Nursing Students and Substance Abuse - page 2

by VickyRN Asst. Admin

13,249 Visits | 16 Comments

The statistics are sobering. Substance abuse is rampant in our society, with an estimated 16% of americans suffering from addiction. up to 20 % of nurses are chemically impaired. Chemical dependency may involve such substances as... Read More


  1. 5
    Quote from unknown007
    Hello,

    When you interview for nursing jobs, apply to the board, etc. are you required to divulge all hospitalizations?

    I also have a really hard time lying because it makes me feel horrible. Essentially I am just wondering if I can / do sober up would I still have a shot as a nurse or is it futile to even think about this as a future option? If I had been sober for a significant amount of time I wouldn't have a problem disclosing my addiction, but I am afraid that the fact that its there may be a reason for me to forget any type of nurisng career.

    Thanks so much for any comments / suggestions.
    In the state of TX, the nursing student/graduate must petition the Board of Nursing if there are any arrests, you may only exclude misdemeanor Class C traffic violations. This process is called a "Declaratory Order", and must be completed before one can be approved to sit for the NCLEX examination. Any misdemeanor, felony, DWI, etc must be reported to the board, whether you've been convicted or not; the key term here is 'arrested.' If it's not reported on your application, you can be sure that it will show up on the FBI background check. You can not lie to the board of nursing, they will find you out.

    Going through this process is advised before one even starts nursing school. Depending on the severity of the criminal record, a nursing student could go all the way through nursing school only to be turned down when it's time for licensure. I knew of some one at my school that went all the way through the nursing program and didn't petition the board regarding her arrest record until after graduation, unfortunately, this person did not get approved to sit for the NCLEX. This is why it is extremely important to go through this process before starting nursing school.

    You need to look up your states nursing board website and educate yourself with this process. I will also add that when applying, the nursing board will also ask if you have ever been addicted to or received treatment for drugs or alcohol within the last 5 years. This same question also applies to mental illness.

    http://www.bne.state.tx.us/exam-eligibility.htm

    I knew of some one in nursing school that went through this DO process, he had a couple of arrest records from when he was younger and was approved to sit for the NCLEX. The Nursing Board looks at each case individually. I've heard that certain factors that surround the circumstances, like the age of when you were arrested, the seriousness of the crime, make a difference in whether or not you're approved.
    Last edit by RedhairedNurse on Jan 26, '10
    Heogog53, skittlebear, gr8fulnrs, and 2 others like this.
  2. 1
    Quote from gr8fulnrs
    wow, this article really hit home for me. i wish...could of only wished someone would of caught me in nursing school and smacked me down. would of prevented so much grief later on. But ya know what they say...each one has to go thier own path. Like the article said, some of us were very academically prepared, which i was. caught up to me later in my nursing career and crashed burned hard. Just now coming out the other side of treatment, recovery, reinstatement, and got a whole lot of gratitude...that i made it.
    Wishing you health and wholeness in every way, gr8fulnrs. Thank you for sharing your story with us. So glad you are now coming out into the light at the other side.
    gr8fulnrs likes this.
  3. 0
    My school is trying to address this by handing out penalty slips for a variety of reasons, including tardiness, late homework, skipping class, etc. The theory is that when someone's file starts accumulating a lot of these slips they may point to substance abuse and the student will be subject to further investigation. But it's gotten to the point where you get a slip every time you turn around! Even walking into class 10 or 15 seconds late can get you a slip. That is not a very good indicator of potential substance abuse problems. Common sense, people!
  4. 0
    the girl with the highest GPA in our nursing class was a stoner. There were times where i'd see her fighting just to stay awake. The entire class knew about her. I wonder were she is today and how things are for her. She was a very sweet person.
  5. 0
    Quote from °*.¤:Hollie:¤.*°
    My school is trying to address this by handing out penalty slips for a variety of reasons, including tardiness, late homework, skipping class, etc. The theory is that when someone's file starts accumulating a lot of these slips they may point to substance abuse and the student will be subject to further investigation. But it's gotten to the point where you get a slip every time you turn around! Even walking into class 10 or 15 seconds late can get you a slip. That is not a very good indicator of potential substance abuse problems. Common sense, people!
    That's ridiculous. I hardly ever went to class in nursing school, not because I was drinking, but because nursing school is overall a joke and an enormous waste of time. I started getting flack from the instructors and told them that to their faces. Wake me up when we get there. Jeez.
  6. 0
    I ain't never done any "illicit" type stuff, but nursing school did result in my caffeine/nicotine addiction. I also became hooked on those 5hr energy shots. One night, after 3 LARGE cups of very strong coffee, 3 cigarettes, and an energy shot (all in a 2 hr period), my chest started to feel funny and my BP came up to 140-150s systolic and my hands became very shaky.... I toned it down after that incident lol.

    Amazing what stupid things we'll do to stay awake.
  7. 0
    i think that with any profession there is substance abuse. it is harder for some to play with candy in the candy store


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