IPN questions, please help!

  1. 0
    Hi! I have a few questions regarding the IPN program in FL. I am an RN referred to the IPN program to have an evaluation done to see if I need to be followed by the IPN program. From what I have read on these boards, unless you are ACTUALLY an addict, the IPN program is a HUGE waste of people's time, money, and career for that matter This is very concerning to me. I am currently not working (by my choice) and dont have a lot of free money at this time, although I do wish to keep my nursing license current just in case I'd like to return to work one day.

    Anyway, I am in pain management for a severe injury and several resulting back surgeries. I have weaned myself off of the pain meds as I did not care for the way they made me feel. I have not taken anything in abt 24 days. (Please note I am not saying that I will NEVER take them again in the future, just that i've not had a really super bad day in the past 24 days...) If my pain gets really bad, believe me, I know that my pain pills can be a life-saver!) Anyway, I am going to see one of the drs that the IPN program told me to go see to have the evaulation done in 2 days. I really have no clue what to expect other than I assume they will perform some sort of drug test. Does anyone know what type of drug test they will do? (UA, hair, blood, etc?) How far back do they test? Just one month? I was open and honest with my IPN coordinator and told her that I am in pain management currently but that eventhough I am perscribed meds, I refuse to take them... But like I said, 24 days ago, I NEEDED one of my pain pills.

    My question regarding that is, if they did decide I need to be followed for whatever reason, what would be the point of the drug testing and etc if you already KNOW I take a needed and perscribed med?? They cannot order me to NOT take it, correct?? I'm not even working, so how would I be at risk to the community? lol.

    Secondly, does anyone actually go to these evaluations, come out ok, and NOT have to sign their contracts for the IPN??? Bc from everything I've read, everyone seems to have to end up signing a contract and get followed for 2-5 years and spend a hellish amout of money and time on this program! Then, to make matters worse, they cant find jobs to pay back all the amount of money they've spent trying to keep their license in the first place!!

    This has been an extrememly frustrating ordeal and I just need to hear some advice and learn what to expect from some people who have been through it. Please help!!
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  3. 11 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Quote from NurseNeedsHelpPlease
    Hi! I have a few questions regarding the IPN program in FL. I am an RN referred to the IPN program to have an evaluation done to see if I need to be followed by the IPN program. From what I have read on these boards, unless you are ACTUALLY an addict, the IPN program is a HUGE waste of people's time, money, and career for that matter This is very concerning to me. I am currently not working (by my choice) and dont have a lot of free money at this time, although I do wish to keep my nursing license current just in case I'd like to return to work one day.
    I am not sure where you got your information, but you are very much so incorrect. IPN will follow someone who IS NOT an ADDICT. If you are being "Referred" to IPN then there is an issue some where.

    Anyway, I am in pain management for a severe injury and several resulting back surgeries. I have weaned myself off of the pain meds as I did not care for the way they made me feel. I have not taken anything in abt 24 days. (Please note I am not saying that I will NEVER take them again in the future, just that i've not had a really super bad day in the past 24 days...) If my pain gets really bad, believe me, I know that my pain pills can be a life-saver!) Anyway, I am going to see one of the drs that the IPN program told me to go see to have the evaulation done in 2 days. I really have no clue what to expect other than I assume they will perform some sort of drug test. Does anyone know what type of drug test they will do? (UA, hair, blood, etc?) How far back do they test? Just one month? I was open and honest with my IPN coordinator and told her that I am in pain management currently but that eventhough I am perscribed meds, I refuse to take them... But like I said, 24 days ago, I NEEDED one of my pain pills.
    Sorry to say, but even if you are in "Pain Management", there is NO REASON why you shouldn't be followed by IPN. You have already tossed a flag to the IPN coordinator by telling them you refuse to take your medication. That falls under being no compliant in their book. As for the evaluation. Each evaluator can do different things.

    My question regarding that is, if they did decide I need to be followed for whatever reason, what would be the point of the drug testing and etc if you already KNOW I take a needed and perscribed med?? They cannot order me to NOT take it, correct?? I'm not even working, so how would I be at risk to the community? lol.
    If IPN finds you need to be followed, they normally will take into consideration (with documentation from your Pain Management Doctor) you course of management and whether or not you are safe to practice from the eye's of your PM Doctor, the evaluator and IPN.

