Renewing nursing license

  1. I really am unsure of what to do. I've been sober for a year and a half and i'm about to renew my nursing license. I'm unsure of what to do about- "Since last renewal, have you been diagnosed or treated for substance abuse?". Obviously, the answer is yes as I was in a detox 18 months ago but I just don't know what will happen by checking yes. I'll likely loose my job as I do give out narcotics everyday, right? I know what the sober thing to do is but I just don't want to. I have a sponsor, work the steps, and go to aa most night but I don't really have any proof for them to believe that I actually am sober. Does anyone have any advice to offer?
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    Joined: Mar '12; Posts: 1


  3. by   mary10
    I'm a graduate of an impaired nurses program in my state. I was referred to them by my employer. It was lifesaving, yes, but expensive and career-altering, too. If you are not actively using, I would avoid the Board of Nursing at all costs. I say do not tell them about your medical history, but I would also run this decision past your sponsor, too. Best of luck to you.
  4. by   jackstem
    consult with a license defense attorney with experience before the board of nursing. answering these questions incorrectly can have far reaching consequences...some worse than you'd expect. every board deals with this differently so asking someone in state a what to do when you're in state b could be the wrong thing to do. yeah, i know, you have to pay an attorney for consultation and/or representation but representing yourself could make things much worse. would you represent yourself in a criminal case or a civil lawsuit? no? then why place your livelihood at risk?

    interesting article written by a nurse attorney.

    when should you retain a license defense attorney? below is a quote from this blog post. it's by an ohio attorney but the same principles apply in any state:

    when should you contact a board of nursing license defense attorney
    1. [color=#b22222]you are about to fill out your nursing license renewal application for the ohio board of nursing, and you have to disclose information that can be cause for a disciplinary action.
    2. you have received a call or correspondence from a compliance or investigative agent from the ohio board of nursing, requesting you to contact them. it is highly advisable not to talk with or write to anybody at the ohio board of nursing before you contact a nursing license defense attorney and discuss your issue. under no circumstances should you sign a consent agreement without first consulting with an attorney who regularly practices before the ohio board of nursing.
    3. you have been charged with a crime, either related or unrelated to your work as a nurse, and you are worried about the impact it may have on your nursing license.
    4. you have received a consent agreement from the ohio board of nursing. (in the cover letter you are given an opportunity to seek legal help before signing the agreement. don’t be your own attorney. your license and livelihood are in jeopardy. you should seek the advice of an experienced ohio board of nursing license defense attorney before you enter into any agreement with the ohio board of nursing).
    5. you are applying for a nursing license from the ohio board of nursing, and you have affirmative answers to some of their questions which might be damaging to you.
    6. you were given an opportunity for a hearing from the ohio board of nursing, or you are scheduled for a conference with an ohio board of nursing investigator
    7. your nursing license has been suspended by the ohio board of nursing, and you need legal assistance with reinstating your nursing license
    8. you have an upcoming hearing scheduled before a hearing examiner
    9. you feel that your case in front of the ohio board of nursing was not handled in a fair or satisfactory way, and you want a trial lawyer to appeal your case to the civil courts in ohio
    on the recovery end of things. please don't take this as a criticism or attack...i'm just approaching this as i would as a sponsor or recovery coach.

    it sucks to have to continue to pay the price for the things we did when our disease was active. that's simply the reality we face. people who have chronic diseases have all sorts of consequences they must deal with as a result of that disease. the consequences are even higher when we don't change our lifestyle in order to keep that disease in check. the diabetic who doesn't change their diet, follow an exercise program, and doesn't keep track of their blood sugar will eventually face things like renal failure, heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, etc. many "just don't want to do it". that's their choice, but they need to be ready to face the consequences of the choices they make.

    we are not responsible for having this disease (that's a combination of genetics, environmental stressors, and exposure to mood altering chemicals), but we are responsible for doing what's necessary to remain clean and sober. what does your sponsor and your home group recommend?

    you said you're working the 12 steps. what step are you on? read "how it works" from the big book. it says,
    "we thought we could find an easier softer way. we could not."
    it also says we must be rigorously honest with ourselves. the na version of "how it works" says the following
    "three of these (spiritual principles) that are indispensable are honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness. with these we are well on our way."
    admitting what you must do is difficult and you don't want to do it is a fantastic start. but now you must act on that. if your state has an alternative to discipline program, contact them for information on how to proceed. be careful though...some programs are managed by the board of nursing. this is why i recommend you consult with a license defense attorney. you can contact the american association of nurse attorneys for names of attorneys in your state.

    good luck! let us know how things go.