Drug testing (before/during/after application?)

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Hi All! I was wondering when, after I've submitted my application, I will have to take a drug test/criminal background check. I've been marijuana free for over three months now, and drug free with no criminal history for years.. I'm wondering when the drug screen will be? Do I submit my results with my application? As in, go to a certified drug testing facility to have those results shipped off? I'm really out of my wheel house here (from what I've read, I take the drug test once I'm accepted). Any help or insight you could provide would be great. Thank you!!

ED Nurse, RN

369 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Medicine. Has 9 years experience.

If you've been drug free for three months now, why do you seem so worried/anxious about it? As a professional in the nursing profession you should not be doing drugs. A nurse needs to make wise and mature decisions, on the job, and off the job.

Lunah, MSN, RN

33 Articles; 13,732 Posts

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 15 years experience.

I have always had to take drug tests after accepting the offer and as part of the pre-employment physical. I have never had to worry about the results, though. :D

ED Nurse, RN

369 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Medicine. Has 9 years experience.

I also just noticed your "no criminal history for years" portion- depending on your previous criminal history, which you have alluded to, this can close many doors to a career in the medical field.

Horseshoe, BSN, RN

5,879 Posts

Hi All! I was wondering when, after I've submitted my application, I will have to take a drug test/criminal background check. I've been marijuana free for over three months now, and drug free with no criminal history for years.. I'm wondering when the drug screen will be? Do I submit my results with my application? As in, go to a certified drug testing facility to have those results shipped off? I'm really out of my wheel house here (from what I've read, I take the drug test once I'm accepted). Any help or insight you could provide would be great. Thank you!!

This is completely facility specific. Many nurses here have been required to have drug screens immediately after receiving the job offer but before beginning orientation. Some nurses have never had to submit a sample for drug testing. Some facilities drug test their nurses fairly frequently. Some are tested randomly, others have to submit a sample if the narcotic count is off; most facilities will require a screen if you or your patient are hurt on your shift. You will be tested if your coworkers report you for suspicion of diversion or if you ever seem impaired. Others have reported never having had to be tested. So the answer is it just depends.

And if you've been drug free for three months, why are you worried?

Lunah, MSN, RN

33 Articles; 13,732 Posts

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 15 years experience.

In the Army Nurse Corps, we often received a phone call at 0400 to show up so someone could physically WATCH us pee in a cup. The Army is not for bladder-shy folks. Lol

nutella, MSN, RN

1 Article; 1,509 Posts

Usually your employer will give you information as to where to go for pre-employment checks and they will also obtain consent for background checks.

Depending on where they have the drug screen done you will have to go to a special place. I had to get drug screens for a couple of nursing jobs and for some I got an email with a barcode and info, which I had to print out and bring to a specific place. There is a protocol for drug testing and you do not get the results, they are send directly to the employer.

For one job HR handed me a container, got me to a bathroom (had to empty pockets and so on) and they got instant results right there.

Usually you will get all the info with the offer letter.

ED Nurse, RN

369 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Medicine. Has 9 years experience.
In the Army Nurse Corps, we often received a phone call at 0400 to show up so someone could physically WATCH us pee in a cup. The Army is not for bladder-shy folks. Lol

My first civilian job I went for the employment physical- when she asked me for a urine sample and then didn't follow me in the bathroom I felt like I was doing something wrong!

KelRN215, BSN, RN

1 Article; 7,349 Posts

Specializes in Pedi. Has 16 years experience.

After you have been extended an offer. You will be given a limited amount of time to take the test- for my last job offer it was 72 hrs. If you do not complete it within the allotted time frame, the job offer will be rescinded/it will be considered a positive result.

This answer was related more to me applying to nursing school itself. I am fully aware that all employers will more than likely drug test. I wasn't sure if I needed to submit a drug screen at the same time I apply to a school. Thank you for your response!! It was very helpful!!