Newly Fired

  1. So, I made a mistake at work. I randomly started abusing narcotics about 6 months ago when I accidentally brought a vial of fentanyl home from work one day. I had been investigated a couple months ago after my omnicell counts started coming up higher than others at work and somehow my drug test came up completely negative and I was relieved of any suspicion. However, I couldn't stop no matter how hard I tried. Now, I'm newly unemployed and fighting for my sanity. My questions are:
    1) How long is it going to take for me to hear from the BON?
    2) Someone in my exit meeting told me not to even bother trying to get a job taking care of patients. Is this true? I have worked in dialysis before and they do not dispense narcotics and I feel like, after watching everyone else's posts, that there is no way in hell I can go almost a year without having a job because I'm in limbo.
    3) I was not arrested at the time of my firing but was told there was a possibility I could be. Wouldn't they have done so already?

    I'm so stressed and anxious and completely disappointed in myself for what I've done. I'm a great nurse and every one was shocked when they found out I was let go (no one knows why and they can't figure out why one of their hardest working, most competent nurses no longer works there). I took the initiative and started outpatient drug therapy and started going to AA/NA meetings on my own. I just feel like I'm lost at sea and have no way to save myself from drowning.

    If anyone has any helpful tips, please share.
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  2. Visit Nursey1982 profile page

    About Nursey1982, BSN

    Joined: Dec '17; Posts: 5; Likes: 10
    from US

    22 Comments

  3. by   tiffpritRN
    From experience, the BON can take what seems like forever. From the time I self reported back in Feb 2016 , it took about a month for the BON to contact me to meet with an investigator. I met with one in March 2106 . Now , I haven't heard back from them and 2017 is almost over. Thank God I found a job in dialysis a little over a year ago- I went about 6 months without a job. So far my license is active and unrestricted .
    I'm sure that will change when I hear something back from the BON. Like you said, in dialysis we don't pass out narcotics. Someone gave me the advice to get a dialysis job and glad I did .
    What state are you in? I'm in Mississippi. I know each states BON is a little different.
    Good luck and God bless! We're basically all in the same boat. There's a great deal of support in this forum.
  4. by   Nursey1982
    I'm in Iowa. I worked in dialysis for almost a decade as a tech before I became a nurse. I'm nervous but I'd rather be a productive financial partner in my household and have a job instead of just sitting around and waiting. I'm nervous about whether or not to tell them if I interview about why I'm not at my last job and I'd have to figure out what to do about my 4 day a week outpatient therapy group...
  5. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Hello and welcome. You are facing the same hell many here have and hopefully you will find some understanding and compassion here. First, if the cops were gonna file charges they would have almost certainly done so quickly. I doubt without direct testimony they would be able to build much of a case against you like somebody saw you stealing / taking drugs. What they probably have is enough evidence to fire you (bad narc counts perhaps a failed DAU) neither of which would probably pass the acid test of admissibility into court so let that go. Second, nurses in your situation get jobs & dialysis and long term care seem to be popular landing spots even for nurses facing criminal charges. These might not be jobs you want but they may be jobs to be had. I honestly have no idea how long its going to take the BON to get back to you but it seems like now you have an unrestricted license and you are doing the right thing by seeking treatment. Stay clean. Get a Lawyer for the BON. Get a Job for you. Be well.
  6. by   Lisacar130
    Each board is different and even in the same state it can vary how long it takes the board to contact you.
    The person at your exit meeting is an idiot and you can work in dialysis. You're very lucky you already have experience. Get a job now while your license is clean and you shouldn't have a problem later on if it goes on probation. I know of a nurse who did just that (got a dialysis job while license was clean) and they were fine with filling out the quarterly report when she ended up on probation for what happened at a previous job. Dialysis is known to be recovery friendly and if you are already working there I can't imagine they would let you go. You could consider having 2 part time HD jobs or one full time and one PRN at two different companies just to have your foot in the door at two different places just in case.
    I'm almost certain you would have been arrested by now. If you were going to be arrested it would have been the same day you were caught.
  7. by   Lisacar130
    For the record, I don't think any hospital will tell a new employer what happened and the HR dept almost always just confirms dates of employment and title held. Only if the company is a part of a larger organization and you apply at one of their other sites will they say if you weren't rehirable.
  8. by   tiffpritRN
    I work for Fresenius and after they hire someone , they put them through a 3 month class (class and clinicals) before the nurse is actually put on the dialysis floor full time. When I was in class/clinicals ,I was through no later than 4-4:30 - time to get to an outpatient class if I had one . Maybe the job training would last long enough to get you through outpatient. I did outpatient 3 nights a week for 10 weeks but I wasn't working at the time- I was applying for jobs though and this dialysis job became available about a week after I was through with outpatient.
    As far as telling employers why you no longer have your previous job , you could just leave it open - "needed a job change, etc" From what I'm used to seeing, previous employers can only provide an employee's dates of employment , not a reference. That's how I've seen it in my 20 yrs of nursing here in MS. I've had to list references but my previous employers weren't required to give a reference.
    From what I've seen (and experienced) it's a good idea to get a nursing job while you can - either long term care or dialysis. I'm glad now that I got a job when I did , I was so nervous on the beginning though so I can definately relate. Be sure to get you a AA/NA sponsor if you haven't already , and keep a record of your attendance/signatures . I have almost 2 years worth in a folder. I want the monitoring demons to see how hard I've worked to stay sober and to get back in nursing. I couldn't imagine me having any other job but nursing , it's all I've known since 1997!
    There's times I still get depressed thinking about how I messed up, but I've learned to pull myself out of that depression with God's help, and look forward - not back. Addiction can happen to anyone . Sure never thought in a million years it would happen to me.
    Keep us posted, and keep you're head up! You're worth it!
    Last edit by tiffpritRN on Dec 12, '17 : Reason: Spelling
  9. by   rn1965
    Be sure to get you a AA/NA sponsor if you haven't already , and keep a record of your attendance/signatures . I have almost 2 years worth in a folder. I want the monitoring demons to see how hard I've worked to stay sober and to get back in nursing. I couldn't imagine me having any other job but nursing , it's all I've known since 1997!
    There's times I still get depressed thinking about how I messed up, but I've learned to pull myself out of that depression with God's help, and look forward - not back. Addiction can happen to anyone . Sure never thought in a million years it would happen to me.
    Keep us posted, and keep you're head up! You're worth it!
    Very good advice. I have many years of signed AA/NA sheets and a sponsor who wrote me a very nice letter. Go in with all the support docs you can!

