Saturday, July 21, 2012

Recent Success Story: Nursing Student With Recent DUI Given Unrestricted RN License After Appealing Denial Of License

Last summer we had a victory in an appeal of a denial of an RN application before the Board of Nursing. This cases are more common now since the Boards are much stricter on rejecting license applications if there is a prior conviction - especially one for driving under the influence.  

A summary of the facts and strategy will show how these cases are handled and can be guided to a successful result or "win."  Although this was a RN application, the process is similar to other types of licensees when they are denied licenses and appeals are filed.

Factual and Procedural Background Surrounding 
Appeal from Denial of a License. 

  • In December 2010 while in an RN program, the nursing student was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and placed on 3 years probation. There were no other convictions or other alcohol or drug-related problems in his background.
  • In September 2011, while still in his RN program, he filed an application to take NCLEX-RN. He did not have counsel and submitted his own letter regarding the DUI conviction. I often find that early representation by counsel helps create a better package and record of mitigation and rehabilitation. 
  • In November 2011, the Board of Nursing asked for more information regarding the criminal conviction. The nursing student still did not have counsel and handled the response himself. While he did his best, it was not how we would have recommended proceeding.
  • In December 2011, the Board of Nursing denied the application for licensure by examination based on the recent DUI conviction with a high blood alcohol content. At this point, we were hired and filed a timely Notice of Appeal. 
  • We immediately began to work with our client and prepared a significant mitigation package that had a lot of different moving parts, letters, reports and documentation. We began negotiations with the Deputy Attorney General assigned to the case on behalf of the Board of Nursing. 
  • It took four months to get the mitigation package completed that we wanted and it was submitted to the Board through the Deputy Attorney General. The typical settlement for this type of case is a provisional license that requires the licensee to be on probation once the NCLEX is passed, and those terms are negotiated. 
  • Due to the strength of the mitigation package and work we did and had our client do, in May 2012 the Board of Nursing declined to pursue any discipline against the client and he was approved to take NCLEX and the case was transferred to the licensure department. 
  • In July 2012, our client was notified that he had passed his NCLEX and became a licensed RN. 
This was a great win since it would have been very difficult for our client to get hired if he had been on probation. It would have cost him a great deal of money over three years in lost income while on probation and would have been a permanent mark on his record that would have hurt his career. We estimated there would have been more than $100,000 in lost income and saved expenses over 10 years. Every case is different and this client was willing to work hard and do all the things needed for us to make him shine before the Board. 

Posted by Tracy Green, Esq. Please email Ms. Green, a very experienced nurse attorneylicense attorney, and board hearing attorneat or call her at 213-233-2260 to schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation. 


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