In my blog of September 10, 2015, I wrote that the Pennsylvania Nursing Board revised its Application for Exam and/or Graduate Temporary Practice Permit (TPP) and Re-Exam to include the following question: Do you currently engage in, or have you engaged in, the intemperate or habitual use or abuse of alcohol or narcotics, hallucinogenic or other drugs or substances that impair judgment or coordination.
I recently reviewed a 2017 case in which the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing disciplined an RN for lying on his 2016 Registered Nurse License Renewal Application by representing that since his initial application or last renewal, whichever is later, he had not engaged in the intemperate use or abuse of alcohol, while knowing he was recently arrested for DUI and/or currently charged with DUI. This matter was resolved through a Consent Agreement in which the nurse was issued a public reprimand and a fine. The Order To Show Cause issued by the prosecutor included charges for lying on the application for failing to disclose the DUI arrest along with failure to disclose the intemperate use of alcohol.
In recent years, the trend is toward an increase in board prosecutions for alcohol related incidents. Accordingly, I expect to see increased prosecutions for nurses and other healthcare professionals who deny engaging in the temperate use of/or abuse of alcohol after they have been arrested for DUI. If you are arrested for DUI, in addition to hiring a criminal defense attorney, you must also immediately contact an attorney skilled in Healthcare Licensing Law who can make you aware of the ramifications of a DUI arrest on your healthcare license.