    Good luck, and you will find this forum very helpful. There are a great bunch of folks here, in the same boat, who want to support and help!
  10. by   Orca
    As far as your employment goes, a lot will depend upon what action the BON takes in regard to your license. If it is suspended or revoked, you won't be able to practice at all (in the case of suspension, it will be time limited). If you just have restrictions as far as handling narcotics, dialysis nursing may be an option for you.

    I wish you the best in your recovery. I have worked on a chemical dependency unit, and I know how tough a road lies ahead of you.
  11. by   Lisacar130
    It can depend on the state, but as long as you do everything you're supposed to do "usually" the worst case scenario is probation. I have seen suspensions for things like writing fake prescriptions (seen as worse than diverting by BON) but even the one case I personally know of was only a 1 month suspension (followed by years of probation) for writing a fake script. The people in my state that get the year suspension usually dropped dirty while they were already in a monitoring program or tried resisting the BON by denying they had a problem and didn't do what was required. In my state it takes something like abusing a patient or an assault charge to get your license revoked.
    Also... some states won't even make your discipline public if you self report immediately. I don't know when you were fired but I would find out if you should. You would have to do it right away so don't delay, but call a nurse lawyer and ask. They will probably tell you for free (act like you're interested in possibly hiring them even if you arent) and if not just call another until one of them tells you.
  12. by   dirtyhippiegirl
    I guess the only issue might be that sometimes you're required to stop working and do whatever assessment and treatment the BON mandates before they give you the okay to go back to work. (Even though you're doing treatment on your own, some states will decide that you need a specific kind of treatment...) Your new job might not be able to hold a spot for several weeks to several months.

    I was initially eager to get back to work too -- although we didn't need my income to pay the basic bills, I felt like I needed to be financially productive and knew that boredom was a trigger for my drinking. In hindsight, I needed time off to concentrate on recovery. I was still able to fill my time with exercise and yoga classes and volunteer work inbetween treatment and AA...skills that I still incorporate into my long-term recovery. (Although I know that it's hard to imagine the long term when everything is so imminently anxiety provoking right now.) Anyway, just another thought.
  13. by   ruby_jane
    When you apply, do not mention investigation, as it hasn't happened yet. The BON won't confirm or deny any investigation until you get a letter from them. You aren't in limbo. You were dismissed from a job and it may be that the Board will come calling. Others on this site may have better info about self-reporting than I do, but it seems to depend on the state. You can still work with patients. Good luck.
  14. by   JxoRN
    I am in the same boat as you are. However, my work, when they dismissed me ( I admitted it, complied etc) They told me to self report as they would too. They never reported me. I reported myself. I was able to meet with the main person from the program and now in a IOP program. She told me after 2 IOP classes and 1 clean UA I can have permission to go back to work. Same restrictions, no narcotics for a year. So I had my first interview yesterday with a dialysis clinic. It went awesome. I was honest and told her... You can still do patient care, just have to look for it. I was the same way, I couldn't stop crying, I still feel like a loser because I am bored and all I do is these IOP classes and sit on my cell phone. Which mind you, these IOP classes is a joke. As I sat in the waiting room, one guy was selling coke, and 2 other men were talking about things they drink to have their urine clean. Its just crazy to me. You will get through this as we all are. I just started this program on Monday... so I have a LONG way to go.
    I am in AZ btw, again your board may be different.

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