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Discussion Starter #1
A buddy of mine decided last fall he was burned out and left nursing school with the plan to return next fall and continue the program. Well, during our freshman year he got a DWI. The school had no policy to deal with this and could not tell him what would happen. So finally he goes to court and pleads no contest, pays a fine, goes to driving school, and does community service. The school decides he cannot return for three years. Does this seem excessive to you. I admit it was poor judgement on his part to do this, but it was beer and not related to any narcotic. Everybody makes a mistake every now and then. Given the nursing shortage, I think it was a little excessive. I definitely think he learned his lesson and will not do this again. We did get many lectures on the impaired nurse and I wish maybe he had paid more attention.

What do you think about this, do other programs have similar policies or punishments. And what about state boards, how do they handle incidents like this? I would like to hear from people who are working or retired (are you ever really a retired nurse?) nurses or other medical professionals and get your opinion on this.
 

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I think the punishment is a bit off. Its too much. It depends on the school as well. I think a really nice school does not have time for people as irresponsible as your friend. I am a RN, its a privilege to learn the science to help peoples lives. When you enter a nursing program you are joining an elite group of people who are all there for the same reasons. Maturity, responsibility, dedication, reliability and the drive to make a difference are some of the character traits you should have or start building in you when you go to nursing school. Look at it this way, would you want someone who is irresponsible (stupid enough) enough to drive while intoxicated, risking the lives of others on the road and even pedestrians, to care for your health and life? Hell no. In my opinion DWI is the sign of an idiot who does not have discipline or responsibility. The point of being a nurse is to save lives, not put them in jeopardy. sure we are all only human but, how far will that excuse get you in life?
 

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Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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Excessive? Perhaps. I think a one year span, rather than three would have been sufficient, but what do I know?

I can't really say anything other than what Smokey posted, so I'll leave it at that.

Does your buddy have any other options school wise that he's considering?

Dave
RN since '97.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't know if he has any other options or not yet. I don't know how the state board of nursing looks at a DWI either. You would think a nurse would think more than that before drinking and driving. But it seems to happen too often.

Our school did not even have a policy for a student who gets a DWI until him. The school does tend to come down on the heavy side of discipline sometimes and is lax at other times. During our freshman year the instructors constantly reminded students of the dress code- no bellys showing, no more than one ear ring per ear, no mini skirts, but students kept flaunting the rules. So instead of singling out the offending students and making examples of them, they decided that all students would now wear scrubs any time on campus. I think our RN program was the only program on campus not wearing scrubs anyway. I like it, removes the "what to wear" and I get up put on scrubs and go. I just wish they would have enforced the rules they had in place about the dress code, but the occassional mini skirt was nice, even if not professional. Had a female student in a mini skirt and low cut blouse practice taking BP's with me, mine was a little high that day.

I think my class was just a big pain in the arse for the school, we were the largest class ever admitted (by about 50+ students) until the next freshman class which is larger than ours. I think they admitted people that they would not have previously admitted and suffered discipline problems because of it.
 

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Well, I am an EMT and have to drive to earn a pay cheque so I have to be very careful not to drink and drive. BTW, Alcohol is the most dangerous drug there is. Booze takes more lives than all others. As I write this, someone has been killed by a drunk driver in North America. Most domestic violence and disputes arise from alcohol abuse and not other drugs, contrary to popular belief.

Back to the main point. In the medical profession you have to be responsible on and off the job. The medical community is a small one and when you screw up, everyone knows about it. At least in EMS anyway. Most hospital settings require you to have police clearance with no criminal records. A DWI sets a bad example.

Does it warrant a three year expulsion from school? I dont think so. Maybe a couple of semesters. What I do think it warrants is possible jail time and some serious community service. I may seem harsh but drinking and driving is a hardcore thing in my books. It has been proven that even one drink can impair judgement while driving.

Maybe it comes down to a mistake I made when I was a teen and almost killed a couple of buddies when I was plastered while driving.

Your friend is lucky in that he does not work in a hospital yet, where there would be possibly hundreds of employees talking about his fock up.

People make mistakes though, and I feel that his guilt and punishment through the law is enough and the school should give him some leeway.
 

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Well I feel bad for your buddy because I've been trying to get into a nursing program and as of right now, there's either 3.8+ grade requirements on the pre-req's which are basically the first two years, or a waiting list in upwards of 2 years in some spots... This goes for most medical fields right now across the nation.


I think 3 years is a bit excessive, and by that time he might not even want to pursue nursing, but on the other hand there's something like 500 applications per 70 openings at most schools across the nation for nursing, so they probably figured that your buddy needs a few years to mature and took a candidate like me who REALLY wants to get into the program. Like the guy above me said, it's a commitment, and a mature one at that. The average nursing student is 25 years or older.

Not to be a d!ck but I hope he has learned a valuable lesson, and thinks twice before getting in the driver seat again.
 
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