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Expired RN License, Criminal Charges, Hoping For Advice

Criminal   (359 Views | 3 Replies)

CanIStillBeANurse specializes in Cardiac.

27 Profile Views; 1 Post

Hi, I would greatly appreciate any suggestions or words of wisdom in regards to my current situation! Sorry it is a bit long.

I graduated from nursing school in 2013 and got my license and quickly found a job at a local hospital. I worked on the same unit for 3 years. The first 2 years were wonderful, I loved nursing!  But then things started going downhill. We got a new supervisor and manager and almost all of my coworkers left very quickly so we had lots of new hires and I was precepting everyday. Often I was the nurse with the most experience on the floor and I still had a long way to go to becoming an experienced nurse. We were always understaffed it seemed and had very little support from upper management. I started hating work and was having a health issue That made it challenging to work and eventually took FMLA. I was also having issues in my personal life that compounded the issues at work and made it hard for me to manage the added stress and find solutions That I normally would have been able to work out (I was in a very abusive relationship and was having a hard time leaving safely.)  

While being home on FMLA I developed a dependence on some of the medications I’d been prescribed and eventually started using other non-prescription drugs. I never returned to work because I knew I wasn’t safe to practice. I was embarrassed and didn’t want to tell my job what I had been doing Or what was going on in my personal life and was eventually asked to resign after I continued to have unexcused absences after my FMLA was used and I wouldn’t give them a reason why. I kind of just gave up. I entered rehab voluntarily after resigning but did have another relapse. 

I continued to spiral downward and was eventually arrested. I was charged with 3rd degree theft, legend drug possession, harassment and assault. The assault charge was dropped. I took a deferral for the other charges. To satisfy the terms of the deferral I had to do a drug/etoh assessment and complete any recommended treatment, serve 30 days in jail, be on monitored probation w/a probation officer for 2 years and do a few other things like pay a fine. The drug treatment ended up being intensive outpatient which I was in for about 18 months. 

I am about a week away from completing the deferral/being off probation. I let my nursing license expire before getting this charge and then didn’t know how to go about renewing it afterwards because I knew I would have to disclose my charges to the BON so I just haven’t renewed. I felt maybe it was better to complete my deferral first or maybe I’ve just been too scared. I’ve sort of chosen not to think about it because it makes me so anxious but I can’t continue to bury my head in the sand and think it will get better on its own.

I know that I seriously messed up and am so afraid I’ll never work as a nurse again. I miss nursing so much and wish I could go back and make different choices at so many points. I know any of my charges could be considered serious and I just hope they will let me keep my license. 

While at my last job I was never disciplined in any way, I was never written up, I never had a positive drug test, I never diverted drugs, I was never in any type of trouble before this. I have 2 and a half years of clean time. I have remained in complete compliance with the court.

If anyone has had a similar experience Or has any knowledge on this subject and has any advice, suggestions, guidance or support I can’t even express how much I would appreciate it. Any tips on next steps to take would be so great. Sorry for the long post and thank you for your time. 

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Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and specializes in LTC, home health, hospice, ICU, ER, dialysis.

4 Followers; 1,676 Posts; 3,537 Profile Views

I would suggest contacting your BoN as they can answer specifically for your individual situation as it applies to your state licensing. I wish you luck, and send hugs and prayers. Addiction is tough

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kp2016 has 20 years experience.

311 Posts; 3,568 Profile Views

If you can in any way afford it I would suggest you talk to a lawyer who has experience dealing with your BON before you disclose any information to the BON. As you will quickly see from a read through the Recovery forum, the BON is concerned with (allegedly) protecting the public, they are in no way an advocate of nurses who find themselves in situations like yours.

Best of Luck!!

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