need advice RE: disclosing board monitoring

  1. I need advice, please.....
    I am a recovering addict, I diverted narcotics from my last place of employment, was fired (rightly so) and have taken the last 2 years to work on my recovery, and the issues that lead up to my addiction in the first place. I am in the nurse monitoring program, my license is not in any sort of disciplinary action, but who ever does hire me obviously has to know my story. The board requires a monthly employer report, fairly brief, to be sent in to them regarding my performance, etc. I am wondering what you as managers think is the best way/time to present this in an interview. Please be honest, don't hold back just to be polite. I am also concerened with the fact that I only had this one job for my entire 13 years in nursing, so references, professional at least, will not be glowing, to say the least. How can I convince someone that I am indeed a very good nurse, and would be a very good employee, even with my history? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.....
    thanks, sheri
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   canoehead
    I would tell them if it came up during the interview process of course, but otherwise, would wait until they asked if I had any questions for them. Hopefully you'll have made a favorable impression at that point and can go into all the treatment, and things you are doing to help yourself.
  4. by   elkpark
    I feel v. differently than the previous poster. I was in a situation a few years ago where our department head and I (as the department CNS) were interviewing applicants for nursing positions in a child/adolscent psych program. One applicant came in with a large folder of paperwork, fanned out all of the papers on the large table we were sitting at, and said very matter-of-factly, "You'll want to look at all of this." My department head started pleasantly chatting with her, so I started picking up some of the documents and looking at them. WELL, while my boss was asking her the usual flap about how did she decide she wanted to be a nurse, and getting all misty-eyed at the response, I was finding out that this nurse had become addicted, diverted drugs at a previous job, had been dealing to others in addition to her own use, had been caught and had actually served PRISON TIME, lost her home/husband/kids/etc. in the process, and had spent the last few years working through the process of treatment/recovery, getting her license back, and being monitored.

    I had to finally interrupt my boss, put some of the papers into her hands, make meaningful eye contact, and say, "Gee, ---, you'll want to look at these ..." The applicant was v. open in the interview about her past and what she had done so far to recover from the mistakes she had made. She had paperwork documenting everything, her record and release from the criminal justice system in the other state, certificates of completion from the recovery/treatment programs she had completed, documentation of all her monitoring by the BON in the previous state and in our state, restoration of her RN license, documentation of her continuing participation in a recovery/relapse prevention program, etc. (It made quite an impressive pile ).

    The end of the story is that we did offer her a job and hire her. I'm not sure how we would have felt about her if she had been less open and direct about her history, but we were impressed with her honesty and bravery (in just throwing it out there to talk about), and how well prepared and organized she was to show us the paper trail of all she had done to overcome the problem. I guess the moral of the story is, like every other area of nursing, DOCUMENTATION IS EVERYTHING.

    Remember that addiction is a recognized medical diagnosis -- I would not treat it any differently in an interview than any other medical problem and how that is going to affect your ability to do the job for which you're applying. The interviewers will, to some extent, take their cue from you and YOUR attitude toward the issue. Best wishes with your continuing recovery and career! :kiss
  5. by   BarbPick
    Quote from hoopschick
    I need advice, please.....
    I am a recovering addict, I diverted narcotics from my last place of employment, was fired (rightly so) and have taken the last 2 years to work on my recovery, and the issues that lead up to my addiction in the first place. I am in the nurse monitoring program, my license is not in any sort of disciplinary action, but who ever does hire me obviously has to know my story. The board requires a monthly employer report, fairly brief, to be sent in to them regarding my performance, etc. I am wondering what you as managers think is the best way/time to present this in an interview. Please be honest, don't hold back just to be polite. I am also concerened with the fact that I only had this one job for my entire 13 years in nursing, so references, professional at least, will not be glowing, to say the least. How can I convince someone that I am indeed a very good nurse, and would be a very good employee, even with my history? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.....
    thanks, sheri
    Keep this quiet, no one is sposta know this but in your prospective nursing unit, one out of three nurses has had to have monthly reports done on them also. See the one over, there, no don't look now, wait, ok look, she bounced checks and has to pay restitution and she is practicing.
    See the one over there? Look quickly so he doesn't catch on. He was in Florida's INP, the intervention project for nurses. He is allowed to do traditional patient care, but can't carry the keys because is still his first year out of rehab, the best nurse weh have. Only the charge staff knows (unless he chooses to tell).
    DO YOU GET THE PICTURE? It feels like the end of the world but Nurses take care of their own when the are ready and need us.
    You will be fine. You will be hired for your merrtis.
    Barbara
  6. by   Janet Barclay
    Nice Barb, I love the eye opening and insightful remarks.

