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wish_me_luck 19,691 Views

Joined Sep 11, '11 - from 'Virginia, USA'. Posts: 1,282 (40% Liked) Likes: 1,278

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  • Sep 4

    You can still get in trouble with Boards. I drank and am legal to do so, I still got in trouble for alcohol abuse (and mental illness). Just because it is legal does not mean you can use and abuse a substance as a nurse. If you want to smoke pot in a legal state, do not be a nurse.

  • Sep 3

    I am not going to vote because I can see both sides. However, I wanted to throw out this suggestion- have you looked into being a CSAC? It is a certified substance abuse counselor. I know that many, not all, however, have drug pasts. Good luck!

  • Sep 1


    This has been a common question here lately on AN. So, I started this thread in hopes that 50 people (plus DC, if there's a license for DC) from each of the 50 states, plus DC, could share whether there is a mental health/chemical dependency question and how it is worded. Please no repeats (the hope is that everyone can find their state and if/how the question is worded). Moderators, if this is against TOS, please remove. Use your own judgment and/or call your state board for further questions regarding the question and other questions on the application. I will start.

    State: Virginia
    Is there a question regarding mental illness/chemical dependency? Yes
    How is it worded? "Do you have a mental, physical, or chemical dependency condition which could interfere with your current ability to practice nursing?" (I have asked the Board of Nursing to clarify and I was told that if you have a mental illness/chemical dependency, you must report. It is not an opinion question.)

    Again, please no repeats. Virginia has been done.

  • Mar 26

    I probably will be soon (private stuff), but as of this moment, I can say my Board of Nursing was very kind to me. Yes, I am in a monitoring program and yes, I have to do drug screens (no documents revealed last I checked, but "yes" next to my name), but I am trying to make the best of it. I know it is because the Board only cares about the public and not the licensee, but I am pretending that they actually do care about me. Things might change, but both the staff from the Board (I had many communications with them) and the Board members (through their decision) were very kind. Is my situation good? No. But, could it have been worse (like denial of licensure)? Yes. I feel like at least I got a chance. Now, getting a job in a few months might be a challenge.

  • Feb 11

    It depends. I know a place where I live that only hires people in recovery (Thank God for places like that!). I would find out about the facility first.

  • Nov 27 '16

    It's finally here. I was given the "ok" to look for work today. I have not received any information yet in the mail--my case manager just sent it today.

    I put in for a couple of my dream positions. I want one of them specifically, but would be equally happy with the other. If it is meant to be, it will happen.

    I never thought this day would come.

    Oh, and thought I would add, I think I have narcotic restrictions. I didn't do anything with narcotics or divert. So, it must be standard. I don't think my dream positions do anything with narcotics, so I don't think it will be too big of any issue--I could be wrong.

    Please send up prayers that I get the job. Thank you.

  • Nov 27 '16

    Oh. That's not as bad as what I was calculating it cost you. I was thinking at $70 something a pop, if you have to go like 2-3 times a month, that would be awful. But I guess 1 to 2 times a month isn't as bad. I guess it evens out because ours supposedly (this is what I was told at orientation) is 36 tests a year, but we are told to keep 50 dollars in our accounts at all times.

    Right now, I am posting so much because it's new and I am trying to update. I will probably start doing the updating around one time every month or two. I promise it won't always be so confusing and many posts. I have just read about a handful (versus one or two) of posts wondering about Virginia's program.

    This monitoring program is rough with all the forms having to be filled out (progress report, AA/NA/support group report, psychiatrist/physician report, therapist report, specialty practitioner report if applicable, and when it is time--employer report) on a monthly basis. I am a fairly organized person, but it drives me crazy knowing that my compliance depends on someone else doing the forms. I appreciate their compliance because it is a pain and I know that they do not have to do anything, but it's rough because there's a lot at stake when a form is not sent in. That is actually the hardest part about the program for me. Everything else (drug screens, the progress report and meeting report, the AA meetings and other meetings, psychiatrist and therapist appts), that I can do, is not too big of an issue. Again, I am not trying to sound ungrateful, but I have worked so hard for my license. The other hard part for me is that I am terrified that I will accidentally ingest or put something on my skin with alcohol/ethanol. I just had to vent a little. My apologies.