    As for not being "Ordered" not to take it, IPN can keep you from practicing as a Nurse in the State of Florida and they can and will flip your case over to the BON if needed. I am not 100% sure how it works with nurse's who are under PM care, but I do know when I had to have surgery a couple of years back, I had to pull myself out of work for 3 weeks. I did not take any pain medication after surgery, but it was because of the medication I received during the surgery that kept IPN from giving me a return to work status.

    Secondly, does anyone actually go to these evaluations, come out ok, and NOT have to sign their contracts for the IPN??? Bc from everything I've read, everyone seems to have to end up signing a contract and get followed for 2-5 years and spend a hellish amout of money and time on this program! Then, to make matters worse, they cant find jobs to pay back all the amount of money they've spent trying to keep their license in the first place!!
    I can say I have not see 1 person who has been referred to IPN not end up getting a contract. As for the amount of time, each case is different. But I do know that most of the 2 year contracts are for Pot or DUI's and most of the 5 year contracts are for Narcs. I haven't seen anything in between the 2 years or 5 years.

    As for the cost. Again depends on the contract. But basically it's..
    $50.00 yearly to IPN for membership (it's a book for CEU's you get).
    Then it's $42.00 for the basic UDS (which can be 2-4 times a month, depends on your contract again).
    Then there are weekly nurse support groups. It's hard to put a price on them, since they are not governed by IPN and the person running the group can basically charge you what ever they want. I have seen them run as high as $25.00 weekly.
    Plus, if your contract has therapy of any type written in it. What I mean by this is if IPN is requiring you to go to see someone to talk to them.

    This has been an extrememly frustrating ordeal and I just need to hear some advice and learn what to expect from some people who have been through it. Please help!!
    I hope this has helped. PM me if you have any questions

    SP
  5. 0
    My IPN contract is complete in April. Does anyone know the process/steps of completion and having your license cleared? How long will it take or is there anything I should be preparing now so they cant delay completion?
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    If you are referred you will most certainly be told that you need to be in the program. I got a DUI in another state in 2007 and haven't had anything to drink since that fateful night (6 years now). When I applied for my Florida license in 2010,I disclosed that and was asked to have an evaluation by IPN and one of their addiction specialist doctors. They promptly recommended the program and told me that I would be unable to get my license unless I participated and signed a 5 year contract.
    I have been 100% compliant with the contract, and just tested positive for ETG. I wasn't notified by IPN for 14 days, and I promptly requested a PEth test since I have not ingested any alcohol.
    They so far have refused to give me a copy of the test results, and have restricted me from practice despite glowing recommendations from both my employer and the IPN group facilitator.
    (I am sober for 4 years upon entry to the program and get a five year contract, and since I have been in, there have been several who diverted drugs, used cocaine, etc and they were given a 1 or 2 year contract. Sounds like a fair program, right?)
    I will attempt to prove my innocence, and am considering retirement once I have done that. At 62 years old, I can't be worried about another event such as this. Given the fact that exposure to the hand cleaners, bed cleaners and other incidental contact can cause a positive test, and IPN will automatically assume you are guilty should be a warning to anyone to be wary of this program.
    Hopefully my PEth test will be back in the next week, but I will be out about $1000 by the time I pay for the PETH, the repeat of the initial urine sample, and the "evaluation" by another of their addiction doctors.
  7. 0
    What evaluator did you go to see?
  8. 2
    Just a reminder not to post names
    sissiesmama and Esme12 like this.
  9. 0
    Unfortunately I know about IPN. First of all you don't need to be an addict to be referred to IPN. The website states "The mission of IPN is to ensure public health and safety by providing an avenue for swift intervention/close monitoring and advocacy of nurses whose practice may be impaired due to the use, misuse, or abuse of alcohol or drugs, or a mental and/or physical condition. IPN is authorized by Florida Statute, Chapter 464/456, to assist those nurses whose practice is affected." MENTAL or PHYSICAL condition. As far as I know 2 year contracts do not exist any longer. 5 years is the norm. In my case , I am subjected to quarterly hair tests at almost $300 each. That is because fentanyl was my DOC. IPN is very expensive and really kicks you while you're down. It is a huge money making program. They DO NOT care about you, remember that they are not your friend!
  10. 1
    Does anyone know what happens under a narcotic contract with IPN if you become pregnant and have an epidural at delivery or IV pain meds? Any info is appreciated!
    TXRN2 likes this.
  11. 0
    don't know about IPN- but when i was in a monitoring program- i had surgery- was required to have a neg. drug screen before returning to work. they knew i would be off for a certain # of weeks- drug screens were suspended during that time.
  12. 0
    Thanks for your response! IPN replied to me, I asked via email and was basically answered like you said.


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