemeanor in the course of practice.

Thus, a DUI will not bar a nurse.  In regard to these four types of offenses, the Board is unable to advise or give a definitive answer about the effect a criminal history will have on the ability to obtain a nursing license in the State of Ohio.  I am unaware of a conviction for impaired driving based on drug impairment (DUID) being the basis for a denial of a claim.  As  urine and blood tests become more prevalent, it is hard to imagine that the nursing board would not consider this to be withing its authority to regulate.  It is vital that you get an experienced DUI attorney who can fight your charge or negotiate a favorable plea which will not reflect drug impairment.

According to the Ohio Administrative Code, although the Board may grant a license to an applicant who has a criminal offense history, an individual may be restricted from working in certain settings based on his or her criminal history due to federal and state laws, which require criminal records checks prior to employment in certain settings, and which may impose absolute or discretionary bars to employment in certain patient care settings, for example, in facilities or settings involving care provided to older adults or children. See, e.g., Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 3701-13.

The authority of the Board is only exercised at the time of application, so the incentive lies with the nursing student to fight their DUI charge.  If an applicant has a criminal history, the Board conducts a thorough investigation and considers a number of factors, including but not limited to: whether the applicant has made restitution, completed probation and/or otherwise been rehabilitated; the age of the offense; the facts and circumstances underlying the offense; and the total number and pattern of offenses.  Similarly, the Board cannot answer questions regarding one’s eligibility to attend nursing school or participate in clinical instruction. Nursing programs vary in regard to enrollment criteria, so it is recommended that you contact the nursing program to determine whether you are eligible to enroll.  You can check out the Ohio Nursing Board Criminal Fact Sheet by following this link.  You can continue your research by visiting the Ohio Board of Nursing Discipline page.

DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in Dayton, Fairborn, SpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboroHuber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself the Miami Valley’s choice for DUI defense.  Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263).  For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at937-776-2671.  For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter @DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook and on the DaytonDUI channel on YouTube.  You can also email Charles Rowland or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324. “All I do is DUI”


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