    I keep everything in a binder, it helps a lot.

    Since there are a couple of you all commenting, can I ask why, when you read the conference/board minutes, some people are mandated to complete a minimum of like 6 months of the monitoring program? I was under the impression that everyone was in their state's program for the full time. It did not matter why you were in it, you were in the full time. Do different people have different contracts as far as time limits?

  • Nov 27 '16

    Update: It is not 3 tests a week average; it is average of 3 tests a month. Although, since it is random, some people get tested many times a month and then maybe once the next month. It is a total of 36 tests a year.

    You meet with your case manager before the actual orientation. The orientation was a powerpoint presentation, so the orientation time actually depends on the questions asked.

  • Nov 27 '16


    I was wanting to start a thread for only people in the Virginia Monitoring Program. I am not finding too many threads about it or people in it. I have started into it and will be doing orientation soon. I will try and post what I can but of course no one can answer your legal questions, only legal counsel can do that. This would be more for personal experiences and what not.

    If anyone is in it and would like to participate in this thread, please do.

    So, for me, I am in it for mental illness (will not disclose what I have) and ETOH abuse. My story began when I sent my application in for licensure (to the board). I was honest and disclosed because I don't know what the future holds and I thought it would be in my best interest to disclose. Plus, I don't feel comfortable lying. I personally do not have a history of drug use or drug diversion (my apologies if you have heard my story in other threads). I was sent a letter from the board requesting my provider send a letter regarding my dx, tx, and prognosis. In addition, I sent a letter on my own behalf with my provider's letter. My case went before the board and I was offered approval to take NCLEX if I agreed to enter into the monitoring program. If I did not agree, there would be an informal conference scheduled. If I had decided not to do the monitoring program and went with the informal conference, I was informed that there could be approval, there could be denial, there could be probation, or the offer could stand at entering into the monitoring program. There's just so many things that could happen. I thought about it and really wrestled with my decision. I have to be honest, in the beginning, I hated the idea of entering into the monitoring program. I really was thinking of taking the informal conference. Then, I realized that I could be denied. No possibility of taking NCLEX and ultimately, no chance at being a nurse. I continued to think about it and decided to take the monitoring program deal. I figured that it was in my best interest (I was in the very early stage of having a mental illness dx, so I hadn't been treated for long and this would force me to stick with getting treatment whether I liked it or not) and I would also get to sit for boards. It took weeks to receive the order in which I would have to sign (and get notarized) and send back to the board in agreement to enter the monitoring program. I went through the process and contacted the monitoring program and told them I would need to enter it and that I had a board order. A phone intake assessment interview was scheduled and then, they sent me paperwork to fill out. The monitoring program sent me recommendations that I have to follow and I will have an orientation for the program. After the orientation, I will have to do random drug screens.

    Some random facts about the monitoring program. You can't work in health care until they approve you to go back. The drug screens are $50 each and they can test you as often as three times a week. From what I understand, if you are compliant, the screens (therefore, the cost) eases up. I just about had a bird when I found out the cost. But a few people told me that if I was in compliance, that it usually eases up. I am really hoping this is true. You, the participant, are responsible for the cost of the screenings. The orientations for the program are held in Richmond. Your health care providers and possible health care employers have to fill out forms every so often.

    As of right now, this is about all I know. I did keep a time table of when I received documents from the board and monitoring program and when I would send documents to them. From the time I filled out my application to the time I received my board order and entrance into the monitoring program/contract, it was approximately 6 months. I will be taking boards soon.

    If anyone else is interested in sharing and is in Virginia, please do. I know I have come across threads asking about this monitoring program and there wasn't much info and no one updated. I hope to keep this updated if others are interested. I hope I didn't violate TOS. Thanks.