The day I have been waiting for/dreading finally came. But I had no clue it was coming, no notification, and had no clue that the Board was meeting to review my case finally (it’s been almost a year). Apparently they did meet regarding my case and I received the decision in the regular mail today.
I have been granted a complete stay of disciplinary action, provided I complete the monitoring program.
I’ve been in the monitoring program about a year now.
I was told by the Board investigator (who was really quite unpleasant in general) and my case manager that I was “likely to qualify for a stay of discipline”. But I couldn’t just trust their word; that would have been completely naive. I assumed I would have to go before the Board. I assumed I would have to participate in person or over the phone, but I guess my participation in the process was just complying with the program.
So this monumental day came and left with zero fanfare, no preemptive anxiety, no conversation with the Board, no hearing, no notification that my case was up for review, nothing. It came in a stack of junk mail. I didn’t even have to sign for it.
I can’t believe it’s over. Just like that.
Since the decision was in my favor, I guess I’m grateful that I didn’t know, didn’t have that anxiety to deal with, didn’t have to wait on pins and needles...but if they had denied the stay, I would probably been very upset that I didn’t get to participate.
The letter said that the stay is not public, and when I complete the HPMP program, all evidence of the investigation will be gone. My license does not and will never have any public record, no reprimand, no nothing. There is nothing for anyone to ever see. After monitoring, no one but myself and whoever I tell will know.
I’m just stunned. I was prepared for a showdown with the Board. From what I had read and had been told, I had no clue that the process would happen in private without me knowing.
I’m exquisitely grateful. I would cry if I just wasn’t so numb in general.
It almost feels anti-climatic. It’s like I didn’t know I’ve been holding my breath for so long, and I finally exhaled. I still have about 4 years left to go on my contract, so my part of the work isn’t done.
Has anyone else had a stay of discipline happen this way?
In VA, in order to qualify for a stay of discipline for substance abuse (it is not guaranteed just by enrolling in HPMP before a Board order), the investigator and HPMP program both told me that the nurse had to have “convincing mitigating circumstances”. They felt that my comorbid psychiatric disorder and it’s relation to my substance abuse (seriously abusing and addicted to an antidepressant) would fit the “mitigating circumstances” criteria. Apparently, they were both correct.
As background info, I did NOT self report to the BON (my physician reported me). I did however sign up on my own for the state monitoring program without a Board order. I just went off of what the investigator suggested to me. My monitoring program contract addresses both my substance abuse and my mental illness.
The investigator and CM also told me that my case would go before the Board for that decision could be made; I guess I just assumed that I would be called and need to be present. I assumed I would have been notified. I guess it just shows that you can never assume anything.
If you were granted a stay of disciplinary action in your state, or are hoping to be granted one, how has the process worked for you?
I just can’t believe that I’m done with the BON (as long as I don’t violate my contract). This feels surreal.
Oct 6, '17
TiffpritRN, That is so weird!
For me, what happened is I got a notice of investigation from the BON delivered overnight mail with signature required. With that notice, inside the packet, was a single, short informational flyer for HPMP. There was no other paperwork or explanation of the flyer.
I ended up calling the flyer and scheduling an intake phone interview with them about a week later. I had that interview and I was told to have an assessment for substance abuse, which I was able to do that week. I picked my assessor and they didn't give me grief on my choice.
The assessor recommended IOP and faxed that recommendation in. Within a week of that, they overnighted me my contract to sign. So, about a three week turn around?
I had to speak with the BON investigator at some point during this. We had our conversation and then she told me to call her once I had a signed copy of my contract. The day I got my contract I called her and sent her that contract, and she had me sign ROIs for HPMP and for my treatment providers required by my contract, which I did.
I never heard from her again. I did have to wait about 3 weeks from the signing of my contract before I was allowed to attend the formal HPMP orientation. I was not required to test prior to that orientation, but I was required to abide by all the other stipulations in the contract.
So, the nutshell is that from first phone call to final contract, it took only three weeks. I would hate to think of sitting by, basically abiding by contract terms, not having a contract!! I mean, them not getting back to you is sort of like adding two years to that contract time. They won’t give you “time served” when it comes to the contract.
I would be on the phone pestering the fire out of them at least weekly...or until they give you a reason why they cannot enroll you at present. If time is going to pass anyway and monitoring is going to be required, I’d be wanting to get it over with already.
Keep calling to the point of becoming a pest, until they give you an answer one way or the other. You know what they say about the squeaky wheel...
For me, VA monitoring moved remarkably fast.
Last edit by PixieRN1 on Oct 6, '17
Oct 6, '17
Quote from tiffpritRN
Did you go to rehab? I didn't complete inpatient (stayed 60 days out of a 90 day program - dumb I know - there were severe family issues at home) I did complete a 10 week outpatient program that's BON approved so I pray that counts
My pre-approved substance abuse assessor did not recommend inpatient or residential rehab for me; my situation is unique. I was abusing a non-controlled substance...a garden-variety antidepressant. The assessor said I did not meet criteria for traditional rehab. If she had recommended inpatient, I would have had no choice but to comply.
The recommendation was IOP, which I complied with. HPMP pre-approved the recommendation of IOP only, and I completed the entire program. I have aftercare that I still have to attend weekly, and I am compliant with that program as well.
If I had chosen not to be compliant with the IOP that was pre-approved, I cannot imagine that I would have been granted a stay of discipline and I am confident that I would have been disciplined in some fashion.
Since your IOP was not pre-approved, even though the program may be on their approval list, I still see that being a problem.
Are you saying that they pre-approved the inpatient stay but did not grant approval prior to your attending the IOP? Did they approve you leaving the program and then approve your IOP commitment? I would think that would be a problem if they didn’t pre-approve it, but obviously I can’t know for sure. What did your case manager say?
Last edit by PixieRN1 on Oct 6, '17