Hello fellow recovering nurses and those who support us! I have been clean and sober 8 1/2 years (yesterday, in fact!) and my license was reinstated in 2005 with permanant narcotic and work restrictions. I have had 2 jobs since re-entry, one in hemodialysis and the other in LTC. I was terminated from the LTC job in August 2010 for an unfortunate lapse in judgement that had nothing to do with nursing. I posted a comment on a social networking site that apparently violated company policy and was fired. I take responsibility for this error and have learned a valuable lesson.
I have been actively seeking employment ever since and have been on at least 15 interviews. Several potential employers would have been willing to accommodate my narc restriction but it is a felony drug conviction from 1998 that repeatedly bites me in the rear. I consulted the attorney who represented me in that case but unfortunately it cannot be expunged as I have misdemeanor drug charges incurred after that which precludes me. The LTC facility I used to work at never permormed a background check on me to the best of my knowledge, so that is probably why I got that job. It is my understanding that the Ohio Revised Code prohibits convicted felons from working in many nursing/medical positions.
So you can understand my growing frustration and sadness. I can certainly understand violent felons or those who engaged in elder abuse being prohibited from working in nursing but a non-violent, low degree drug charge?? I am banging my forehead against the wall and feel judged for who I USED to be, not who I am now. It took an enormous amount of effort not only to get sober but also get my RN License reinstated. I am starting to wonder if all the work I did to return to nursing was a huge waste of time. I have considered changing careers and pursuing drug/etoh counseling but again, I don't know if my felony conviction would prevent that as well.
In the meantime, my husband and I now receive food stamps and our daughter is on Medicaid. I need a job to help support my family but feel like I am spinning my wheels and am very discouraged. His income alone is not enough to support the 3 of us.
Any insight or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks for reading