Finding a job after probation, will I ever be the nurse I really want to be again?

  1. Ok, I think I may have screwed up a little bit, but I recently got fired from a hospital who suspected me of diversion, and the allegations brought forth to me said nothing about diversion and I hired an attorney who helped me make the statement. We addressed every allegation including "failure to secure medication at all times," etc. I thought I would get off a little. We had a phone call to the investigator from the board of nursing and my lawyer knew the truth and I asked her point blank should I tell them I was diverting or not. She tells me that it would be worse if I got caught in a lie. During the conversation with the investigator, I told her I had been diverting. Now I am awaiting my sentance which (god willing) will be probation for diversion. Now, here is my question for all of you, how do you go about applying for a job and say "yeah, I'm on probation, I was caught diverting." My reality is this: will I have to spend the rest of my life working as an RN at a dialysis center or nursing home for what I've done. And, if I do get probation for 3 years, even after that 3 years, it is still on your record, and I believe it will be just as hard to find a job after probation. I know there are some out there that can help answer these questions. I would also like to talk face to face with someone who has been through all of this or is currently going through this. I cannot find one person who has been caught with diversion in my area, and it is imperative that you find a friend who understands exactly what you are going through (preferably in Missouri). Please help
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    About mymelody

    Joined: Jan '11; Posts: 8; Likes: 1


  3. by   catmom1
    Quote from mymelody
    My reality is this: will I have to spend the rest of my life working as an RN at a dialysis center or nursing home for what I've done.

    I will have 7 years C & S this December, have completed 4 of 5 years of probation, and I would give anything to get a nursing job of any kind right now.

    Don't look down your nose at making a living. I have been out of work for over a year and am now even applying for any kind of non-nursing job, hoping against hope that there is something out there to keep me from being homeless.

  4. by   madwife2002
    I work with some excellent nurses in Dialysis, some of them actually got jobs there and have had no problem with their licence ever, believe it or not they actually chose to work as a HD nurse because they enjoy their job!

    I would think any nurse should be proud to work in Dialysis especially if you are unable to obtain a job anywhere else.

    Dialysis patients deserve more than disrespectful nurses who seem to think they are demeaning themselves by 'having' to work in dialysis.

    The last few nurses who I have interviewed have 'perfect' licences but I shall be very wary of interviewing anybody who has 'probation' on their licence in future as I do not want to employ an RN who is doing me a favor by working in dialysis because nobody else wants him/her!

