nurses who have had a positive drug test and what the board of nursing will do

  1. 1
    I would love any advice, but please no judgement, I think I will be punished enough. thank you. I recently took a drug test for a discrepancy in the pyxis. I did not take the drug, nor do I ever take narcotics. I did however use frequently marijuana about a month ago. I have a disease called anklyosing spondilitis, which is really bad arthritis in all of my joints. My aunt who is a massage therapist in california works with a lot of pt's with my disease and stated that weed would help so she sent me some cookies to eat. I have no insurance cause I am an agency nurse and I usually get enbrel shots from my sister with the same disease, but she was out. I was desperate, not an excuse, but 800 mg of advil every 6 hours would make my kidneys fail or burn a whole in my stomach, and that is just to walk my dog, more when I had to work a 12 hour shift. My mom offered me narcotics, due to the same disease, but I did not want to go down the road.

    It was a month ago so I'm sure it will come out positive. MY QUESTION IS....if i just say ok and loose my contract, which is fine, I know they can send it to the florida board and probably will. Can the board require a hair sample if I try to fight it. If this is the case then I will just accept it and go through it, but I'm trying to avoid all that I've read. Please help not sure what to do.

    Thank you for your help
    bobbygafford likes this.
  2. 16 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    Quote from chico0909
    I would love any advice, but please no judgement, I think I will be punished enough. thank you. I recently took a drug test for a discrepancy in the pyxis. I did not take the drug, nor do I ever take narcotics. I did however use frequently marijuana about a month ago. I have a disease called anklyosing spondilitis, which is really bad arthritis in all of my joints. My aunt who is a massage therapist in california works with a lot of pt's with my disease and stated that weed would help so she sent me some cookies to eat. I have no insurance cause I am an agency nurse and I usually get enbrel shots from my sister with the same disease, but she was out. I was desperate, not an excuse, but 800 mg of advil every 6 hours would make my kidneys fail or burn a whole in my stomach, and that is just to walk my dog, more when I had to work a 12 hour shift. My mom offered me narcotics, due to the same disease, but I did not want to go down the road.

    It was a month ago so I'm sure it will come out positive. MY QUESTION IS....if i just say ok and loose my contract, which is fine, I know they can send it to the florida board and probably will. Can the board require a hair sample if I try to fight it. If this is the case then I will just accept it and go through it, but I'm trying to avoid all that I've read. Please help not sure what to do.

    Thank you for your help
    I went through exactly the same thing..I was told I could go through the recovery program or surrender my license for a year.. Since I was not an addict I surrendered.. I'm here to talk..
    shi1130 likes this.
  4. 4
    Whatever you decide make sure you can live with your decision. What some do not realize is if you surrender your license they will be marked forever with a disiplinary action that is there for all future employers to see. If you go into a program and are sucessful in completing the program no charges are filed and no one will know. It is all about what is best for you. Also keep in mind each state is different but most will still may you go through the same program after the year the difference is now you have a mark that will follow you forever. Also if you go into the program you will be able to work and earn a paycheck, yes you will have restrictions and they range from 3 months to a year. For me it was crazy to not go into the program esp when 1 year later i would still have to go into the program anyway, so I did what was best for me, and that is also what you need to do what is best for you.
    salvadordolly, Esme12, poppycat, and 1 other like this.
  5. 0
    what did you do for work in that year, this is what I'm scared of.
  6. 0
    how long is the program and how much did it cost? Did you work while in it and what did you do? I was looking and it says the IPN is five years?
  7. 1
    who knows. I'd call the board of nursing for that state.
    Meriwhen likes this.
  8. 2
    I think before you do anything......agree to anything....surrender anything.....get a lawyer. If you carry malpractice call them they also help you deal with licensure issues.

    This is FL monitoring program,....IPN: Intervention Project for Nurses Florida
    VivaLasViejas and Meriwhen like this.
  9. 1
    I would wait.. This was a month ago and the MJ was mixed in cookies. Its not like you smoked everyday for a month. You may not have enough in your system to test +. If you do, go from there. The other posters gave you good advice.
    Meriwhen likes this.
  10. 3
    The bad news: MJ is fat-soluble and tends to take a long time to clear out of a person's system. It's not unheard of for it to take a month--or longer--before someone's THC level hits 0.

    The good news: because of that fat-solubility, PO isn't the most efficient way to absorb THC. Granted, the cookie recipe itself can influence that greatly...not so much the amount of THC in there as the other ingredients in the cookie dough.

    So there's a good chance that your test may come back negative. I'd wait and see what the test results are before you say or do anything else.

    If the test is positive, I second Esme's advice and get yourself a lawyer and/or call your insurance carrier to determine the best way you should proceed. At best you may just lose your job without it being reported. At worst...

    There's positives and negatives to surrendering as well as to completing a diversion program, but only you can decide what path is the best for YOU. The lawyer's help would come in handy in determining that.

    If the test is negative...I'll be honest: scarfing down the ganja Scooby snacks is not the way to go about treating your pain. First, there's no guarantee that you wouldn't pop positive on a future test. Second, it is possible for you to develop an addiction, either by upping the amount of THC you ingest or (and I see this as the more likely scenario), you decide to try smoking it. Last, unless you have a medical MJ card, it's illegal. Even though you don't have insurance, I would try to see a doctor/HCP to talk about options for better controlling your pain.

    Best of luck whatever happens.
  11. 1
    I could not do the program. Im a single mom and could not do inpatient rehab for as long as they were suggesting. The only option i seen was to surrendar. When i got my probationary license back in Nov i was very very lucky to quickly find a job.. I asked around to all my nursing friends from the past. I was lucky to have a friend who had just moved up in her nursing job and left an empty slot. I got an amazing job making salary as a Nurse manager of a 22 bed skilled nursing unit in a retirement community. We are also doing culture change so it is not a traditional LTC facility. 7 more months or probationary license.
    Meriwhen likes this.


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