Mississippi nurses may face serious consequences if they are ever convicted of driving under the influence. Section 73-15-17 of the Mississippi Code empowers and authorizes the Mississippi Board of Nursing to keep records, issue subpoenas, conduct hearings, cause prosecutions and provide reports to the state legislature, among other duties. The MSBN has the power to investigate and revoke a nurse’s license if the actions alleged prove to be harmful to patients or the public.
Nursing and DUIs in Mississippi
There are several penalties and combinations of penalties the Board of Nursing can impose on licensed practitioners charged or convicted of DUI. Nurses charged with DUI may be suspended or place on probation. If the nurse is allowed to continue working, it may be under supervision. Some of the other penalties imposed by the MSBN include fines, license restrictions, formal reprimands, or rehabilitation requirements including educational courses, psychological evaluations or substance abuse evaluations.
Mississippi nurses with a DUI often struggle with finding similar employment. A number of healthcare employers are unlikely to hire a nurse with a DUI conviction on record. In addition, the process for obtaining the Authorization to Test is typically longer because the Nursing Commission has to take the time to review the application. Alongside alcohol or substance abuse, there may be several issues the MSBN could cite as violations of the MSBN Administrative Code or Nursing Practice Act.
Other possible reasons for suspending a nursing license with a DUI on record may include citing a lapse in moral character, unprofessional conduct, dereliction of duty, ethical violations, gross negligence, professional misconduct or incompetence. The MSBN also has the power to suspend Mississippi nurses based on disciplinary actions taken by other states as well.