Like many,many other nurses in Florida, I am currently in the seemingly inescapable stronghold of the IPN. I was referred after taking 2 diet pills on my weekend off, and tested positive for amphetamines after an injury at work in the ICU 3 days later! Between the evaluations, mandatory outpatient meetings and seeing a psychologist,a psychiatrist, an addictionologist, mandatory attendance of 4 AA/NA meetings weekly, mandatory IPN nurse support group meetings weekly-I thought I was going to lose my mind. Instead, since I was kept out of work for over 16 weeks, and I'm the primary income in our home since my spouse is W/C bound due to SCI,---I didn't lose my mind, but we lost just about everything else we owned-including our home. When I tell you that IPN does not care one little bit about nurses or the added stress that they place on us...You can take that to the bank! Since I was referred to IPN for an innocent attempt to kick start a diet a year ago, it has cost me well over $20K if not more, in lost wages, loss of my home (which I bought in 1983!), and loss of an enormous amount of time with my husband, who requires a great deal of assistance! We have no help from anyone, neither financially nor physically.
The stress and aggravation applied by IPN was, and still is relentless, and uncaring. Nevermind, very expensive!
The IPN is a self-governing body of people who make their own set of rules, and bend them however they choose.
they are not monitored by, nor answer to the BON. Now, as a result of 30 years of lifting patients and equipment, I have had to undergo neurosurgery for the second time! This time, I bought myself 2 Titanium plates, an allograft, etc., in my C spine. Does it hurt? You bet your ass it does! Does IPN care? Not one bit! IF I should be able to return to nursing in any arena, IPN will require that I not be permitted to take any prescribed medications for pain, or the horrible neuropathy associated with this surgery. Since this was a "cumulative injury", and not something specific, I can't file Workmans Comp. Instead, I receive $200/wk disability, which doesn't go very far. What's the answer? I think that it's time that nurses like us really unite in an effort to make changes to the way IPN functions, and makes their decisions. There is absolutely NO uniform
initial evaluation protocols in place, and after a lot of investigation, the "IPN approved" physicians we are forced to go to can perform an eval any way they choose! Then, they send that eval and recommended TREATMENT MODALITY to IPN, who then proceeds to make the rest of our life hell. It costs an enormous amount of money, time, and emotion to make a mistake(even the innocent ones) which forces a nurse into the IPN. Urine drug screens-$47.00 a pop, 52 weeks in an outpatient recovery program-$4000.00, IPN support group meetings-$10.00/wk, IPN $50.00/yr, and the list goes on! There has to be a way for a higher agency to monitor IPN, mandate changes demanding uniform evaluations, and requiring annual reviews of progress, instead of arbitrarily handing out 5 year sentences to nurses who,like me, unintentionally screwed up! OK-I'm sorry this was so long, but I'm really angry that this IPN crap has had such a negative effect on my career. I don't drink alcohol, or take illicit drugs. All of the drug screens since the initial one have been negative. But, yet-----IPN goes on!!!!! ANYONE IN TALLAHASSEE LISTENING?????????:angryfire