Fired for narcotic discrepancy what should I do?

Dear Nurse Beth Advice Column - The following letter submitted anonymously in search for answers. Feel free to join the conversation.


Hello Nurse Beth,

I just got terminated from a hospital I was working for uncounted narcotics. I made mistakes and forgot to waste fentanyl, demerol, and forgot to scan oxy after I gave it to my patient. This happened once a month for 3 months. Yes, sloppy work, but I am not on drugs and I do not sell drugs. My CNO said that they will involve police department (DEA) and the board. What should I do now?

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Career Columnist / Author

Nurse Beth, MSN

167 Articles; 2,967 Posts

Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Terminated,

I'm sorry you're in this situation.

The BON will investigate once they receive a complaint warranting investigation. It's not unusual for BON/BRN investigations to take a long time. 

If your BON/BRN offers an alternative-to-discipline program (ADP), you can participate.

  • The benefit of ADPs is that you are not publicly reported. The goal of ADPs is recovery and return to work.
  • If you are not in an ADP, the BON/BRN will publicly report any discipline against you. 
  • If the police think you have committed a crime, they will contact you. The DEA and the local police will work together.

Depending on the circumstances and evidence, there's always the chance that charges are not filed, and the BON/BRN does not take action. Let's hope.

Technically, in the meantime, you can work. There are no charges against you now, and there's no telling when the BON/BRN will respond. 

The BON/BRN is not your friend. Their job is not to advocate for you but to protect the public. Always respond when the BON contacts you, and be truthful.  Don't miss any deadlines or requests for information.

Contact a nurse attorney to represent you.

Take each day one at a time, and best wishes.

Nurse Beth

Read Nurse Under Investigation As @subee said, "I wish they would put the burden of drug testing on the employer at the time they are accusing a nurse of diversion".

Also read How to respond to the BON/BRN for a criminal infraction