Nursing is a stressful profession. Sometimes, nurses may wish to unwind with a few drinks after a tough shift. While there is nothing wrong with having a couple of beverages, things can turn catastrophic for a nurse who gets behind the wheel after having one too many. In addition to the potential consequences that come with a criminal charge, you also run the risk of losing your nursing license.
Take steps to protect your future
Nurses accused of a DUI must contend with other obstacles beyond criminal proceedings. Nurses may face additional discipline from their state’s nursing board. Regulations differ from state to state, and each board of nursing has different ways of handling drunk driving charges.
A nurse who is charged with a DUI may face a probationary period. A nurse may still be allowed to work, but only under supervision. In some instances, a DUI conviction may result in a revocation of your license to practice nursing. You should keep in mind that your employer may also take disciplinary action and may even terminate your employment.
When your livelihood is on the line, it may be tempting to ignore the issue. After all, maybe the nursing board or your employer will never find out about the arrest. This type of approach is often a mistake. The board or your employer may find out about the arrest via law enforcement or some other means. Now you will face the additional challenge of explaining why you didn’t feel it was important to self-report.
Remaining upfront with your nursing board is often best. Your board recognizes that people make mistakes. You shouldn’t have your career halted because of one poor decision. Of course, it’s always best to discuss your options with a skilled legal professional before taking any action.