any nurses/nursing students on methadone? - page 3

by milksteak

20,288 Views | 37 Comments

Hi everyone, I will be starting an ADN program next week and was SOOOO worried that my methadone maintenance status was going to be a problem. I haven't heard anything at all from the program and I think if I was going to hear... Read More


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    I had a friend when I worked LTC who was an LPN, diverted, lost her license for 5 years - worked as a waitress during that time, had to retake the NCLEX and eventually was able to return to work but at great cost: financially and emotionally.

    This was in IN in the mid-90's.
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    Quote from Thenurse27
    My license was suspeneded for diverting. I am on Methadone and the BOD is aware and I am getting my license back. I am in NJ so I know all states are different. I would never tell any of my co-workers under any circumstance. I consider myself to be clean as I have not used anything without a script in 7 years. I am weaning off right now to go on Suboxone. I'm not sure of what will happen when I start looking for work. I know I will be tested and I don't know how employers will feel. Best of luck to anyone in similar circumstances.
    Are you still on methadone??
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    I am graduating in a few weeks from a BSN program. I have been sober for over 12 years and am afraid that I will not be able to sit for my Nclex because of this, (cds municiple charge and under the influence from 1999)!
    I went through nursing school as it has always been my dream, but more importantly because I had contacted the BON and inquired about charges and I was told that decisions are made on a "case by case" basis. There are some charges that auto. bar one from aquiring an RN license, (e.g.-kidnaping, sexual assault, violent crimes etc...), however I have none of those. I have always kept the faith that because I was involved with drugs over 12 years ago for appx 4 yrs (17yo-21 yo), have no repeat criminal charges, have had the same job for over 7+ yrs , and am on Dean's list at my school & great reviews and letters of reference, (character & professional).

    I have faith that the BON will see that I am not a threat.

    I wonder: can I be told no I cannot sit for Nclex?

    and 2)-I know I need release all info re: my charge from years ago. I am having a VERY hard time finding info on non-nurses with a histery of addiction, (ex- 12+ yrs ago) and their ability to get their ATT for Nclex. All i am seeing is info for CURRENT RN's with active addictions/or who entered recovery AFTER having thier license.


    BTW- I'm in NJ/NY area. ANY info GRATEFULLY apprecitated!
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    [QUOTE=Bhavana;5016591]I am not sure about state nursing boards, but when in school, if you are tested by clinical locations, you don't need to worry. Hippa laws apply to everyone, including nursing students. It is really nobodies business. If you are on methadone or any other prescription drug, it will show up on the test. The testing facility will contact you and ask if you have a prescription, and if you do, you fax it to or take it to them, and they send your test through as clean. Simple as that."

    I am going to have to disagree with the above statement based on my own experience. Positive UDAs of nurses in practice, whether in school or after licensed, can be and are reported to the state board. There is no HIPAA protection for this as your consent for the UDA states. THE BON has a great deal of problems with nurses taking opioids, benzos, and certain psychiatric drugs, prescribed or not. Is this fair..maybe not..is it true..absolutely..I would be very cautious to label this process as "simple as that".
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    Oh my gosh Elkpark! What state are you in? Do you have a diversion program now?
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    [QUOTE=Bhavana;5016591]I am not sure about state nursing boards, but when in school, if you are tested by clinical locations, you don't need to worry. Hippa laws apply to everyone, including nursing students. It is really nobodies business. If you are on methadone or any other prescription drug, it will show up on the test. The testing facility will contact you and ask if you have a prescription, and if you do, you fax it to or take it to them, and they send your test through as clean. Simple as that.

    This is what I was told too, but... Iapplied for a new job that did drug testing. (This was my first experience with drug testing.) I had worked as a nurse for 10 years, I take adderall, have an excellent work record, no problems. When I went in for the test, the HR rep gave me a paper to list my meds on, acted like it was no big deal, so, stupid me happily writes down the adderal on the form but left off my other meds since they are not controlled substances. Anyway, the lab called me, confirmed my rx was valid. They sent back a negative screen to my employer.

    BUT...they, (the drug sreen co) said I needed a "fit for duty" test (which, by the way, they perform and charge my employer an extra $200!, what a racket!!) so, it would be quite obvious to an employer that the screen is not REALLY negative, even if they didn't know what substance you were on.

    So I pass the "fit for duty" test but the company sends a report to my (potential) employer not only listing the adderall, but ALL my meds. It includes a brief medical history, including a birth defect I have but is not obvious, and doesn't affect my work. Says I have depression, and reason I take adderrall etc. etc.

    I was hired, because the law says they had to, or it would be discrimination. But they made it quite obvious I was no longer an asset, but a liability. They made my orintation hell, and I mean HELL! Then, before the 90 days were up, they said I just wasn't up to snuff, and fired me, for "not meeting expectations". I have NEVER been fired, or had a negative review in all my years of nursing.

    Sorry the story is so long, but just want people to be aware, and be careful. Don't list any medications. If the lab has a question about what you take, they will call you. If the screening company says you need a "fit for duty" exam, tell them you have a note from your own DR. Which you should get anyway, just in case.

    I'm still devastated by my experience. It took more than 2 months from time of application to actually starting orientation. Then I oriented for six weeks. Now I have no job, and don't know what to tell a prospective employer. I just hope I can save others from going through what I did. Remember.. the employer might ACT kind and sympathetic, but believe me, they work for the facility, and their concern is insurance and liability.

    and don't tell classmates or co-workers anything. They will chew you up and spit you out.
    elprup likes this.
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    On the application for the nclex (at least in my state) it asks you to list anything within the last 10 years. Anything more distant you are not required to disclose. Why should a person have to pay the price forever for something that is no longer relevant? If you disclose it on your application, you will have to deal with a mark on your record forever. If you stay sober, there is no reaon your past should ever have to come up. I have read other postings on AN about this. One nurse disclosed to the board because she felt she'd be lying otherwise. Well, she had to start her nursing career with a restricted license, and jump through all the other hoops required by the board. And all for no reason. She had been sober many years. From what I remember reading, it's her biggest regret. Why make trouble when there is none?
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    Just wondering, why does one have to stay on methadone for so long?
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    i have a girlfriend with the same scenario ,( going from methadone to sub and wants to wean off that way..i think it will be better then tapering just off the methadone itself?? i heard that is very bad..
  10. 0
    Right on sister! So far I thought no one here had a brain on ethics , lol you go. Only answer derserving of all stars You all must be in the bushes or something maybe down a dark alley. Lots of people are on methadone and suboxone some are my friends. Guess what they are nurses too! Do you think they tell anyone they are taking it? no way !!!!!!!!!!!! Get smart Use HIPPA


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