New here and need some encouragement

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    My name is Lisa, and I'm an addict.

    Good, got that out of the way. I've been in TPAPN since Aug 2012. Sober since July 19, 2012. I'm sure my story is no different, no better, no worse than most so I'll spare the details. I self reported to both my employer and TPAPN. In hindsight, only the latter was a sound decision. I really only self-reported to my employer in that I was requesting medical leave for inpatient treatment. (my hubby and I had already decided I was going inpatient for 30 days before I reported to anyone) Unfortunately, my employer didn't appreciate my honesty (yes that's sarcasm). And like so many other Texas TPAPN nurses, here I sit with no job.

    Once I knew that I would NOT be returning to work after FMLA leave, I was fortunate enough to be able financially to not work for a little while. So I have spent this time focusing on my recovery, my self, my family, and of course my mental health...the things we nurses never have the time to focus on. And to be able to have this time off of work without the stress of worrying about an income (well not major stress), I am truly grateful.

    I knew it would be difficult to find employment once on TPAPN. I've accepted this. My thinking one wants to hire a nurse who is 45 days sober. I believed employers would be more receptive if I applied for a job at 5-6 months sober. So in the past 3 weeks I've applied for 7 jobs. I know that's not a lot. But NO ONE has called me back....well 1 did. She asked if I had any restrictions on my license so I felt I had to be upfront. My advocate has since explained to me the difference between restrictions on license and TPAPN. So moving forward I better know how to answer that question. Needless to say, I haven't heard back.

    This is completely distressing to me. I'm ready to go back to work (part time). I want to go back to work. I was not cut out to be a stay at home mom. I'm just not built that way. I'm afraid the longer I stay unemployed, the more likely I am to get really depressed again.

    The worst part is I've had such a good reputation in my area. I've worked at 3 local hospitals over the last 11 years, and developed such good relationships with doctors and nurses. In the past, when I was ready to leave a facility I picked up the phone and called in a favor. Going in for the interview was just a formality. I've never had to deal with a situation like this.

    Although I never "came out" officially to my co-workers, they all know. Towards the end I wasn't kidding anybody. So of course when I email or text asking if I can use them as a referral...I get no response.

    So what do I do?? I know there are TPAPN nurses out there with jobs.

    Anyone out there in cyber land want to put in a good word for me?? Referral bonus!! YEAH!!

    Anyone know of any PT day nurse jobs in the Dallas area where I won't work alone, or nights, or call....

    All joking aside, if anyone knows of a nurse support group in the Dallas area please let me know. If not, lets make one. The worst part if feeling so isolated from my peers. Doesn't have to be a 12 step thing...let's just get together and vent, complain, and support each other through this. Maybe even help each other network for jobs.

    Thanks for listening to me gripe.

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  2. 14 Comments...

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    Hi Lisa,

    I'm sorry your going through such a rough situation. My situation was different so I don't have any advice. I'm here to listen anytime though. I'm sorry you feel secluded from you past peers.

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    Hi, Ms. Lisa,

    There's a health care provider group (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, etc.) called "Caduceus". It is a group for addicts and alcoholics and it's only the health care profession. Call TPAPN and ask if they have a listing of meetings. They should. I know I am in HPMP in Virginia and they had a list. It is not listed publicly because these are confidential meetings (anonymous) and it is to ensure that only health care providers attending and not the general public.
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    I went through that at first. I just hit 6 months on the 13th but have been able to start looking for work since the end of July. I thought it was me. The calls trickled in and I've had 9 interview with three more calls this week. One from a hospital I applied to back in August. No luck so far though and I've tweaked my resume and interview style quite alot. Just keep on trucking our time will come. I know here IPN dosen't tell all the "dirty secrets' to an employer. So if your license in still clear this is a blessing as you don't have to tell all. As addicts I know we want to let our mouths get in front of us, and in recovery we are told truth in all. Not on this if you want a job. People that haven't walked in our shoes are unforgiving.
    Here in Florida we are required to go to meetings once a week. We only can miss six meetings a year or it's considered a relapse. I have heared of some horriable group leaders but I got lucky. We are all very close and even have pot lucks.
    Last edit by moorefun11 on Nov 15, '12 : Reason: more info
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    Lisa- these people that you used to be friendly with- are you close enough to any of them to call them or see them in person & call in one of those favors??? if not- try dialysis clinics- they don't handle narcs- so that restriction doesn't matter. i know of a clinic here in central tx that is always desparate for help (yes, there is a reason, but it's a job & it's doable). but it's about 100 miles from you. best of luck- focus on the next right thing in front of you- it will eventually all fall in to place!!
    MichelleRN34 likes this.
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    Hi Lisa, and all the other nurses in recovery!
    I just have to say how comforting it is to know there are other nurses out there in recovery. I felt so alone for the longest time like I was the only recovering nurse.