    Renal patients need to be protected from RN's who do not want to care for them
  5. by   faithnow
    well, i can't really tell by your post if you diverted or not. i do think that i can tell that you really aren't honestly 100% dealing with your reality. my diverting and subsequent probation happened in a nursing home. i had chosen to work in a nursing home, and couldn't get hired anywhere for a couple of years, and had to accept $7.00 an hour cleaning job. but you know what, i was thankful that that company hired me and came to feel good about myself doing honest work, without deception and without any substance use. no nursing facility would let me get past the first or second interview. i was extremely blessed to finally be offered a starting position in a nursing home again. i've now been working about three years still being monitored and two years after finishing the program. i really agree with madwife. guess what? neither dialysis centers nor nursing homes need you to do them a favor and work beneath yourself. i think probably a lot of nurses with no diversion history or superior attitude want to work in dialysis and nursing homes. and i also agree with catmom, honest work is honest work, learning to do any job without dishonesty is progress in the right direction and will help you sleep at night. it also keeps you from being homeless and hungry. in my opinion, you need to work on admitting your shortcomings and accept the reality of your actions. only if you move forward with honesty about whatever actions brought you to this place will you find success. i don't mean to preach, just disgusted by your slamming dialysis nursing and nursing home nursing, which some nurses with no charges/abuse issues are fulfilled by doing. and i am one nurse in recovery who feels absolutely blessed and honored to be able to work in a nursing home again. so by all means, hold out for a hospital nursing job...we dialysis and nursing home nurses will be able to honestly provide care for our patients while staying clean and sober, making money to pay our bills, and being able to look ourselves and others in the eye without your superior attitude. really hope you get to a point where you can see yourself honestly and move on from there and be the nurse you wanted to be
  6. by   TXRN2
    i replied to basically this same post on another thread. i have worked in dialysis for almost 2 years now- & i love it!! i was extremely grateful just to get this job & be able to work as a nurse while working on myself. i will say, i work way harder as a dialysis nurse that i ever did before- it's hard work & the hours are long & hard. i had to learn a whole new set of skills & a ton of information. i absolutely LOVE this job & found i have a great affinity for these patients. i truly feel i am right where i am supposed to be, by the grace of God. i will not leave this job when my monitoring program ends on november. dialysis nuring is a "real" nursing job, & as the previous poster said, renal patients deserve nurses who really want to be taking care of them.
  7. by   mymelody
    Faithnow: I think you totally read into my post wrong. You are bashing me on here and that's not right. I have a job at a nursing home now and I find it very rewarding as I love the elderly and I love being a nurse, and if I HAD to get a job in a dialysis unit, I would find ways for it to be rewarding as well because I just simply love being a nurse. The point I was trying to make is that I have been in a hospital my entire nursing career and I miss learning new things everyday and the excitement of 'acute' care. I love learning. At the nursing home, I don't feel like I'm learning, you can only do a blood sugar so many times before you want to kill yourself. The residents are the reason I love the job. And, I have admitted it to myself. Yes I diverted, yes I learned from my lesson, and yes I am VERY glad it happened to me because I will come out a better person. The only REAL question I wanted to get an answer to was: Do places hire you after you get off probation. I know for the rest of my life if I go on an interview I will have to say "I was on probation for diversion so many years ago," and to me no matter how you look at it, all I think that ANYONE is going to think when they hear that, whether I have gone to rehab, etc or not is "you stole drugs from your job."
  8. by   all_over_again
    I think prospective employers would be far more comfortable with, "I was on probation because I was dependent on pain medication 5 years ago" as opposed to "I stole drugs from work".
  9. by   VivaLasViejas
    About eight or nine years ago, I was working in acute care when a nurse who was under Board supervision for diversion got hired and began working on our busy Med/Surg unit. She was not allowed to carry a key to the narcotics drawer, nor was she permitted to administer any narcotic, so the rest of us had to pick up the slack and give her patients their pain pills when needed. At first it was a hassle, and some nurses resented having to do extra work; but this nurse was so good at her job, and so willing to help us out wherever she could in return for our assistance, that the grumbling went away pretty quickly.

    Soon, this nurse had become an accepted member of our group; eventually, her probation ended and she was given full privileges as an RN once again. She went on to become a leader on our floor, rising up through the ranks and being awarded a position as a resource nurse. Later on, she was promoted to assistant department manager, and the last I heard, she was still working in that position and doing very well.

