ADD in Nursing

  1. 0
    Hey All -

    I just completed my interview for nursing school and I am accepted pending a criminal background check and a urine test. My family doctor prescribes me adderall for ADD. Here's my question:

    When I disclose this to the people who collect the urine sample and provide them with a copy of my prescription, are they going to tell the school?

    I fear that the school could hold this against me. Are drug testing centers allowed to relay this type of info to the nursing school?

    Thanks!
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  3. 7 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    They should only be testing for illegal drugs. Since you have the RX, there shouldn't be an issue with it.
    Out of curiousity, why worry about the school finding out? (Just being nosey, you can tell me to shush if you want. LOL)
  5. 0
    Hi Kristey -

    Adderall is an amphetamine. So when they do a 10-panel urine test, adderall is a failed exam. In this regard, there is no distinction between "illegal drugs" and what I am taking. However, I've been on this medication for 8 years with a valid prescription from my family doctor.

    Why am I worried about them finding out? Right or wrong, there is a stigma associated with adderall, and I would imagine certain admissions administrators would hold this against me.
  6. 0
    Quote from Ftoll24
    Hi Kristey -

    Adderall is an amphetamine. So when they do a 10-panel urine test, adderall is a failed exam. In this regard, there is no distinction between "illegal drugs" and what I am taking. However, I've been on this medication for 8 years with a valid prescription from my family doctor.

    Why am I worried about them finding out? Right or wrong, there is a stigma associated with adderall, and I would imagine certain admissions administrators would hold this against me.
    The specific process is different from state to state, but an exam is generally only considered failed, if there's a positive screen without a prescription. Some states, they ask just before you give the specimen if you're on any prescription drugs, and in some states, if a positive is detected, someone from the testing company contacts you and asks if you're on any prescriptions and to see your prescription bottle.

    So, getting a positive reading for amphetamines is not the same thing as failing the exam.

    Also, I'd contact the disability services office at your school and get some feedback from them. Unless you have very small cohorts at your school, it's unlikely you're the only ADD nursing student. The disability services office has been through this before.
  7. 0
    Even if they knew they can't hold it against you and if they did they would be breaking law. You are covered under the ADA. Not that any school would ever do that. Most schools and universities I know of have some type of Students with a Disability office and make or provide accommodations for any such students.
  8. 0
    "getting a positive reading for amphetamines is not the same thing as failing the exam"

    I didn't mean to imply that. The poster originally stated that they should only be testing for illegal drugs, and I only meant to explain that as far as the urine/chromatography testing goes, a patient legally taking adderall would have the same results as someone illegally buying amphetamines on the street.

    "The specific process is different from state to state, but an exam is generally only considered failed, if there's a positive screen without a prescription. Some states, they ask just before you give the specimen if you're on any prescription drugs, and in some states, if a positive is detected, someone from the testing company contacts you and asks if you're on any prescriptions and to see your prescription bottle."

    So would you venture to guess the school would not be contacted if I provide them with my prescription up front?

    "Also, I'd contact the disability services office at your school and get some feedback from them. Unless you have very small cohorts at your school, it's unlikely you're the only ADD nursing student. The disability services office has been through this before."

    This is the exact thing I want to avoid. My inability to concentrate is my business and shouldn't have to be a matter of record. I finished my first BS with a 3.9 and I will finish my nursing degree with a similar gpa. I feel that's all the school needs to know.
  9. 0
    Quote from RLtinker
    Even if they knew they can't hold it against you and if they did they would be breaking law. You are covered under the ADA. Not that any school would ever do that. Most schools and universities I know of have some type of Students with a Disability office and make or provide accommodations for any such students.
    So you're saying a nursing school is legally obligated to allow a person on amphetamines to treat patients?

    This is where I'm not sure and I don't know what to do. I really don't want to contact the disabilities office because I don't think it's any of their business but I guess if I want to know for sure this is what I would have to do.
  10. 0
    Quote from Ftoll24
    So you're saying a nursing school is legally obligated to allow a person on amphetamines to treat patients?

    This is where I'm not sure and I don't know what to do. I really don't want to contact the disabilities office because I don't think it's any of their business but I guess if I want to know for sure this is what I would have to do.
    The disability office is legally bound to not share any information with you with admissions, or faculty or anyone for that matter.

    The school is legally obligated to allow for accommodations for disabilities, that don't change the nature of the program. Usually this involves things like testing accommodation or alternate format textbooks. But, it can also include pharmaceuticals. I can't see the school caring one way or another about your use of Adderall. The hospital you do clinicals at might have a policy re: prescription drug use that can impair you during clinicals....ie narcotic use for acute or chronic pain....but, a prescribed dose of Adderall shouldn't be considered an impairing drug, so that shouldn't be a problem.

    Really, the disability office are your advocates in this. They not only have done this before, but they're legally bound to not tell anyone, any of your story without your written consent. They're know more about the specific policies both in your state and any glitches that may have occurred in the past with different clinical sites (if any).


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