    As a manager, please be honest, if I find out a sideways way, I will not hire.

    Good luck, and congratulations on your ongoing recovery
  7. by   vanburbian
    so, what i seem to be hearing is that it really all depends a lot upon the particular manager, aside from being honest about it at SOME point in an interview, as to when to bring it up.
    thank you all so much for offering opinions, and advice.

    elkpark~i'm glad you gave her a chance, and i hope she turned out to be a good employee for you. on all of our behalf,(recovering nurses) thank you

    barb~you speak the truth, sadly, many of us are still "out there". the theory is that 10% of population is addiction prone, there are definitely not 10% of nurses in a monitoring program....thank you for pointing out that i'm "not the only one" it just feels like it during an interview sometimes.....

    canoehead and janet~ thank you for the positive words and encouragement

    peace, sheri
  8. by   vanburbian
    :hatparty:
    well, finally, after approximately 15 interviews, i was hired- I am now in case management/ utilization review and management for a large managed behavioral health organization. The man who hired me actually started in this field as a CDAC, the founder of company is a Psychiatrist, so I think my history actually may have been a plus, in a strange way, for getting this job.
    Thanks again for all the advice..
    sheri
  9. by   suzanne4
    :hatparty: Good luck to you!!!
  10. by   LesJenRN
    Congratulations and enjoy!
  11. by   Boop
    Quote from hoopschick
    I need advice, please.....
    I am a recovering addict, I diverted narcotics from my last place of employment, was fired (rightly so) and have taken the last 2 years to work on my recovery, and the issues that lead up to my addiction in the first place. I am in the nurse monitoring program, my license is not in any sort of disciplinary action, but who ever does hire me obviously has to know my story. The board requires a monthly employer report, fairly brief, to be sent in to them regarding my performance, etc. I am wondering what you as managers think is the best way/time to present this in an interview. Please be honest, don't hold back just to be polite. I am also concerened with the fact that I only had this one job for my entire 13 years in nursing, so references, professional at least, will not be glowing, to say the least. How can I convince someone that I am indeed a very good nurse, and would be a very good employee, even with my history? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.....
    thanks, sheri
    Hey HOOPSCHICK,