    The take-home lesson here is, there is ALWAYS hope for better days ahead, even those of us with addictions. The difference between the OP and the nurse I'm talking about is a good-sized dose of humility; while the OP hedges and says things like "I may have screwed up a little bit", this nurse took the ol' bull by the horns and was completely up-front with everyone as to the nature of her problems with drugs. She was perfectly fine with the admission that yes, she'd had a drug problem, and yes, she screwed up; but she never showed any evidence of self-pity, and she was content to pay whatever price she had to in order to remain a nurse.
  10. by   faithnow
    last comments i'll make r/t this post (i'm faithnow) and posted earlier. i didn't read into your post wrong. like a later post said, you say "i may have screwed up a little", you ding long term care and dialysis. and then deny doing it. even in your response post to me you claim that there's nothing to be learned in a nursing home. i waited two years into my monitoring before i could get a nursing home to hire me, and i have peers who are still being monitored who would love a job in a nursing home or dialysis. certainly taking blood sugars over and over is not exciting work, taking blood sugars is only a small amount of the work that i do in my nursing home job. and even the most grinding task that i do has never made me want to kill myself. i learn something every day at work, and often learn quite a few things daily in my nursing home job. you can love acute care without demeaning work that other nurses choose to do. you say you've worked in a hospital your whole professional life, but that life included diverting and i don't know any nurse who got into monitoring from her first diversion, myself included. just my opinion, but i think you need to be thankful for the job that you have, be less concerned about where you'll work next, focus on staying clean and sober, be less dismissive of other areas of nursing as worthwhile pursuits, and show more respect for not just us other nurses who've made it through monitoring and choose to work in nursing homes or dialysis, but also of nurses who have never been before a state board who choose those other areas as well. self awareness and humility are wonderful things. and a nursing job done with openness and honesty is an honorable thing, no matter what kind of health care facility it is.
  11. by   ChristiRN
    In 2007 I diverted from work and denied it at the time. They made me the example and charged me with 75 felony charges. In the end, I ended up taking a deal called probation without verdict which means mine will be expunged in 2012 (gone not found unless on a federal background check by the government)...BUT in the mean time no where will hire me with a criminal record. I have gotten close but nothing. I do have my nursing license now...but I do not know about your state but you may be turned into your states nursing recovery program (In PA it is called Voluntary REcovery Program). Here in PA we have 1...but if you dont come clean to them and jump thru every hoop they tell WILL LOSE YOUR LICENSE. Its a pain but I diverted and I have to pay the price. Dialysis and nursing homes are an option if you are ONLY on probation...but with a criminal record you will be lucky to get those jobs...I am sorry to have to tell you has been my nightmare that I have lived thru for the past several years. It sucks...but there are a lot of us out there...many many more than anyone knows. Nursing on drugs can be as high as 30%...YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I thought I was the only fool in the beginning of this nightmare...I thought I was alone..but we are not. I have been in the Voluntary Recovery Program for 2 yrs and 8 months and because of an error on their part, I will be in the program for another 2 yrs and 7 months (it is supposed to be a 3 yr program...except in my You are in for a bumpy ride my friend and I hope it goes better for you than it did for me.
  12. by   SineQuaNon
    I didn't get the feeling that the OP was putting down long term care or dialysis nursing. Different strokes for different folks right? While I expect that when I'm allowed to work again it will be in dialysis or LTC, it wouldn't be my first choice. Does this make me a bad person or undeserving of a chance to work in those fields? Of course not. Will I make the best of a bad (or less desirable) situation? Of course I will!

    We're here to support each other. And that means not taking offense where it isn't intended. If you WANT to get offended by something, you will. That doesn't mean it was the intended outcome. Eleanor Roosevelt said that "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission." I would extend that in this thread to mean, "No one can insult your chosen profession without your permission."
  13. by   rngaltx
    I was a critical care nurse for 8 years before I diverted narcs. I went to dialysis after I started probation and I LOVE IT!!! I truly learn something new all the time, whether it be different ways to access a site or how each patient reacts differently to a hypotensive episode. Dialysis has kept me on my toes. It is fast pace and you use your nursing knowledge all the time. I have also thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my patients and their family members. In a way, I feel my sense of compassion has returned. Let me clarify by saying I AM NOT stating critical care nurses are not compassionate. I am using my case as an example. I worked in an extremely busy ER and I lost touch with the compassionate side of myself, and I feel that was one of the triggers to my using.

    I am thankful everyday for my manager believing in me and giving me the opportunity to work there. I had a lot of doors slammed in my face, and by the grace of God I found the job in dialysis. I've made some big mistakes. I didn't learn the first time around either. But everyday I wake up, I thank God for my family, my sobriety, and my job. I agree with prior comments that it is a tough road, and I LOVE the comment 'grab the bull by the horns.' That is what we have to do. There are better days ahead. And again, I will tell you, I am a former critical care nurse who LOVES her dialysis job. You truly have an opportunity to make a difference in these patients lives!!
  14. by   ChristiRN
    I posted most of my story above but my question is why for the rest of your life are you going to have to tell an employer that you diverted and that you were on probation?? At some point, your license will stop saying that you are on probation if you complete the states program right?? (that is the way it is in PA) so when that happens and you go for a new job...why be that honest when you dont have to be. We are looked at differently, us addicts I mean. So whenever it is dont need to be that forthcoming because the record will be sealed. That is to say that you are still recovered and clean!!! You can do this. It has taken me 3 yrs since I worked last and countless applications to every place I could think of and FINALLY I got a job..a rehab facility is giving me a there is hope when you think there isnt any hope left. Someday i want to be a source of hope for people that have given up because I was about to give up and now I have a part time job until my narc restriction is gone!!! When I am expunged AND when I have completed the state program I will know that BUT I will not tell a new employer...