The State of Georgia has given the Georgia Board of Nursing the responsibility of overseeing nursing practice in the state. This includes the board's review of nurses to determine whether they are capable of practicing nursing with skill and safety under state law. Determinations as to fitness to practice are made on a case by case basis.
In most cases, a first time simple DUI conviction will not result in loss of a nursing license. Most of the time, a DUI will result in some probationary period. However, it is really the failure to disclose the conviction that could have greater consequences. When a DUI charge involves multiple DUIs, or a felony conviction, then it may be grounds for a suspended license or revocation.
Nurse DUI Reporting
According to the Georgia Board of Nursing, any offense that impacts the fitness for practice of a nurse is of concern. An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) may indicate substance abuse problems. Substance abuse can impact a nurses ability to practice nursing with reasonable skill and safety.
Repeat DUI offenses may indicate an even stronger suspicion of impairment or drug or alcohol addiction. In these cases, the board may request a nurse to undergo a mental or physical evaluation to determine whether they have a substance abuse problem. This may result in a restricted license to practice with a probationary period while the nurse undergoes treatment.
If the impaired driving charge involved controlled substances, or the possession of controlled substances was part of the arresting charges, the board will again be concerned about the possibility of substance abuse issues. A felony conviction for controlled substances will result in a mandatory suspension or revocation of a nursing license.
Reporting on Applications for a Nursing License
For those who wish to become licensed nurses, they will have to report a DUI during the application process. The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) enables a graduate from a school of nursing to receive their license, so they can practice nursing in Georgia. As part of the application process to be approved by the state board, you may have to disclose a DUI, even if it happened years ago. However, it is of greatest concern if the DUI offense occurred while the applicant was enrolled as a nursing student.
In considering criminal convictions, the Georgia Board of Nursing will consider many factors, including:
- How recent was the arrest?
- Was it a felony or misdemeanor?
- How does it reflect on the character or medical condition of an applicant?
- What was the severity of the crime?
- Did the conviction involve deceit or dishonesty?
- Were controlled substances involved?
DUI Defense Lawyer for Atlanta Area Nurses
If you are an RN or LPN and have been charged with driving under the influence in Atlanta, you need an experienced and qualified DUI lawyer to make sure your license is not at risk. One simple mistake should not mean the end of your nursing profession. Remember that an arrest does not mean you have to plead guilty. My practice was built on defending people accused of drunk driving, and I will use my training and knowledge to get your charges reduced or dropped, so you can continue to pursue the admirable nursing profession.