Being Honest about the past can ruin your careeer

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    In reply to the young lady worried about taking boards with a misdemeanor....you seem to be leaning like I was towards doing "the right thing" like my parents taught me. Well I can only speak for myself, but I was honest with my supervisor of 15 years about having a previous DUI, because she had noticed I was not acting like my normal upbeat self. I trusted her totally and considered her one of my best friends. She said I should definitely call the BON and tell them what happened and that I wanted to "Self report" the issue so that nothing would come up as a surpricse at the time of turning in my CEU's the folloing year. I did so, was immediately told to go with her to HR of our Hospital, where she gave me glowing reviews and said I was the best nurse she had ever had. I was convinced by the hR person to go down to have an interview and just make sure there are no problems that need to be addressed. I was interviewed for two hours by a Psche MD who asked me, at the end of the interview, " Why the **** are you here? You dont have a substance abuse problem". But she said that since she couldnt find an issue, she wanted me to come back for another person to double check. I was then scheduled to go into the Psychiatric unit and locked up with the Doctors and nurses who had been caught and busted taking and stealing drugs from their employers. The counselors continued to ask me if I only had the DUI, why was I sent there, to which I continued to say, " I have no Idea. I had never missed a day of work, never been intoxicatetd or under the influence, had never been asked to take a drug test and was consistantly pormoted and recieved awards for outstanding service and management. I have never been repremanded or written up in my entire career. During my several days of hell locked up with people rolling on the floor coming off of their drugs, i was continually prodded to just go ahead and admit my drug and alcohol addiction. I just looked at them like they were crazy, and every word I did speak, they would say" see, that's a sign of denial/ addiction". Well, I walked out, called the BON contact person who was originally very nice.....she scremed at me and told me that "the day you called my ofice and said "self report" you were admitting that you have a drug and alcohol addiction". I screamed " what!??" into the phone. She said to not call her back and just get over it. What was done was done. I was given the option of admitting to being some kind of addict, working under their instructions for 5-7 years, including daily drug tests and thousands of hours at AA........how could you even hold a job doing all of this. Well, being rather head strong, I gave it lots of thought and eventually decided that I was the one who had to get up and look in the mirror each day, and I could not look in that mirror and know I was falsely calling my self an addict and labeling myself an addict..so my only other option was to voluntarily surrender my license. I say this to you because I too thought I was doing the right thing by being honest, since i had a spotless nursing career. Well, it obviously bit me in the rear, and the people (my friend/supervisor, BON) I thought would stand up for someone with no history in their entire background pertaining to nursing, would stand up for me. You should have seen them scatter like roaches.........I am now unemployable, have lost my only vocation, and will likely lose my home, auto, everything i've ever worked for. I take full responsibility for the DUI. I was dumb for doing that. But it was outside of work, and fifteen years of nursing leadership should count for something. I can go back on my knees and be another of their token addicts and play their game for years, but hel will freeze over. In the day of nursing shortages and peoples' lives at risk, I just cant believe something like this could happen. My attorney says I meesed up when I walked out of the Psyche unit....well, go get locked up in that for a while when you are not an addict and see how quickly you go nuts. I am basically screwed for the rest of my life, and all I thought I was doing was being the man my father taught me to be,,,,,honest and open. So, before you go telling the board all of your stuff, maybe consider keeping your mouth shut. Let them find it if they want that info. They dont check every persons' background, and if you are honest, they are going to can you anyway. They throw everyone into one bowl to make it easier on them. Heaven forbid they take into account that not everyone who makes a mistake is a drug addict putting the patients at risk. The patients are more at risk NOW because there arent enough nurses to take care of them.....So, the board can sit up high and mighty and know they won another one, but they really need to be checked up on. More oversight should be taken to make sure they arent unfairly putting patients at risk. The lady I spoke with at the BON, (nice then hateful) was only interested in closing the book and going home. She didnt give a rats' ### about the possibility that I might just be one who is wrongly accused. I hope she has a nice Christmas and enjoys a warm home. I just pray that I am not homeless before Christmas...I hope she thinks about it every day she sits up there and makes instant judgements. Yeah, there are the nurses who talk good games that ARE addicts and I understand that. But ruining a persons' professional career with one quick swoop is pathetic. I have looked for work since 2006, and here it is Christmas 2008.....There are those who are wrongly accused, just like there are lots of folks in jail who get out after twenty years once the DNA is available.....even full juries get it wrong.......and they got mine wrong. I simply called and said the "wrong" words, which by the way, I was reading an email over the phone to the BON because I asked my supervisor to send it to me, so that I would have the right name, number and the "what to say" At least I can hold my head up and know I never sold my soul to the devil to make her job easier, I just may never have another job. Nursing is all I know. How do you go to nursing assistant from Nurse Manager? Anyone else have something similar happen?
    Signed, Disappointed and just about ready to give up
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    Moved to the Nursing licensure with a criminal history forum


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