Nurses provide care to the rest of the population and apply a holistic approach, having the best intention.
However, some situations after the working hours can lead to legal consequences for a nurse and her job.
For example, when a nurse goes out for a drink or two with her friends and decides to drive home under the influence of alcohol.
The nurse then gets convicted of a DUI.
What are the next steps?
States have different regulations and the state boards of nurses react differently after a nurse is convicted of a DUI.
The following procedure is the same as it is for every other citizen and depends on local and state laws.
The person may get some jail time, fines, mandatory AA meetings, community service, etc.
In some cases, the severe consequences are vehicle impound, loss of a driver’s license, court hearing, and additional costs.
The whole procedure can last month or even more.
If the DUI including injuries or death of other passengers or traffic attendees, there can be prison sentences, and some people even develop depression due to feeling of guilt.
Most people know the procedure and outcome of DUI.
However, nurses and some other professions can face professional consequences.
Nurses may have disciplinary actions by their state boards of nursing.
The regulations for DUIs differ from state to state.
For example, some boards of nursing value previous DUI records, review the circumstances, or value nurse’s intention to prevent future DUI.
The most important step of the board of nursing is to evaluate whether the licensee is a risk for public safety, or can harmful actions.
Important factors to consider are felony convictions and possible victims of the incident.
There are a few possible elements of the board discipline.
For example, some boards may decide to put the nurse on probation for some time.
Other may revoke or suspend the license of a nurse convicted of DUI, or allow the nurse to work but under strict supervision.
All results and consequences depend on the state and board on nursing internal regulations.
Nurses may face discipline, get suspended, or even fired from their work in severe incidents.
However, some nurses decide not to report the DUI to the board.
It isn’t the best choice as in some states police reports nurses convicted of DUI, or the board can find out from other sources.
The discipline is always more extensive if the nurses decided to hide the DUI.
The best step is to immediately contact an attorney when the nurse gets arrested for a DUI.
For every citizen, getting convicted of a DUI is an event that has severe consequences for personal and professional life.
For nurses, the consequences can be worse.
Nurses should apply the professional approach in all life aspects, following the work ethics and considering public safety in all circumstances.