I'm 53 and newly (10 months) divorced. When I agreed to the monitoring contract, it was so that I could continue to work as a nurse. Now, after 2 years, I'm just trying to keep plodding along, keeping my head down, one day at a time, to get to the end, and once I'm out, I'm going to try to semi-retire. I can't afford to completely retire but I will go PRN and start doing some traveling that I've been wanting to do for a very long time (personal, not travel nursing). I am sick of the nursing profession and just want out, or as "out" as I can afford to be. I only keep going in the program because I need the financial security of knowing that I can come back and work as a nurse again at any time if I decide I need to. I also have a pride component, I don't want people I know to able to look up my name on the board of nursing website and see that my license has been revoked.
This program has shattered my self confidence. I used to be very confident and assertive. Now I feel like I walk around trying to be invisible. I'm paranoid about getting caught with vanilla extract in my system, and I've learned to be grateful for whatever crappy job anyone will give me. That's good, gratitude, I get that, but I used to feel that any facility would be lucky to have me work there, I've got great experience, but now I'm just grateful for the few people who were willing to hire me despite the ridiculous paperwork, restrictions, etc. And I have that awful sick feeling of humiliation in the pit of my stomach when I think of all the unsuccessful interviews I had, people who were not willing to deal with the TPAPN stuff, people who I had to tell all about why I was in TPAPN, so they can know all the juicy details and tell anyone else they know that also knows me (ER is an incredibly small world). Fun times in the gossip mill, at my expense. I had a thirst for knowledge before, reading journals, attending annual conferences, reading email distribution lists for emergency nursing. Now I just delete those emails, I throw away the journals and I don't attend the conferences. I'd have to get permission to go from TPAPN and I don't want to do anything to get me on their radar. No special requests, no reason to even know my name. I wouldn't go to the conferences anyway, because I'd encounter people who know me and my history.
I've learned humility, peeing in a cup at the lab. Humility is good sometimes, I get that. But for me, it comes at the expense of self confidence. I was so confident before. Now I feel like a low life, grateful to anyone for allowing me to work.
I just want out of nursing with my license intact.
Reading through all of this post, I can't be sure that it's all the fault of TPAPN. I mean, loss of self confidence would happen to anyone who's been fired, right? I diverted, I got caught, got fired. Of course I'm ashamed to talk about it, of course I avoid situations where I have to see any former colleagues who knew. That's really not the fault of TPAPN, to be fair. It's how all in my face, for THREE years, my disgrace is, that's really gotten to me. If I'd just gotten fired, I could've moved on, learned and not done it ever again. I hope I'd be smart enough to do that. But would I? Idk. Maybe I needed a dose of humiliation, financial burdens, time consuming IOP and AA meetings, paperwork and more paperwork etc, to ensure I'd stay clean. But a year would've been sufficient, thank you very much.