Addiction/ Nursing License

  1. a friend of mine in taking nursing school prereqs. asked me to post this query. he currently has several years clean and sober but has been through two or three rehabs. when he was young. No drug or alcohol related convictions. Will this be an issue when applying to nursing school or for his nursing license? I would assume this stuff is HIPAA protected info. and therefore is not even asked about but he wanted to ask people who have been thru the process. Thanks for any help you can provide.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    If it were me, I would tell your friend to keep his past medical history to himself, lest he be pre-judged before he starts. Unless there is a specific question asked on an application somewhere "do you have a history of drug and alcohol abuse", and I can't remember having to answer that question, then I would keep it to myself.

    He's clean, he's sober, and has no current issues or arrests, then the past is the past and no one's business.

    Even if he does tell people, it's not going to really be a hinderance. If everyone with an alcohol or drug problem in their past were to suddenly loose their license, that would be a lot of people indeed.

    IMHO.
  4. by   cantoo
    I would have to agree with 3rdShiftGuy. What your friend did many years ago is nobody's business. In the state of Florida, if this information is revealed to the BON, they can and often do require the applicant to be evaluated by IPN....and I haven't heard of too many people who were evaluated and didn't "qualify" for monitoring. It's a five year contract. Their (the BON's) rational, is that they have a responsibility to insure the welfare of patients. I've heard of people who had to dig up documentation from past rehab stints from years in the past just to prove that they weren't a risk at present. Had to submit letters of recomendation, ect. Crazy! Tell your friend to just keep it to himself. He has a right to privacy.
  5. by   lovinghands
    I have been in your boyfriend's shoes...many years ago, as a teenager, I was treated for alcohol abuse as I was picked up for a DWI. When I applied for nursing school I did not admit to this hx because of the fear of "pre-judgment". Unfortunately some people get labeled, and I don't regret this omission as I have seen it firsthand with some students.

    I do have to report my DWI, even though it was over 10 years ago, when I apply to my state board of nursing and I will do that. The state board does ask if there has been treatment for alcohol/drug or psychiatric issues in the last 3 years. (Every state is different.) I wouldn't try to cover anything up when it comes to applying for a license. Hope this helps.
  6. by   bodine
    Thanks everyone. That was helpful. It sounds like some state boards, depending on the state, will ask you directly if you have been treated for d and a but within a limited time frame. I think he will be relieved.
  7. by   BabyRN2Be
    I've posted this before: there's a saying in the medical field when a pilot knows s/he might have a disqualifying condition when they go for their flight physical.

    "No lie, no fly"

    Lest anyone should become alarmed about this, keep in mind that a vast majority of incidents are not caused by the pilot's health, and pilots are the sort of people (for the most part) who are very conscientious about their current ability to fly.

    When going for physicals, etc., nurses should probably keep this saying in mind.
  8. by   JWRN
    I think here in TX it is not on the application..It does ask about convictions/felonies, etc....It might ask about current treatment for addictions, but not past...I do know that if it is asked then he should tell, because the consequences of not are great.. I say this because I work with a RN who used to work for the BNE for the state of TX, and lying to the Board about this type of issue is an automatic do not get your license offense or the nurse with license already is given the option of the assistance network here in TX for impaired nurses, if the board finds out he lied to them on the application. Be honest if asked is all I am saying. Remember the Board is not here for nurses it's sole purpose is to protect the public..........
  9. by   walterrn
    I started my nursing career as a psych tech with two yrs clean and sober. I've always found my life hx to be an advantage when dealing with clients, not a hinderance. But, if you don't want anyone to know, how are they going to find out? No school that I ever heard of does a background check. The BON frowns on felonies, but schools just want your money.

    Quote from bodine
    a friend of mine in taking nursing school prereqs. asked me to post this query. he currently has several years clean and sober but has been through two or three rehabs. when he was young. No drug or alcohol related convictions. Will this be an issue when applying to nursing school or for his nursing license? I would assume this stuff is HIPAA protected info. and therefore is not even asked about but he wanted to ask people who have been thru the process. Thanks for any help you can provide.
  10. by   VivaLasViejas
    Years ago when I was looking into nursing school, I asked one of the instructors if my history of alcoholism would be a problem. I'd been sober for over 2 years at that point, but I didn't want to waste a bunch of time and money going to college if I would be denied a license in the end. She told me, "It will NEVER be an issue with the board if you don't make it one".......in other words, don't ask, don't tell, and for God's sake don't go back to drinking!!

    I'm happy to say that after all these years, it still isn't an issue. If anything, my personal problems with ETOH have made me a better nurse, because when I tell a patient "It's gonna be hard, but you CAN stop this", I know whereof I speak. Not saying I've ever "saved" anyone from a life of drinking and drugging, but some of them do listen to me because I've been there.
  11. by   Spidey's mom
    I read a great article on addiction last night from Scientific American Magazine and thought I'd post it here for those interested.

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?cha...8A83414B7F0101

    steph

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