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Can You Still Become a Nurse with a DUI Misdemeanor?

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Becoming a nurse is filled with lots of work, classes and an array of techniques to be mastered. Adding a DUI Misdemeanor charge to that and the situation becomes even more difficult. While it is still possible to become a registered nurse despite a previous DUI charge, the key is to be honest an open about your history. You will be asked about any previous charges and will need to explain them.


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To be accredited as a Registered Nurse, you must have a degree as an Associate Degree Nurse (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science Nurse (BSN). Gaining an ADN includes a program of two years while a BSN requires four. Both are accepted for employment, however, with a BSN you will generally be paid more. There are nursing programs featured at many colleges across the country.


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A DUI charge falls under the category of a misdemeanor. This charge happens when an individual is pulled over while driving with a blood alcohol level that is over the legal limit. The person will be arrested, booked and fingerprinted at the local police station, and then given a trail before a judge. Offenders will generally be penalized with a fine and their license revoked for a period, depending upon the circumstances and the state they are convicted.


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Each state's penalties for misdemeanors vary, and the ramifications for the charge will differ from state to state. Regardless of the where it happened, a DUI cannot be expunged from one's record. Individuals will want to get in touch with the state's board of nursing to find out the rules that are set out regarding this offense and applying to a nursing program.


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A DUI misdemeanor charge will not prevent an individual from being able to apply for a nursing program, however, they will need to make the charge known on the application and be upfront about it. There will be a section on the application regarding any criminal activity and any applying individual will have to put down the DUI and the year that it occurred. It will be possible to explain the current state of the charge, show any legal documentation of payment records or services completed to show the offender followed the proper legal procedures.


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Of course, any future employer will also ask about any previous criminal activity and once the degree has been earned, the offender will again need to provide that information when asked for it.


Giselle Diamond is a freelance writer and has been writing since 1999. Diamond is experienced in writing in all genres and subjects, with distinguished experience in home and garden, culture and society, literature and psychology. Diamond has a Master of Arts in English and psychology from New York University. Diamond has articles published on both eHow and LiveStrong.

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