Help my wife got caught diverting - page 2

I NEED advice. My wife an RN of 10 years was confronted and admitted to drug diverting of fentanyl . It has been going on a few months due to chronic pain. No excuse but shes been seeking help from... Read More

  1. by   got_nurseing73
    wow . If I may ask were you off work long? Was it hard getting a job if and when you have restrictions?
  2. by   Recovering_RN
    I was off for 5 months. That included 2 weeks just waiting for the call confirming I'd been fired after I got sent home. Then another 3 months of IOP. I didn't have to do inpatient but my IOP was 4 hours a day, three times a week, and I was doing the 90/90 AA meetings every day at that time too so I wouldn't have been able to handle a job anyway. After IOP I was released to find a job. Another month looking, interviewing, being rejected, etc. Finally got a job in home health. The restrictions were only for narc administration and they don't administer meds much at my agency. Going in to for the random drug tests were very convenient too, with home health, since I would just go in between patient visits. Now I work night shift at a free standing ER. I couldn't do that job while under narc restrictions. Night shift is also restricted I think, for the first six months. But night shift makes it pretty easy to get my testing done.
  3. by   Lisacar130
    The details mentioned here vary by state so keep that in mind. For example, in IL we only get tested about once a month. We are expected to go to two meetings a week but it could be any 12 step meeting, which are free. Nurse meetings are free and optional. We have a website we log into daily to see if we have to test that day and can log in any time, 24 hours a day. We can test anytime that day as long as the lab is open. Some states are more likely to give job restrictions than others. My only restriction is I have to be on vivitrol (it's a once a month injection that would prevent opiates from working if I used) if I am working with narcotics in any way.

    Right now her license is fine so she shouldn't have to tell her current employer anything. Nothing will happen until after the hearing. But, you dont know if they would fire her or not after the hearing and after her license has a mark or if she is on probation. Or if she gets restrictions where she can't work with controlled substances. If she is passing meds at the nursing home, she is working with controlled substances. I would strongly suggest a treatment nurse or wound care or some nursing home job or any job that does not pass meds. (And not in a hospital in any position because hospital's HR dept pretty much anywhere does not want to deal with this and will almost always let the nurse go after they find out). Another idea is to have her get another job even if just one day a week somewhere else too just to have her foot in another door at another location.

    ***It is easier to stay employed after getting on probation than it is to go on job interviews and get hired with a license already on probation status. And she would be best off in a job now that would be compatible with any future restrictions she might get.
  4. by   sissiesmama
    Quote from SpankedInPittsburgh
    I hope they feel that the outpatient therapy does the trick. It wouldn't here I don't believe. As far as not being able to afford it I've seen no evidence that they care at all. Sad but true. Many nurses here lost their license because they couldn't afford to pay for all this "treatment" after losing their livelihood and insurance that goes with it
    That's how it is here in La too.
  5. by   Lisacar130
    OK, see the link below for specifics on Missouri:

    Board of Nursing (Scroll down)

    It looks like they don't have any alternative to discipline, so pretty much she will end up with a public discipline, where any employer or future employer will see what happened. I don't think there's much a lawyer can do, I would only use a lawyer in this situation if I were innocent and thought I could prove it. But with a positive drug test, there's no way out of this. I would still have her meet the lawyer to see what they say but I wouldn't use one myself in this scenario (unless they were very cheap, like under $3K).

    She will almost most certainly end up on probation either way, probably with restrictions. Again, I stress getting a restriction friendly job now while her license is clean. A doctor's office, dialysis clinic, would care RN (not in a hospital). When you're on probation, you usually have to have your employer fill out a quarterly report about you, and have job restrictions. A "censured" license I believe has no restrictions or quarterly reports but the discipline is public and anyone can see it when checking your license online, including current or prospective employers. You could be fired for having either discipline so not sure how a lawyer could help. Waste of money for the price you said they wanted.

