Today’s blog discusses the repercussions that receiving a DWI conviction will have on your nursing license in North Carolina. Most likely, you will not lose your license with this type of conviction. This is because typically first DWIs in North Carolina with the Nursing Board can be resolved relatively simply and easily. However, it does become a little bit more complicated, time sensitive, and involved for the licensee if there is a second, third, or subsequent DWI conviction.
The North Carolina Board of Nursing has multiple programs for those with substance abuse issues. One of those is the Alternative Program for Nurses in Recovery (AP). Another one is the Intervention Program (IP). Both have certain requirements, conditions, and lengths of time to them. If you have a second or third DWI conviction, then you are likely headed towards the Alternative Program of the two programs that are offered by the Board of Nursing.
Now, you have to remember, as a licensed nurse in North Carolina, there’s a 30 day reporting requirement for any arrest or conviction. So if you have a DWI arrest or any other misdemeanor or felony arrest, then you have to report that within 30 days to the North Carolina Board of Nursing. As far as losing your license, like mentioned above, unless there was an issue while you are on probation with the Alternative Program or Intervention Program, you are probably not looking at any sort of interruption of the license, with the exception of possibly getting a three month abeyance. An abeyance means you cannot use the license for three months, but it is not technically suspended. However, as long as you comply with all the conditions of the Alternative Program or Intervention Program, then your license is most likely not going to be revoked or interrupted other than the potential for that three month abeyance.