Two nurses standing in front of a car, discussing whether to report a DUI to the Board of Nursing.

Do You Have to Report DUI to the Board of Nursing?

As a nurse, it is crucial to understand the regulations and reporting requirements set forth by the Board of Nursing in your state. This not only ensures compliance with the law but also protects your professional license. Reporting a DUI to the Board of Nursing is typically mandatory, and failure to do so can result in severe repercussions.

When you are required to report

The specific reporting requirements vary by state, so it is essential to consult your state’s Board of Nursing for accurate information. However, in general, you are usually required to report a DUI to the Board of Nursing within a specified timeframe, often within 30 days of the conviction or plea.

Potential consequences of not reporting

Failing to report a DUI to the Board of Nursing can result in serious consequences, including but not limited to:

  • License suspension or revocation: The Board may suspend or revoke your nursing license if they discover that you failed to report a DUI.
  • Fines and penalties: You may face fines and other penalties for violating reporting requirements.
  • Professional reputation: Not reporting a DUI can damage your professional reputation within the nursing community, potentially affecting job prospects and advancement opportunities.

How It Affects Your License

  • Temporary license suspension: Upon reporting a DUI to the Board of Nursing, they may temporarily suspend your nursing license pending an investigation. This is to ensure patient safety and to assess your fitness to practice as a nurse.
  • Probation or monitoring programs: In some cases, the Board may place you on probation or require you to participate in monitoring programs as part of the disciplinary action. This can involve regular drug tests, mandatory counseling, or other conditions to monitor your rehabilitation and ensure patient safety.
  • License revocation: In more serious cases or if you have a history of DUI convictions, the Board may decide to revoke your nursing license. This is a severe consequence that can significantly impact your career and ability to work as a nurse.

Protecting Your Rights after a DUI

A lawyer experienced in both DUI defense and nursing board matters can help protect your rights, guide you through the legal process, and advocate for the best possible outcome.

How to choose the right representation

When choosing a lawyer, consider their expertise in both DUI defense and nursing board matters. Look for someone who understands the unique challenges and implications that a DUI can have on your nursing career. Additionally, seek recommendations, read reviews, and schedule consultations to find the right representation for your specific situation.

What to Do If You’re Facing This Situation

  • Contact a lawyer: Seek legal representation from an attorney who specializes in DUI defense and nursing board matters. They can guide you through the legal process and help protect your rights.
  • Report the DUI to the Board of Nursing: Familiarize yourself with the reporting requirements in your state and promptly report the DUI within the specified timeframe.
  • Cooperate with the investigation: If the Board of Nursing initiates an investigation, cooperate fully and provide any requested information or documentation.

Long-term strategies and considerations

  • Rehabilitation: If you are facing disciplinary action or probation, actively engage in rehabilitation programs, counseling, or treatment to demonstrate your commitment to recovery and patient safety.
  • Continuing education: Consider participating in additional educational programs or courses to enhance your knowledge and skills as a nurse. This can demonstrate your dedication to professional growth and improvement.
  • Professional support: Seek support from colleagues, mentors, or support groups within the nursing community. They can provide guidance, advice, and encouragement during this challenging time.


Q: Can reporting a DUI to the Board of Nursing affect my ability to find employment as a nurse?

A: Yes, reporting a DUI to the Board of Nursing can potentially affect your ability to find employment as a nurse. Employers often conduct background checks and may consider a DUI conviction when making hiring decisions.

Q: Is it possible to expunge a DUI conviction from my record?

A: Expungement laws vary by state, but in many cases, DUI convictions cannot be expunged from your record. It is important to consult with a lawyer familiar with the laws in your state to understand your options.

Q: Will a DUI conviction prevent me from becoming a nurse?

A: A DUI conviction does not automatically prevent you from becoming a nurse, but it can raise concerns during the licensing process. Each state’s Board of Nursing evaluates applicants on a case-by-case basis, considering factors such as the severity of the offense and evidence of rehabilitation.

Q: Can I still work as a nurse while my DUI case is pending?

A: Whether you can continue working as a nurse while your DUI case is pending depends on the policies of your employer and state nursing board. It is crucial to consult with both your employer and legal representation to understand your options and any restrictions.

Q: Are there any specific reporting requirements for nurses who hold multiple state licenses?

A: Nurses with multiple state licenses are generally required to report a DUI to all the Boards of Nursing where they are licensed. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the reporting requirements in each state and comply accordingly.

Q: Does a DUI conviction affect my ability to renew my nursing license?

A: A DUI conviction can impact the renewal of your nursing license, as the Board of Nursing may request information about any recent convictions or arrests. It is crucial to comply with reporting requirements and provide accurate information during the renewal process.

Q: Will my nursing license be permanently revoked if I report a DUI?

A: The permanent revocation of a nursing license due to a DUI conviction would depend on various factors, including the severity of the offense, your disciplinary history, and evidence of rehabilitation. Each case is evaluated individually by the Board of Nursing.

Q: How can I rebuild my nursing career after a DUI conviction?

A: Rebuilding your nursing career after a DUI conviction involves taking steps to demonstrate your commitment to rehabilitation and patient safety. This can include completing rehabilitation programs, engaging in continuing education, seeking mentorship, and maintaining a positive professional reputation.

Q: Can I appeal a disciplinary action taken by the Board of Nursing related to a DUI?

A: In most cases, you have the right to appeal a disciplinary action taken by the Board of Nursing. It is crucial to consult with legal representation experienced in nursing board matters to understand the appeals process and determine the best course of action.

Q: How long does a DUI conviction typically stay on my record?

A: The length of time a DUI conviction stays on your record varies by state. In general, it can remain on your criminal record for several years, potentially affecting background checks conducted by employers and licensing authorities.