Nurses are the backbone of the medical and healthcare industry, providing a vital service to those in need. As such, they must adhere to a strict code of conduct both on and off the job.
But what happens if a nurse violates this trust by getting behind the wheel while intoxicated? Can you lose your nursing license after receiving a DUI conviction?
The short answer is: maybe. Although state laws vary greatly regarding how DUIs are handled for nurses, many states (including Illinois) may take action against them if they are convicted or plead guilty to driving under the influence depending on the severity of the DUI.
This means that not only can you face penalties from law enforcement, but you can also be subject to disciplinary action from licensing boards which could include suspension or revocation of your nursing license.
In this article, we’ll discuss some important information about DUIs and how they can affect your nursing license.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is the state agency responsible for regulating and licensing nurses in Illinois.
Under Illinois Law a nurse’s license may be revoked, suspended, placed on probation, reprimanded, or IDFPR can take other action in a variety of situations, including:
Conviction by plea of guilty or nolo contendere, finding of guilt, jury verdict, or entry of judgment or by sentencing of any crime, including, but not limited to, convictions, preceding sentences of supervision, conditional discharge, or first offender probation, under the laws of any jurisdiction of the United States: (i) that is a felony; or (ii) that is a misdemeanor, an essential element of which is dishonesty, or that is directly related to the practice of the profession.
When considering disciplinary action, IDFPR may consider several factors:
Based on these questions and other information, IDFPR has the authority to take various disciplinary actions against a nurse, including imposing fines, requiring education or training, placing the nurse on probation, or even revoking their license.
Professional standards are essential to nursing licensure, as they help ensure that licensed nurses provide safe and effective care to their patients. The Illinois Nursing Act sets forth specific standards of professional conduct that all licensed nurses must abide by.
Under the Illinois Nurse Practice Act, licensed nurses must maintain high professional conduct and ethics standards.
When it comes to DUI consequences for licensed nurses, the stakes are high. It is important to note that a DUI conviction can have other professional consequences even if a nurse’s license is not revoked.
Additional repercussions include:
Nurses in some instances should consider self-reporting certain arrests or convictions that could potentially jeopardize their licenses and livelihoods.
Review your employment handbook with an attorney to understand if you must report a DUI. In many instances, while a nurse won’t be required to report the DUI to IDFPR, once they report the DUI to their employer, their employer must then report the DUI to IDFPR.
Therefore, due diligence is necessary when considering how best to protect your career and reputation following a DUI arrest.
If you’re a nurse who has been charged with a DUI, it’s essential to take swift action to mitigate the impact on your nursing license.
Here are some strategies to consider:
If you are a nurse in Illinois facing a DUI charge and concerned about the impact on your nursing licensure, contact 1818 today. Our experienced professional licensed defense attorneys can help you navigate the legal process, protect your rights, and advocate for your best interests.
With years of experience representing healthcare professionals before IDFPR, we are equipped to handle even the most complex cases.
Don’t risk your nursing license and livelihood—call now.
The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not make a decision whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.
Please fill out all fields and submit to request your consultation.