    I don't think suspension is likely, but that's what would happen if she relapsed while being monitored after the board hearing.
    Last edit by Lisacar130 on Nov 4
  6. by   got_nurseing73
    Thank you. It is stressful just reading these. No one in Missouri yet.. hard to find someone to talk to because its so embarrassing and private. Not like you want to broadcast it. I know states vary. We are hoping she can at least keep working until the board review which I read could be months n months away so we can at least afford a lawyer and get a little ahead for bills and all the tests she will have to do. She talks with the lawyer in a week n half so hope he will know more or if its worth fighting here. She is looking into phlebotomy maybe its not Rn but something and no license needed just 2 day a week 6 week course she found here.
  7. by   got_nurseing73
    I wonder what happens if she doesn't respond to letter? censure or license suspended? Thank you
  8. by   got_nurseing73
    From what I hear there is or will be an RN shortage in the future.... If that's true then you would think that with so many nurses having some issues either drug or alcohol (from what I have read here and other places) the boards would lighten up a little and employers would be willing to give 2nd chances. If its truly safety of patients why not test every dr and nurse every few months...what's 45$ if safety is the concern. I think its more about saving face and making money for rehab facility's and drug labs :-(
  9. by   DRossy
    They'll revoke her license if she doesn't respond...
  10. by   canoehead
    Quote from got_nurseing73
    From what I hear there is or will be an RN shortage in the future.... If that's true then you would think that with so many nurses having some issues either drug or alcohol (from what I have read here and other places) the boards would lighten up a little and employers would be willing to give 2nd chances. If its truly safety of patients why not test every dr and nurse every few months...what's 45$ if safety is the concern. I think its more about saving face and making money for rehab facility's and drug labs :-(
    Great, lets get everyone who has never used to pony up $600 a year so those that get caught feel better. That won't make your tests any cheaper.

    She will get her second chance, if she follows their program. She could have just lost her license immediately and forever. The program is a PIA, but if it was easy it would mean absolutely nothing when people completed it.
  11. by   Lisacar130
    Chemical Dependency Peer Assistance Program - Missouri Nurses Association

    This person looks like they can help to give your wife some advise, specific to your state.

    I would only work in phlebotomy if my license was revoked or suspended. This shouldn't happen to your wife if she is compliant. Not responding to the letter will result in a suspension. Unless Missouri is different, she should be able to continue working as a nurse until the hearing. But after the hearing, she will end up with restrictions (like, cannot work with narcotics) and would possibly have to then quit from the nursing home and have to apply for another job WHILE having a license with a mark on it. Why not just get a nursing job now while license is clean that does not deal with narcotics? It is very hard to go on interviews and have to explain to a potential employer that you diverted fentanyl and it is very hard to get hired. It is best to get a job now while license is clean that the board will be OK with (no controlled substances). Good luck.
  12. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    This sounds like good advice. Get a job that she can hold while under license restrictions now and hope that the board doesn't make her leave it once this tidal wave of crap hits her. Let me ask you this, how is your wife doing? Does she want to continue being a nurse? In my support group most nurses work in three areas; nursing home (manorcare is big here), dialysis (DaVita) and Doctors Offices. I work for a governmental agency with a union contract so I was moved into a case management job from the ER which basically cut my paycheck by at least a third (no OT or shift differentials) but at least I kept my job. Besides one other nurse I've met in the program who worked at the same place everybody else lost their jobs and had to start over. I wish her and your family the best of luck!!!
  13. by   hppygr8ful
    Quote from got_nurseing73
    Thank you for input. She has been going to meetings for recovery. She got a nursing home job...guess the lawyer can say if she need to tell them anything or quit. She meets lawyer meeting in a week. She just got letter wanting response in 30 days. It did say it would take months to investigate and review..My question is will they suspend once the 30 day letter is returned or can she work until the final review by board. Again it takes nursing money to pay for all this...I called around and most wanted 10k up front found one in the field said 2k down and monthly payments . I read 5-20k is normal but if she can keep license its worth it but I fear all the red tape and trying to find a job while on restrictions. If she cant keep working we have talked about her just finding something else to do I suppose. Without a nursing job there's no way we can afford another treatment program and lawyer and everyday bills too. She was wrong to do it but man they make it so hard. If they really care about theis issue why don't DR.s and nurses get drug tested regularly ?
    The answers to your questions are state specific but if this will take months even up to a year to investigate and your wife is working now - she could continue to work as much as possible and sock away as much money as possible until the BON catches up with her. The other option which she should discuss with her attorney is simply turning herself into an alternative to discipline program and start getting it over with. They may or may not require in-patient but they will require daily AA/NA meetings for at least 90 days and/or as long as they keep her practice suspended. There will be random UDS and employment monitoring as well. Best of luck to you both.

    Hppy

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