License reinstated but no one will hire me - page 3

SORRY THIS IS LONG:( Eight years ago I lost my license due t a felony conviction of obtaining controlled substances. I made a terrible decision about how to deal with a life crisis during that time... Read More

  1. by   arnp64
    I would really like to talk with you further. I am in the same boat
    What state are you in?
  2. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from arnp64
    My state does not prescribe controlled substances.
    What in the world does this mean?
  3. by   Meraki
    I think we have to be careful about assuming that because one has had an addiction that working in addictions is the best place for them. For some people, part of their recovery is avoiding people / places where drugs are present. Also hearing people talk about their issues related to drug use can put someone in recovery back into that negative place or bring up issues of over identifying, projection, countertransference etc... Additionally there is a skill set involved in being a nurse working with substance users and having a similar experience is not necessarily going to mean one has the needed skills. Also each person's experience is individual and one persons addiction / recovery may have little in common with another person - so just having been through it doesn't necessarily mean you can relate to everyone.

    I am not at all saying it CAN'T be a good fit - just that it isn't automatically a good fit just because you have had an addiction. In the same way having had a severe injury/illness and spending considerable time in ICU doesn't necessarily mean you would make a great critical care nurse - despite the fact you could relate to the patients.

    Good luck to the OP - don't lose hope. There are success stories on here of nurses who have gotten employment after their licenses were reinstated. .
  4. by   unplannedRN
    It's been 3 years, so hopefully this is past history for 47lpn. If not, it would be sad, because the nation needs nurses and people deserve second chances. I personally believe there should be a process through which nurses who have kept themselves out of any kind of trouble for many years, and who can demonstrate rehabilitation, and whose offense never involved danger to others or mistreatment of a patient, can be guaranteed a second chance, with limitations based on patient and employer protection.

    Here's some things I have learned about sharing bad news (even just a disability that isn't visible--never mind the ADA!) during a job search:

    It's best to wait until you meet for your interview before discussing details, but NEVER leave anything off your application when the application expressly requests that information. If you do omit information regarding criminal or disciplinary history, you are lying, and that is much worse than having a mistake in your past. In addition, if you lie even once, and are reported or word gets around, you'll ruin your chances entirely and depending on the circumstances, can be subject to further disciplinary action!

    Second, move to another area, not another state, and only if you want to escape the small-town gossip aspect of it. Your record goes with you, and relocation can seem like an attempt to hide your history, which, again, is worse than having one in the first place!

    If you move to another state, you will be suspected of moving to escape further problems, even when you can show you've moved for another reason. Many employers let nurses go rather than report them, to avoid adverse publicity and/or lawsuits from patients or the fired employee. The nurse in such cases moves on to do more harm elsewhere. When you move without a very recent and good nursing work history and an unrelated reason for doing so, they always wonder; if you have an actual conviction history it will increase the level of suspicion.

    Your best bet is to try a bigger city in the same state, or stay put. Answer briefly and factually on applications, but only if asked. At the first interview when you are asked, or when you sign releases for background checks, again give a brief factual account, emphasizing how you've changed and want to earn their trust. Don't get defensive or emotional. If you're not asked, and the background check hasn't been started yet, share this first with the nurse who interviews you for the actual position.

    It's better sharing this face-to-face, with obvious regret but not wallowing in shame or pleading for forgiveness. Don't put another person in the position of having to hire you to show he/she "forgives" you, nor sound desperate enough that they will feel guilty for not hiring you. People resent this, and they will avoid the whole uncomfortable situation by sincerely reassuring you about "second chances" , truly wish you well, but...breathe a sigh of relief when you go. Keep it frank and regretful but don't dwell on it unless they do; let alone wallow or beg.

    You made a very big mistake and one you deeply regret; you know you have to earn their trust (i.e. know that this is not a free "do-over"); you're willing to go the extra mile to do so; you have put it behind you and moved on; you are a professional and determined to show it; you understand their concerns.

    They will either give you a chance or not, but in any case, this is your HISTORY, not who you are now, and they are considering whether to risk hiring someone with your skills AND that history, not judging you as a person or your worth as a nurse to your patients. Some of them may have disciplinary histories themselves or a family member who is struggling with an addiction And, of course, there are nurses who made mistakes and never got caught, while also cleaning up their act.

    And any hiring manager who is secretly addicted or has any such issue he/she is hiding will steer a wide path around you, lest you draw attention to their own problem!

    Again, this is your HISTORY, not who you are now. Remember that. Keep your head high, but be humble. Someone will hire you; it just takes time.

    Daycare for the minimally-dependent elderly (where there are no narcotics), outpatient psych, school nursing for teens, giving flu shots, auditing records, home health admissions (at facilities, not their homes), dialysis, and other work where there are no prescription pads or stored narcotics, and where you do not give out medicines, or do so only in the presence of another nurse, and where there is little chance for diversion of a patient's meds: any of these might indeed be your best bet. Those are just guesses, but dialysis is a good bet because coworkers are in sight of each other at all times, and there are no narcotics to divert.

    Good luck to all of you who are trying to bounce back from a big mistake. Keep your dignity and don't give up. You may find that what you end up doing is much more to your liking than what you were aiming for. (Which makes me wonder, 47lpn: what was that other job you loved, and were laid off from? Maybe that's the right job for you!)