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