    I am in PNAP. (PA) I self reported in April, went to rehab and will have 7 months clean and sober Tuesday.
    It was been such a long journey in that 7 months. I didn't lose my license (thank God)!

    My inspiring story is this..........I was luckily able to return to work after 4 months. I applied for a job, interviewed and offered the job on the spot. The DON who interviewed me was inspired by my recovery. She told me people deserve second chances. She hired me as a charge nurse on an adolescent inpatient psychiatric unit. I had to leave the ER and can't work any critical care while in the monitoring program. I thought I would never get a job while in the PHMP....but I did. And you will to. Don't give up.

    As for the nurse's meetings. There are meetings for healthcare professionals all over. Unfortunatly, I have none in my area. Closest one is two hours away. So, I am looking into starting one for my area because the need is definatly there.

    Hang in there.
    We are not alone.
    LCabuhatRN and catmom1 like this.
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    Hey Lisa,

    I am in the CDDP program in NC in which our program seems just as difficult as other states or worse. The NCBON restrictions are for a year of NO narcotics, night shift, overtime, ICU, ED, Hospice, Home health, rehab or drug tx facilities. Plus, we have to work under the supervision of another RN. Our restrictions start the day of employment.

    During the process of getting your license active, of course we have to do counseling for a lengthy period of time, drug screens which is 76.00 each and NA meetings. It is a financial burden esp. when you don't have the means to make ends meat. I understand your frustration; however, it does get better.

    My best advice is to apply for as many jobs as you can. Search for facilities in your area and ask to speak to the DON to gather his/her name. Go to the facility dressed and prepared as if you have an interview. Ask to speak to the DON/hiring manager by first name. Face-to-face impression is always the best route. Sale yourself. Discuss how this situation has made you a better nurse and, more importantly, a better person. I found a job three months after my license was re-active. It started as PRN and now I am Full time. I was honest and upfront. My restrictions are projected to be lifted after 4 more months. APPLY FOR JOBS AS IF IT IS YOUR JOB.

    P.S. Please don't put a job before your recovery. Equal efforts.

    "We came to believe..." Faith
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    @TorsadesRN I am from PA and I was considering relocating after the year of my restrictions are finished; however, you said during the 3 years while in the program that you cannot work in the critical care? 
  10. 0
    Hi Austin,
    With PNAP (PA's monitoring program) my stipulations are No ER, ICU, PACU, cath lab's, home health, no supervisor postition and no doctor's office for the three years in the program. I was lucky to land a job at an inpatient psychiatric hospital full time. I do have a 6 month narcotic restriction but I very rarely give a controlled substance. If I would, the supervisors I work with know I am in recovery and are awesome. They would give the med until my restriction is up.
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    Hello Austin,I to am from NC. Lost my dream job 2 yrs ago for diversion, turned into the BON & now going through all the hoops to try to get my license back. I wasn't able to get into the monitor program bc they said I wasn't an addict but in all reality I was. I surrendered my license as a result. Currently I'm doing the daily call in for UA's & doing my intensive therapy, getting ready to start my aftercare program. How far are you in the CDDP? Do you know any other nurses that have gone through this from NC? I'm so stressed & worried that I'll never be able to be a nurse again.

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