    I just came across your first letter. It almost made me shed a few tears . I to am trying to find a job after being clean for two years. I am almost wanting to give up but I need the money and I love nursing. If you read this could you please email me back with any suggestions you have, after being hired. I bet that felt so good.
    Thanks
  12. by   nursetootsie
    Quote from hoopschick
    I need advice, please.....
    I am a recovering addict, I diverted narcotics from my last place of employment, was fired (rightly so) and have taken the last 2 years to work on my recovery, and the issues that lead up to my addiction in the first place. I am in the nurse monitoring program, my license is not in any sort of disciplinary action, but who ever does hire me obviously has to know my story. The board requires a monthly employer report, fairly brief, to be sent in to them regarding my performance, etc. I am wondering what you as managers think is the best way/time to present this in an interview. Please be honest, don't hold back just to be polite. I am also concerened with the fact that I only had this one job for my entire 13 years in nursing, so references, professional at least, will not be glowing, to say the least. How can I convince someone that I am indeed a very good nurse, and would be a very good employee, even with my history? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.....
    thanks, sheri
    Sheri,
    A person with addiction and in recovery is covered under the ADA.It is against the law for any potential employer to even ask about your "disability" in the pre offer stage. After an offer of employment has been made they can ask certain questions, but only if it pertains to your ability to perform the job. They must, however, if they have made an offer of employment, make reasonable accomodations for your disability. Unless you are a danger to your patients(very hard to prove), or you would create a hardship to the employer(usually pertains to small companies), they are not allowed ~ BY LAW ~ to discriminate against you. The disability act is very clear about what can, and cannot, be asked. Look into it. Tootsie
  13. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from hoopschick
    I need advice, please.....
    I am a recovering addict, I diverted narcotics from my last place of employment, was fired (rightly so) and have taken the last 2 years to work on my recovery, and the issues that lead up to my addiction in the first place. I am in the nurse monitoring program, my license is not in any sort of disciplinary action, but who ever does hire me obviously has to know my story. The board requires a monthly employer report, fairly brief, to be sent in to them regarding my performance, etc. I am wondering what you as managers think is the best way/time to present this in an interview. Please be honest, don't hold back just to be polite. I am also concerened with the fact that I only had this one job for my entire 13 years in nursing, so references, professional at least, will not be glowing, to say the least. How can I convince someone that I am indeed a very good nurse, and would be a very good employee, even with my history? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.....
    thanks, sheri

    Hi Sheri! Don't know about that, sorry, but have been sober in AA for 19+ years. Even if you have trouble working because of your hx it is all worth it. "They" say not to take too much credit for being sober - but I think for OPENING YOUR EYES - even if you were painted into a corner - it is a MAGNIFICENT feat. Just think of all the OTHER stuff you coulda missed if you were still using.

    Take good care of yourself, it will all work itself out. Promise. Write me if you need to vent!

    xo
  14. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from elkpark
    I feel v. differently than the previous poster. I was in a situation a few years ago where our department head and I (as the department CNS) were interviewing applicants for nursing positions in a child/adolscent psych program. One applicant came in with a large folder of paperwork, fanned out all of the papers on the large table we were sitting at, and said very matter-of-factly, "You'll want to look at all of this." My department head started pleasantly chatting with her, so I started picking up some of the documents and looking at them. WELL, while my boss was asking her the usual flap about how did she decide she wanted to be a nurse, and getting all misty-eyed at the response, I was finding out that this nurse had become addicted, diverted drugs at a previous job, had been dealing to others in addition to her own use, had been caught and had actually served PRISON TIME, lost her home/husband/kids/etc. in the process, and had spent the last few years working through the process of treatment/recovery, getting her license back, and being monitored.

    I had to finally interrupt my boss, put some of the papers into her hands, make meaningful eye contact, and say, "Gee, ---, you'll want to look at these ..." The applicant was v. open in the interview about her past and what she had done so far to recover from the mistakes she had made. She had paperwork documenting everything, her record and release from the criminal justice system in the other state, certificates of completion from the recovery/treatment programs she had completed, documentation of all her monitoring by the BON in the previous state and in our state, restoration of her RN license, documentation of her continuing participation in a recovery/relapse prevention program, etc. (It made quite an impressive pile ).

    The end of the story is that we did offer her a job and hire her. I'm not sure how we would have felt about her if she had been less open and direct about her history, but we were impressed with her honesty and bravery (in just throwing it out there to talk about), and how well prepared and organized she was to show us the paper trail of all she had done to overcome the problem. I guess the moral of the story is, like every other area of nursing, DOCUMENTATION IS EVERYTHING.

    Remember that addiction is a recognized medical diagnosis -- I would not treat it any differently in an interview than any other medical problem and how that is going to affect your ability to do the job for which you're applying. The interviewers will, to some extent, take their cue from you and YOUR attitude toward the issue. Best wishes with your continuing recovery and career! :kiss


    I agree - if someone doesn't happen to mention their history during the interview process, (and you KNOW it comes out in checking out licensure etc) - I would just think they were hiding something.

    I like how this woman showed that she had not just done what was required but had also done what was NEEDED.

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