This is an excellent article that appears on Nursing Law & Order, a blog from RN-JD LaTonia Denise Wright. Her web site is www.Nursing-Jurisprudence.com. NURSES BE WARNED!
"Its just a DUI." Its nursing license renewal time in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana and this blog is popping up in searches related to DUI and nurses and criminal convictions and license renewal for Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.
Don't be offended but I have to keep it real on this blog; nurse license renewal time is like Christmas time without the snow at my law firm. This isn't legal advice but consider it an early Christmas present.
Each State Nursing Board looks at "just a DUI" differently because each State Nursing Board is different. There isn't an "Across the State Nursing Board" rule for OVI, DUI, and DWI convictions.
For example, I practice law in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana and each State Nursing Board in the states where I practice look at DUIs,OVIs, and DWIs differently based on the State Nurse Practice Act, Board of Nursing regulations, and Nursing Board investigation and discipline policies.
Some Boards don't have the authority under the Nurse Practice Act to propose discipline on "just a DUI" while other State Nursing Boards have the authority to propose discipline on "just a DUI."
How do you know how your State Nursing Board looks at DUIs? You can contact:
1. Your State Nursing Board;
2. Your State Nurses Association; or
3. An administrative law, nursing law attorney, or nurse license defense attorney in your state.
If you call my office and want to schedule a consultation to discuss a DUI, I need to see the court documents, traffic ticket, and other records because sometimes "its just a DUI."
Sometimes its more than "just a DUI" and its a litany of charges and convictions with the DUI like possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, possession of crack cocaine, child endangerment, etc.
I actually have nurses schedule and pay for meetings (phone or in-person) with me related to DUI charges and convictions and their nursing license in Ohio, Kentucky, and/or Indiana and don't provide me with any of the requested documents to review and evaluate their situation. Okay?
Some attorneys may be willing to say "Oh its just a DUI (without reviewing docs), and it means this for your license...." but not the kid.
C-O-U-R-T D-O-C-U-M-E-N-T-S and
In other cases it is a felony DUI charge because of past DUIs.
In other cases it is one of two or three pending DUI charges and alcohol related offenses in a more than one county or state.
In other cases it is a pending DUI and other issues and circumstances involving a nurse's practice that make it more than "just a DUI."
In other cases it is "just a DUI" but the nurse is participating in a State Nursing Board Alternative to Discipline program for Chemical Dependency. Is it "just a DUI" in this situation?
In other cases it is "just a DUI" for a nurse in recovery who signed a Return to Work agreement or Last Chance Agreement with a healthcare employer. Is it "just a DUI" in this situation?
In other cases it is "just a DUI" and the nurse is on probation with the State Nursing Board?
In other cases it is "just a DUI" and the nurse is on criminal probation for something else and the judge requires a self-report to the State Nursing Board?
Then sometimes just sometimes "it is just a DUI." Do you get my point?