drug testing in school


So I am a nursing student and I hear all the time that hospitals do random drug testing often. However; I only had to take a drug test to get into school, and haven't had one since. Do you think schools should also do random drug screens, how many drug test did you take while in school, and was there a reason for having to submit more than one?

Specializes in Cardiac.

I can't remember, but I think I had 3 drug tests, one of which was random. The scheduled ones were before clinical, and the random one was just that-random. Our Dean of Nursing just showed up to class on day and said, "hey, you all are going to get drug tested today!".

To boot, I had to pay for it!

Hospitals and schools can drug test all they want, IMO. We are taking care of patients lives, afterall.


94 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac x3 years, PACU x1 year. Has 4 years experience.

We were never drug tested in school...


1,975 Posts

When you take a drug test for these things do you have to pee in front of someone?! I think I read a nurse here say they did. I've taken drug tests for financial jobs at big companies but peed in a cup and handed it in. I wouldn't want to pee in front of someone. That's a little personal. Yikes.


54 Posts

Specializes in LTC, home health, private care.

We weren't tested in school, either. And I've been to several hospitals for clinicals in the area. None have made me test. To be honest, I expected it and have been surprised it hasn't happened.


165 Posts

I was tested for school. I had to give my urine to a very nice lady. I didn't have to do it in front of her. I would have objected to that, yikes!

Specializes in Med/Surg, Tele, IM, OB/GYN, neuro, GI.

I had to do one on the second day of school. They gave me a cup and told me I had five mins to come out with it above the line. I didn't even have the door locked and the lady was screaming my name telling me I had one min left. That was just a little embarrassing considering I was waiting in line with all my classmates. They've told us that they do randoms but I'm graduating on the 6th and still have done just the one. We were told that one of the other progams had a group that was having "party" problems and talking about it in class so they tested everyone and out of 20 half of them failed and were kicked out of the program with a month left.

Getting finished with school and working is more important than anything I could take. I'll save that stuff for when I'm old and retired then I won't have to worry about losing my license.


645 Posts

We were never tested in school by the school itself. We did have one clinical site that if you went there you were required to take a drug test. I think random drug testing is good. Why care if you have nothing to hide? We are responsible for people's lives. If you are under the influence, how good of a job are you going to be able to do?

Woodenpug, BSN

734 Posts

Specializes in MPCU.

They initiated drug testing in my last year of nursing school. Funny, the faculty were not drug tested. If you had to choose, would you prefer your nursing student was high or that nurses clinical instructor?

Truthfully, I find the whole thing very offensive. "So you wanna be a nurse,....you must be high!"

Anyone with an addiction problem who has it together enough to get through the interview process, quite probably, has it together enough to pass a drug screen.

A compassionate approach would more likely reveal addiction problems and get help to people. They would not simply be forced to find better ways to hide a problem.

The urine tox screen is notoriously non-sensitive and non-specific.

Pre-nursing and pre-employment screening is only a way to pretend you are addressing a problem. Wasting resources in a false effort takes away from any effort to actually address the problem. In fact, it gives you an excuse to ignore it while pretending to be seriously concerned.

CT Pixie, BSN, RN

3,723 Posts

Has 10 years experience.

I graduate in June and have only had to have one drug test. It was for a clinical site that insisted upon drug screens before the student would be allowed at their hospital. The drug screen was done at the hospital and I didn't have to pay for it. dumb thing is, the students scheduled their own tests, so it was easy enough for them to schedule far enough in advance so that any trace of drugs they might have done wouldn't show up. Whats the point of the test if one can be sure to avoid the drugs and have enough time to get any drugs they've done out out of their system??

I haven't had a drug test at school (random or scheduled). But there is a written policy that the school can demand a random test at anytime from anyone for any reason (or no reason at all)


476 Posts

Specializes in Peds Critical Care, Dialysis, General.

We had to be drug tested prior to admission to school. Our student handbook also stated that we were subject to random drug testing while we were at school. So, if we were on school/hospital grounds and our names were called - better not have left and gone to one of the taverns close by for lunch and returned even to study. If you are on the grounds and your name is called ......

During school, several of my classmates were randomly tested. We lost an excellent instructor (non-nursing) due to a positive test.


22 Posts

In all my days I have only been drug tested when I applied for a job. Not a single random test otherwise. I do not think that there should be more drug testing unless a problem is noted.

It is not very easy to get away with being an addict for very long in a hospital setting and it is all but impossible to actually steal drugs unless protocol is not being followed. I think it would be silly to drug test students more often...

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