Can a Florida DUI Stop Me From Becoming an RN?

By Jonathan Blecher on May 17, 2017

Are you planning on becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) in Miami, or anywhere else in Florida? Are you already enrolled in an accredited nursing education program? If your answer is “yes” to either question and you were recently arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, you are probably wondering, “Can a DUI conviction bar me from becoming a Registered Nurse?” and this is a valid question.

According to the Florida Board of Nursing, the requirements to become a licensed RN are covered under Section 464.008 of the Florida Statutes, and they include graduating from a Florida-approved nursing education program, graduating from a military nursing education program, or graduating from a generic Master of Science in Nursing among others.

Aside from successfully completing a registered nursing education program, applicants must go through electronic fingerprinting and they must not have any disqualifying criminal convictions. That being said, let’s take a look at DUIs and whether they can bar someone from becoming an RN in Florida.

Will a DUI Disqualify Me?

If an applicant applies to be an RN and they have ever pleaded guilty or no contest (nolo contendre) or found guilty of DUI, he or she must list the offense on their application. If the applicant fails to disclose their DUI, their application can be denied.

Will your application be automatically denied because of a DUI conviction? There is no guarantee that a DUI would disqualify you, but it could. Essentially, the Board of Nursing handles criminal offenses on a case-by-case basis. I can tell you one thing for sure: When an applicant with a DUI shows evidence of their rehabilitation, it will be important to the Board members who render the license decisions.

If you are convicted of DUI and you apply for your RN license, you may be required to submit the following documentation to the Board:

  • Arrest records
  • Final disposition records
  • Proof you completed probation
  • A letter in your explaining the circumstances of your DUI
  • 3 to 5 letters of recommendation from co-workers or employers

If you are preparing to become a Registered Nurse in Florida, you have a lot riding on your DUI. I encourage you to contact my firm to learn how the Back on Track program may improve your chances of getting the Board to overlook your DUI. To learn more about DUI Diversion, contact me today!

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