Concern

  1. So recently had a run in with alcohol and decided to get help. Will this affect my ability to get a license?
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  2. Visit FengYan profile page

    About FengYan

    Joined: Apr '18; Posts: 6; Likes: 8
    from MO , US

    26 Comments

  3. by   TruvyNurse
    Did your run in with alcohol lead to criminal charges? If so, I'd contact your BON for further information. To my knowledge, there is nothing that would prevent you from becoming a nurse because you went to treatment/rehab
  4. by   FengYan
    No legal charges or anything of the sort. Utilized a medical facility and their detox protocol.
  5. by   FengYan
    The anxiety is debilitating because without help, quitting would have been the wrong thing to do but I'm worried that seeking help will keep me from being a nurse.
  6. by   kakamegamama
    OP--there is a nurses in recovery forum on this board, and I imagine they would be a great resource for you. Congrats on recognizing your need to get help. Hang in there! The BON of your state should have information on their site about how alcohol abuse might impact your ability to be a nurse. That also would be a good resource. The best to you & hang in there.
  7. by   FengYan
    Let me kinda rephrase. l wanted to quit but didn't think it was safe for me to come down due to the DTs and stay off for good. l though the best option was to check myself in to a hospital and be under supervision while l did so. Now l am using resources to stay off but l was wondering if the state can see that l was in a hospital for ETOH abuse and l won't get a license.
  8. by   FengYan
    Thanks for the replies l will check it out.
  9. by   FengYan
    Any other knowledge is greatly appreciated
  10. by   inthecosmos
    If no criminal charges ever came about, the BON isn't going to know unless you explicitly tell them. If you were involuntarily commited, that may show up, but otherwise voluntary treatment shouldn't.

    They usually do background checks, which pulls up criminal offenses, not detoxes.
    Last edit by inthecosmos on Apr 24
  11. by   curiousMD
    Quote from FengYan
    Let me kinda rephrase. l wanted to quit but didn't think it was safe for me to come down due to the DTs and stay off for good. l though the best option was to check myself in to a hospital and be under supervision while l did so. Now l am using resources to stay off but l was wondering if the state can see that l was in a hospital for ETOH abuse and l won't get a license.
    My thoughts, but I can't say for sure that as far as HIPAA is concerned, your medical records can't be accessed without your consent. I can only speak from my licensing as a physician and getting jobs as a physician but RNs may be subject to a similar process. You could be asked about any conditions you have that you feel could affect your ability to do your duties. I've always been puzzled at the best way people go about answering this, for example, someone with well managed major depressive disorder (which is very common)...do they say yes but they are well managed? Theoretically, if a case of MDD decompensates you can certainly lose your ability to perform at your job. There are plenty of healthcare professionals be it physicians, RNs and more who have struggled with addiction. As long as you stay sober and follow what is recommended, there are plenty of people who are doing excellent in recovery and it would be discrimination to put on a blanket statement for all people in recovery. One of my psychiatrist colleagues struggled with an addiction to stimulants, but she's done excellent in recovery and she had no issues with getting her licensure and a job. She did have to present in person to the board because of her history (I think when MDs get their license the application does ask something along the lines of an addiction history) but I think they can generally smell if there are still persistent red flags or not. Recovery is more common than most people think. In my area the psychiatrist who was found smoking pot with his patients is still practicing but I won't comment on that...

    I also wanted to add, I'm really thrilled to hear that you decided to get professional medical assistance with this. Especially a detox which can be downright dangerous, some patients don't always listen to my advice about that and still try to detox at home...fortunately that is very rare (2 cases in my career so far).
    Last edit by curiousMD on Apr 22
  12. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Do NOT tell the BON. You will be referred to a monitoring program which is a fate I wish on no one
  13. by   kbrn2002
    It should not affect your ability to get a license but if you disclose this during your application it could possibly make getting that license very expensive plus start your career with license stipulations which won't make finding that all important first nursing job any easier.

    You very well might be able to truthfully say you have not been treated for addiction if indeed it was just a hospital visit for a short stay while detoxing as long as there was no official drug/alcohol treatment involved. If however you actually attended a treatment program you would not be telling the truth if you denied being treated for addiction on any application. That's a fine line but an important one that could help you prevent a world of professional grief.
  14. by   Lucydog14
    How would they find out? You don't need to disclose your medical history.

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