When you receive a DWI conviction in Minnesota, the consequences may impact your career. If you work as a nurse, you may worry that your professional license is at risk.
Learn about the laws regarding continuing a career in nursing after an arrest for DWI.
District, county and state courts in Minnesota must report DWI conviction of a licensed nurse to the Minnesota Board of Nursing. In addition, when you renew your nursing license, the application will ask about criminal history. You must provide a brief explanation of your conviction, when it occurred and the surrounding circumstances.
License renewal with a DWI
Although the Board of Nursing will receive notice of a DWI conviction, it does not automatically mean that you cannot renew your nursing license. The board evaluates each application on its individual merits and considers how recently the crime occurred and the severity of the crime. Nurses who take rehabilitative actions after a DWI should document these steps when applying for license renewal.
DWI offenders in Minnesota may qualify for a treatment court program, sometimes called drug court. With this program, you will undergo a clinical substance abuse assessment, receive a recommended treatment plan that addresses coexisting mental health conditions and complete a supervised probation program.
If you can seek substance abuse treatment after a DWI, doing so will increase the likelihood that you will continue your nursing career. Request proof that you have completed the penalties for your conviction from the county where the arrest took place, and submit these documents with your application. In some cases, the board may restrict your license for a specified period to ensure patient safety.
If you work in a setting with at least 15 employees and seek substance abuse treatment, your job has federal protection under the Americans With Disabilities Act. Your employer must provide accommodations for your treatment if you have discontinued substance use.