In my state, will a conviction for a DUI automatically cause a suspension and/or a revocation of license? Would a certificate of rehabilitation be helpful in protecting one’s license to practice?
Nancy Brent replies:
Your question is an important one for you to have answered, and the best way to secure a specific answer is to consult with a nurse attorney or attorney in your state who represents healthcare providers in professional licensure proceedings. As you may know, each state has different grounds upon which a licensee can be disciplined. A DUI conviction, and any conviction for that matter, may require an automatic suspension or may require other discipline, such as a long probationary period for the licensee.
Likewise, a certificate of rehabilitation may be helpful in your state in protecting your license. If so, a guideline would be included in the state nurse practice act or rules. You might want to review the act and rules by going to your state board of nursing’s website and determine if there are provisions for such a certificate, its requirements, who or what agency must provide it, and what it does for the licensee.
Also, you can identify any provisions specifically relating to DUI convictions. There may be specific language about convictions generally and/or about DUI convictions specifically.
State boards of nursing are increasingly concerned about licensee DUI convictions. Not only does such a conviction speak to the concern about the individual possibly abusing alcohol or some other substance, it also speaks to the belief that one who is licensed must always maintain his or her professionalism. As a result, a DUI is seen as unprofessional conduct, which is a basis for discipline in most, if not all, nurse practice acts.