tnpap is not fair. has anyone been through this?

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    My girlfriend is a newly graduated RN and had her first hospital job in a trauma unit. She was very good at her job and never had any disciplinary issues in the 4 months she was employed. One day when she arrived at work she was told that there were 7 pills undocumented under her shifts. She has never taken any pills and would never do such a thing to put her job in jeopardy. She was then asked to submit a urine test which came back positive for marijuana. This was because she smoked at a party a few weeks before.
    Yet, she didn't test positive for opiates. She was fired and now she signed a contract with TnPap in oder to keep her license. She doesn't have a drug or alcohol problem, but is forced to go to counseling once a week and submit urine tests at her own expense once or twice a month. She has been looking for a job for 2 months now with no luck. Does anyone know where to go from here because my money alone is not going to last for much longer. Aso, does anoyone know how to reduce a monitoring agreement so that she doesn't have to pay for alcohol testing? I think she should be allowed to have a glass of wine with dinner without having to worry about being tested for it. Alcohol is legal and she is 25, far old enough to drink, and has never been in trouble or had a problem with alcohol. I think TnPap is a money making scheme the BON has put together to suck people dry. My girlfriend does not have a problem and has never had a problem with drugs or alcohol, I think 2 years of probation is a bit excessive for one mistake at a party. We can't even go on vacation because she has to check in to TnPap every day. Has anyone been through this? or know where to look for jobs? She is not allowed to do home health.
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    Hello..and welcome to our world. The state BONs do not distinguish between heroin and pot and alcohol..if you are caught with any of these substances in your system, you are an addict in their eyes..no ifs, ands, or butts..and trust me..they can be butts.. Fair?..nothing about this is fair..but true?..it most definitely is..the more you fight it, the more they see an addict's denial, the deeper they dig their heels in to punish you. I am sorry this happened to your girl friend. Her best and only avenue is a lawyer who specializes in defense dealing with the BON. Also, there are tons of threads in this forum that list where those on monitoring have been successful finding employment.
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    First, marijuana is illegal, and she should have been well aware that she could be tested at ANY TIME an not to smoke it AT ANY TIME. By doing so, she knowingly accepted that there would be harsh consequences if caught.

    Second, negative for opiates on a urine screen means very little. The presumption will be that she sold them, or perhaps swapped them for the marijuana that she did show positive for.

    And her likelihood of getting the ETOH screen taken off if it has been mandated is slim to none. Though not all, places require that.

    When one accepts a license and a job as a nurse, one must resign oneself that use of illegal drugs AT ALL, and in addition, use of some lega/prescribed drugs outside certain limits, must be a thing of the past.........NO EXCEPTIONS. Many nurses, who find that they do not handle alcohol well or smell like alcohol for an extended period after drinking, learn to abstain unless off for several days. This is the price paid for working in this profession.

    It does not matter what WE feel about the issue - this is the mandate from the licensing body.

    Even after restrictions, she will find it difficult to find jobs at all in the future. This one incident will have lasting repercussions. And it is highly unlikely that the BON will relent on her current situation.
    Life_is_good_1973, Hoozdo, nursel56, and 4 others like this.
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    Shoulda, woulda, coulda...I am sure the monitoring body will take care of assigning the appropriate amount of blame and guilt for this nurse's actions without our help. Gee whiz!!!

    OP..please do not lose faith by listening to the naysayers. Many of us here, addicts and non addicts, have been through this, came out the other end, with good nursing jobs, and lived to tell about it. If you do not believe me, read my story..better yet..read TXRN's story. Keep the faith.
    Life_is_good_1973 likes this.
  7. 5
    Quote from ZMikles
    I think TnPap is a money making scheme the BON has put together to suck people dry. My girlfriend does not have a problem and has never had a problem with drugs or alcohol, I think 2 years of probation is a bit excessive for one mistake at a party. We can't even go on vacation because she has to check in to TnPap every day. Has anyone been through this? or know where to look for jobs? She is not allowed to do home health.
    The state programs for impaired nurses are not "money making schemes" -- they were developed as more humane alternatives to the original approach, which was that, if someone got caught in the situation your girlfriend is in, you lost your license permanently, no "ifs, ands, or buts," and could never work as a nurse again. Your girlfriend is presumably an adult and understand the responsibilities she was taking on by pursuing licensure as an RN, and she took chances and got caught. At least, nowadays, she has an opportunity to retain her license and eventually be able to work in nursing again. The licensed professions are held to a higher standard of conduct and responsibility than the general public, and it's important for people to understand that when they choose to enter a particular occupation.
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    She has only been working 4 monthes as a nurse and run into issues with the BON. This does not bode well for job hunting.
    sissiesmama and kids like this.
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    doubt this
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    I don't think there's a way to get around this. She is just going to suck it up and get it done.
  11. 3
    Quote from caroladybelle
    Second, negative for opiates on a urine screen means very little. The presumption will be that she sold them, or perhaps swapped them for the marijuana that she did show positive for.
    Thank you for mentioning that. A negative drug test does not guarantee innocence or that the employer will not continue to take disciplinary action. Like you said, they could think she sold/swapped them from her drug of choice, or she may have been hooking someone else up.

    OP: unfortunately for your girlfriend, the way the BON sees it is that they don't know if this really was a one-time mistake or a pattern of addiction, because let's face it: substance abusers are notorious for lying. I'm not implying your girlfriend is an addict--only she can make that call, not me or you or anyone else. But as someone who works in chemical dependency, I can say that abusers/addicts not always the most truthful lot: not to themselves, not to healthcare staff, not to employers, and not to their families. And the BON knows this...so if your girlfriend pops positive for something, they presume there is a chemical dependency problem present.

    The BON's main goal is to protect the public, not the nurse. They will try to help the nurse, but ultimately they act in the best interest of public safety. Enter TNPAP.

    If this was in fact a one-time mistake, it was a costly one. If she wants to continue being a nurse, all she can do is complete TNPAP. Moving to another state won't help because she will have to disclose this to that state's BON. Appealing won't work--they're almost never overturned. And if she drops out of TNPAP her license could face more serious disciplinary action from her BON. And hopefully she will learn from this mistake and next time say "No" when the joint is offered to her...because a second mistake like this could end her nursing career.

    If she does have a substance abuse problem (one which you very well may not know about), she should consider this her chance to get help towards recovery. Plus everything else I mentioned in the prior paragraph.

    Best of luck to the two of you!
    Last edit by Meriwhen on May 11, '12
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    I don't really think you can call Smoking Marijuana at a party a Mistake. Your GF is an adult, and she knew that she could be tested at any time for this. I think she probably knew it was marijuana and was not held down and forced to smoke it. So that is a choice she made, and she is going to now have to suck it up and deal with the consequences which are difficult.

    I would also say if 7 tablets were missing over several different shifts this indicates that some sort of investigation had been going on for some time in that unit. This does not sound like a spur of the moment thing. A pattern has been established, and it is something to think on.
    While I am sure it seems harsh, it is much better than the alternative, which would have been for her to lose her license entirely.


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