Do Nurse Practitioners get drug tested?

  1. A nurse in our department got her NP and came back to work in that role. Our ER is staffed by a contracted company.

    The hospital went gung house with random drug testing a couple of years ago. When I questioned this gal she informed me that she did not have a pre-employment drug screening when she came back to the same hospital and department in a new role.

    I find this to be a slap in the face to the nurses, CNAs, unit clerks, RTs, and housekeepers who are all subject to a surprise demand for urine. Meanwhile those with an undeniable power to make life and death decisions are not held accountable in the same manner.
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  2. 35 Comments

  3. by   nrsang97
    I have never had a repeat drug test. Even when I left the hospital I am at, went to another position at our flagship hospital, and came back. Why with change in position do you think she needs a drug test? If she was a rehire after a few years away then yes a repeat would be necessary, but just changing positions I don't see it to be necessary.

    I honestly have never been given a surprise drug test ever after hire. We only do them again if there is a suspicion of someone being under the influence on the job.
  4. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from Emergent
    A nurse in our department got her NP and came back to work in that role. Our ER is staffed by a contracted company.

    The hospital went gung house with random drug testing a couple of years ago. When I questioned this gal she informed me that she did not have a pre-employment drug screening when she came back to the same hospital and department in a new role.

    I find this to be a slap in the face to the nurses, CNAs, unit clerks, RTs, and housekeepers who are all subject to a surprise demand for urine. Meanwhile those with an undeniable power to make life and death decisions are not held accountable in the same manner.
    If these drug tests involved a lung biopsy or something equally invasive, I might be upset at the unfair treatment. Peeing in a cup is no bother, though. I'll do it every day if they want me to.
  5. by   KatieMI
    If NP (or any other provider) is not hired by facility, then there has to be a separate agreement between this facility and the practitioner's employer stipulating things such as drug testing, who is responsible for flu shots, for ACLS training and so forth. More often than not, "outside" employees are not covered by drug testing policies because neither side would like to pay for it.

    Love or hate it, but that's how the system works. I am pretty happy to be free from all that hullabaloo like "mandatory" and incredibly intrusive yearly physicals, silly OSHA trainings and "customer service challenge of the month".
  6. by   Emergent
    My point isn't whether or not there should or should not be drug testing. But why test unit secretaries and not providers? It's backwards. I'm in favor of testing airline pilots, truck drivers, air traffic controllers, etc.

    Why the double standard? Why not test doctors and other healthcare providers?
  7. by   JKL33
    Quote from Emergent
    Meanwhile those with an undeniable power to make life and death decisions are not held accountable in the same manner.
    Because none of this is about solving or preventing any particular problem. I'll stop with that in order to maintain decorum.
  8. by   KatieMI
    [QUOTE=Emergent;9656132]My point isn't whether or not there should or should not be drug testing. But why test unit secretaries and not providers? It's backwards. I'm in favor of testing airline pilots, truck drivers, air traffic controllers, etc.

    Why the double standard? Why not test doctors and other healthcare providers?[/QUOTE

    If your facility tests unit secretaries, it simply means that it got too much money to spend and/or too close relationship between lab and some of big cheeses in administration. Nothing more, nothing less. That's not a double standard, it is just business.
  9. by   seaofclouds21
    If she is employed by the contracted company, then she would be subject to their rules about testing, not the rules you have as an employee of the hospital. Each hospital has their own rules in regards to how they deal with contracted employees.
  10. by   offlabel
    Contract anesthesia provider here...the hospital tried to make our group submit to random u/a but we said "get bent" (our legal counsel, anyway) and they backed down. Now the agreement is for probable cause such as unaccounted for narcotic, off count, whatever.
  11. by   LovingLife123
    I've never done a drug test despite the initial. Does your hospital actually do random screenings?

    NPs should be subjected to the same rules as the rest of us, but my hospital doesn't do it. I'm wondering if yours is the same.
  12. by   KelRN215
    In all of my jobs, I think I've only been drug tested in the 2 where I touched controlled substances the least. Working as an aide in nursing school where I had no access to any drugs and at my current job, where I've touched a controlled substance twice in 2 1/2 years (when doing PCA hook ups for patients being discharged on hospice). When I was a staff nurse in a hospital giving narcotics and benzos on a daily basis, a home health nurse and a school nurse with a cabinet full of drugs like Ritalin and Adderall, no drug tests.
  13. by   traumaRUs
    I actually just had my pre-employment drug test yesterday - doesn't bother me one way or the other. Of course my background is active duty military where random UAs are MUCH more invasive than what I had yesterday - lol.
  14. by   BostonFNP
    The providers are not employed by the hospital and as such they are responsible to their employers not the hospital. The secretaries and nurses are subject because they are responsible to the hospital. I don't understand what the problem or concern is?

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