Getting an Ohio license while being in Ky monitoring

  1. I am presently being monitored by the Kentucky Board of Nursing and would like to apply for a license in Ohio since I can't find a job in Ky. I just got my license reinstated in January after being out of nursing for 12 yrs. I will have 4 yrs probation to serve once I find employment but I am already doing the daily call in's and attending meetings, etc. I was lead to believe that if I applied for an Ohio license that it would automatically be suspend for up to a year. Does any know anything about this situation? I was not caught diverting. I just failed a random drug screen.
    If Ohio does grant me a license would I have to switch to being monitored by an Ohio case manager for their BON or would I just have to remain compliant with Ky guidelines. Would they use the same Board Order or would they have to have their own?
    Thanks for any help you can provide me.
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    About RNaka

    Joined: May '09; Posts: 6; Likes: 1
    looking; from US
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in Med surg


  3. by   jackstem

    I recommend you contact an attorney who deals with nursing licensure, impaired nurses in recovery, and experience in representing nurses before the Ohio BON. It will be money well spent.

    I also recommend you contact the Ohio board directly as well as the Ohio Nurses Association, and ask for their input.

    The Ohio board is in a period of transition regarding several issues, including the alternative to discipline program. Last weekend at the spring meeting of the Ohio State Association of Nurse Anesthetists (OSANA), a newly appointed nursing board member and CRNA spoke about current issues. There has been serious discussion about ending the alternative program.

  4. by   RNaka
    Ending it as in permanently ending nurse's career if caught with a positive drug screen?
    Unfortunately, I am 2 weeks away from having no income and can't afford an attorney at this time.
    Thanks for your input.
  5. by   jackstem
    To clarify my earlier statement. The Board of nursing is considering ending the alternative to discipline program. This means if a nurse is struggling with substance abuse and/or chemical dependence...a disease, not a character flaw or a lack of willpower...the only way in which the board would deal with this issue would then be disciplinary in nature. their concerns are there appears to be a high relapse rate. As I said to the CRNA and newest board member, there is a high relapse rate because recognition and intervention is delayed until the disease has progressed to the point where it can't be ignored anymore. As we know with other chronic, progressive diseases, waiting only makes treatment more difficult and long term remission (recovery) less likely. Yet this is the way addiction is approached. Ignore it until it can't be ignored, fire the individual so they have no income and no health benefits, only cover outpatient treatment when long term (90 days or more) inpatient/residential treatment is significantly more effective, and then have little or no follow up.

    As for no money for an attorney. I hear what you're saying. Consider this...if you were facing criminal charges and possible prison time, would you still not hire an attorney? Would you represent yourself in court? Saying or signing the wrong thing when facing the board can lead to permanent loss of your license. Now you have no career and your screwed forever as far as the nursing profession goes. I tell clients I deal with who say they can't really afford an attorney to seriously reconsider their position. The board of nursing is not your friend and they certainly aren't going to look out for your best interests whether it's legally, professionally, or your health. Facing a board of nursing inquiry is frightening, intimidating, and can have permanent consequences.

    The same thing goes for treatment. Choosing the cheapest treatment program instead of the one that will provide you with the best chance for long term recovery and possibly saving your ability to practice nursing again is inpatient treatment. If you were diagnosed with cancer would you say I can't really afford all of my chemo. Give me the cheapest chemo treatment you have and I'll hope for the best? The disease of addiction is no less fatal than cancer. A majority of the population...including nurses, seem to think addiction isn't as serious as cancer or heart disease or fill-in-the-blank disease. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Addiction is a chronic, progressive, unnecessarily fatal disease. People die from it because we wait too long to intervene, we treat them with short term methods, and health care insurance provides limited coverage, one time only coverage, or no coverage. We don't manage any other disease in this fashion. In fact, if we treated cancer this way, there would be senate investigations, law suits against the doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies, and all sorts of editorials talking about how unethical and unprofessional the undertreatment of the cancer is, and it's unacceptable. That doesn't happen with addiction because it's not accepted as a "real" disease.

    Right now you are in the verge of making decisions that could end your nursing career. I strongly encourage you to seek additional input from trusted people in the profession and in your recovering community.

    You have my thoughts and prayers.

  6. by   Magsulfate
    I agree with Jack.

    Probably your best move is to keep trying in your state. It is very rare if not impossible to leave your state once you're in a recovery program. I am in Texas and it is absolutely forbidden to move out of texas.. unless of course you want to give up your texas nursing license.
  7. by   RNaka
    I screwed myself 12 yrs ago when I thought that the Board would be harsher on me if I got an attorney. They did not have an alternative program when I test positive for THC. I am dealing strictly with the disciplinary process because I was young and naive. I have a 2 yr narcotic restriction to deal with if I do obtain employment and 4 yrs probation.
    I am having a hard time even getting anyone to call me back. It's rather depressing.
    Thank you for answering my questions. I appreciate it.
  8. by   jackstem
    Yes, it is depressing, but it's not a sign of the situation being entirely hopeless. It's never hopeless, and we are never a failure until we quit.

    I kept trying to return to practice even though I never really had a solid base of recovery. I worried too much about the things I that weren't really important in the long run. As a result, I lost my marriage, my license, my career as a nurse anesthetist, my home, almost all of my pension, and my life....twice. Once by accidental OD, the other by an interrupted suicide attempt.

    Nothing....NOTHING is more important than your recovery. Without it, you have nothing. I know it sounds so trite, but it is the truth. I have less "stuff" today. But what I do have is 14 years of recovery, great relationships with my daughters, father, brother, and sister. I have great friends in recovery and a purpose in this life...spreading the hope that recovery is possible.

    The next weeks and months are going to be difficult. It will require a great deal of work. It will require the willingness to ask for and act on advice from those who have gone before you. It will require humility and the willingness to sacrifice. But it CAN be done, and it IS worth it.

    Attend more meetings, talk with your sponsor, pray for wisdom and acceptance.

    Keep coming back and let us know how we can support you.

    Big Hugs from Cincinnati.

  9. by   RNaka
    Thanks for your input, Jack. Sobriety is not an issue for me. I was a recreational pot smoker who got caught during a random drug test back in the day when there were no alternative programs. I've been clean and sober for 11 yrs now without the assistance of NA. Of course, now I am required to attend these meetings as part of my Board order.
    I just want to go back to being a nurse. I was very young and made a mistake that I feel I'm going to forever be punished for. All they see when they enter my license is that I am on probation, so I am lumped into the group of narc stealing nurses. I just wish someone would give me the chance to explain myself.
  10. by   jackstem
    Unfortunately, the Ohio Board of Nursing isn't likely to be that "someone". Many boards are like this. Since few (if any) BONs have a members who is recovering, you're facing a group of cucumbers who are all too familiar with the "dill" pickles who relapse multiple times than they are with "sweet" pickles who work a solid program of recovery with long term sobriety. They have a tendency to lump all addicts into the same group...weak-willed, repeat offenders destined to divert controlled substances and place the profession at risk. It will be difficult to change that stereotype when few nurses have an accurate understanding of the disease and it's treatment. Even more frustrating is there are very few nurses who really have an interest in learning more about all of this...until it happens to them or someone they love.