suspension/reinstatment question

  1. I need some advice/info. I'm looking for gut level honesty, not pep talks or what would Florence do. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but I'm 40 yrs old and need to figure out what i need to do. Long story short, I entered the KARE program, Kentucky's voluntary monitering program in Jan of this year. I have been sober for 9 months. I missed two drug tests d/t finances in the last 3 months and now am being terminated from the program and suspended for 2 years. My question is this. Is there realistic hope to get a job once I get my licensce back? I have only had 2 jobs, both in level one trauma ER's. First for 5 years, terminated for attendance (indirectly r/t addiction). Another for 1 year, terminated for diversion. So not only is my track record horrible, but once I do get reinstated I will have a narcotic restriction for the first year. I love nursing; I am also an excellent nurse. I have many great MD and RN references. I just dont want to invest my emotional energy and time into a pipe dream if there is a next to nothing chance of ever returning to work. Thank you for your advice/comments/stories etc....
  2. Visit mattheha profile page

    About mattheha

    Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 2


  3. by   mona1023
    I am sorry you are having a difficult time, but I do have some comments you may want to think about. First, you are absolutely correct that after reinstatement of your license (which isn't automatic by the way), you would have a long, difficult road. You would most definitely have to re-enroll in the KARE program, maintain compliance and still have have trouble securing employment. These are things you already know. But it is not impossible.

    What you may not know or haven't thought about is that NOT attempting to have your license reinstated can impact your future also. You may get put on the OIG list (Office of the Attorney General Exclsuion List), which means you would not be able to work IN ANY CAPACITY for any hospital/MD Office etc that received Medicaid/Medicare Funding. Example: You could not work as a unit secretary if your name is still on the list. (I have also heard that you can get put on the list for defaulting on Federal Student Loans, but you may want to research that).

    Secondly, having a suspended nursing license (and leaving it that way) would most likely impact your ability to obtain other professional licenses in the future, like teaching, Social Work, etc, if this is what you decide to do. Just something to think about.

    Please think of your future and all your options before deciding, and most of all maintain your sobriety no whatter what path you choose.

    Best of Luck to you and keep us posted!
  4. by   jackstem
    The simple answer is yes you can find work after getting your license back. The "gut level" answer is it will take some time (weeks to months to possibly years) and effort (seriously focusing on recovery and meeting all the requirements of your KARE agreement). Mona is correct when she says action against your nursing license, especially unresolved action, can make it difficult or impossible to obtain licensure in other professions such as teaching, other health care areas, the law, etc. There are positives and negatives no matter what course you choose. Sometimes consulting with a career "consultant" or experienced license defense attorney can provide wonderful information which may provide insight about your specific situation. Something to think about. Yeah, I know it costs money to do that, but that old saying, you get what you pay for is absolutely true.

    Your career has been in the ER. If you want the best shot at finding work while in the KARE program (or in a disciplinary monitoring program) you'll have to change the focus of your job search. I work with a license defense attorney and what we've experienced over the last several years is the best way to return to nursing is to look for jobs outside the hospital. Long term care, clinics, doctor's offices, dialysis, mental health facilities, drug treatment facilities, etc. Think outside the box (such a true cliche). Even then it won't be easy.

    Another suggestion is to look at careers where your nursing background is a plus but a nursing license isn't required. A couple of examples are sales (medical devises and such) and research. My ex-wife is a nurse and works for a company that monitors medical/pharmaceutical research sites. Our oldest daughter does the same thing and she has a bachelors degree in business/marketing (her medical "background" consists of listening to her parents talk shop and working with her Mom when she owned a small research monitoring company).

    It takes perseverance. If you are the sole bread winner, having another job outside nursing (to pay for the testing and other expenses often associated with alternative programs such as chemical dependence evaluations, psychiatric evaluations, etc.) may be necessary. Or you might consider starting a savings account specifically to pay for the fees associated with the agreement.

    As license defense specialists, the practice has noticed a major change in the way some boards of nursing are dealing with complaints against nurses...much more strict. There is a myth in the nursing profession that the board of nursing will "assist" the nurse. Not true! Their job is to protect the public. The state and/or local nursing association may be a good resource when it comes to advocacy or assistance in finding practice areas a little more willing to work with recovering nurses. But looking for "fairness" in the profession will only increase your resentment, anger, and anxiety. Building a solid base of recovery and facing the realities of an unfair system when it comes to this disease will go a long way in helping you get through the reinstatement process. It won't make easier.

    Good luck!

  5. by   beenbad43
    I had my license suspended and have started working teaching medical assistants, it pays less ( about 25an hour) but it is not a bad job,
  6. by   HunnieBadger
    Does the teaching satisfy your work requirement for the Board? Once I get my license back with stips, my 3 year clock starts...until then it's costly drug screens and unemployment! Teaching would be a great career, because you're able to highlight this abandoned disease!!
  7. by   blawson1
    I was in the ISNAP program for almost 3 years, only had a few months left and unfortunately, I received a DUI. Isnap turned me into the BON and the process began. I hired a lawyer, completed my probation for the DUI, re-entered ISNAP, presented numerous positive letters from co-workers, supervisors, and patients, and even took more therapy classes that was required of me. The process took almost a year and the outcome still resulted in my licenses being suspended. I was informed by my lawyer that everyone but one board member was in agreement of a probation. I have been a nurse for 30 years with an excellent work record. I am 51 years old. With that being said I chose to not begin the process of reinstating my license....I was informed that the process could take 6 months up to a year, then once reinstated I would have to start the ISNAP program over for 3 more years. I just have an associate degree. I have been seeing posts that you can teach medical assistants without an RN licenses. Teaching has been a gift....over the years I precepted many with very positive results. This would be a dream job for me if it was possible. I just can't imagine not using my vast knowledge and experince any more. If anyone out there knows any info on this or is in the same boat and actually doing it....I would greatly appreciate any feedback.