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The impact of a DUI on your nursing career in Maryland

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2022 | DUI/OWI

It’s certainly possible to work in a hospital or any other medical facility in Maryland as a nurse after a DUI conviction. However, this depends on several factors, including the time that’s elapsed since your conviction, the efforts you’ve made to demonstrate your remorse for the offense and the steps you’ve taken to prevent any future occurrences. On the flip side, a DUI might also end your career in Nursing.

DUIs and background checks in Maryland

Driving under the influence means operating a vehicle while impaired due to alcohol or another substance. Maryland considers this a criminal offense punishable by the law. If you’re convicted of a DUI, the court will add your record to the justice system registry. That record is then eligible to appear in background checks for anyone that wants to see it.

Hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities often use background checks to vet prospective employees. If a DUI appears on your background check, it might make it difficult to land a job in the healthcare sector or keep your current job if you already work as a nurse.

The consequences depend heavily on how long ago the criminal court convicted you of the offense, what kind of efforts you’ve made since then and how understanding your employer is about the situation. Many employers will overlook minor offenses that took place years ago and show leniency if they can see that you’ve been making an effort to stay out of trouble since then.

Your nursing license

The state licenses nurses in Maryland, which means that all licensees must adhere to a code of professional conduct set forth by the Board of Nursing. The board considers a DUI conviction an egregious violation of this code and could result in disciplinary action such as a reprimand or more severe penalties like suspension or revocation of one’s nursing license.

In addition to your nursing license, criminal penalties and your current or prospective job, there are other things you should take into account when considering how a DUI might affect your career as a nurse in Maryland. For example, if you plan to work or travel abroad as part of your job, remember that some countries consider DUIs to be an excludable offense, meaning they won’t let you enter their borders or hire you.