A conviction for drinking and driving can have severe consequences for your nursing career. A DWI conviction can be seen as a violation of the code of conduct in nursing. Depending on the jurisdiction you work in and the severity of the charge, this could result in disciplinary action and other problems.
Revocation or suspension of nursing license
Licensing boards are responsible for maintaining public safety and setting standards for nurses, so they take DWI charges seriously. Depending on the charge, the consequences can be as severe as permanent loss of licensure. If you’re affected, it’s important to check the regulations in your area and understand the possible outcomes to make an informed decision.
It means that, for the time you have a suspended license, you won’t be able to practice nursing. This could lead to lost wages, loss of job opportunities and even the inability to remain working in your current role.
Difficulty finding work
When you are looking for a job as a nurse, employers will likely do criminal background checks and consider any DWI convictions in the process. Employers may be wary of hiring someone with a DWI on their record, even if it was several years ago. Even if you find work, it could be more difficult to get promoted within the organization or move to another role.
It can be difficult to shake the perception of someone who has made a mistake and is not trustworthy or responsible enough for their job. This could lead to reduced opportunities and difficulty maintaining current relationships with employers, colleagues, and clients.
Difficulty getting malpractice insurance
Malpractice insurance is often required for nurses, but some providers may be reluctant to provide coverage if you have a DWI on your record. This could ultimately limit your ability to work in certain settings or roles.
The best way to avoid a DWI and its consequences on your nursing career is to practice responsible behavior. Don’t drink and drive, designate a driver if you have been drinking or use other transportation options, such as public transport. Be aware of the penalties for driving under the influence in your area to ensure you take the right steps to protect your career.