Help! BON investigation


Last Monday I was abruptly terminated from my floor nurse job of over 3 years. I have a clean record and have been charge nurse the majority of my time there. Two weeks ago I injured my back while transferring a patient to commode. I went to company care to have it checked out and documented. They did the usual drug testing, breathalyzer, etc. All was well....unitl I received aa call stating I was positive for codeine in the urine sample. I did take a Tylenol #3 the night before my injury due to chronic back pain. The prescription was not mine, the woman who gave me the pill said it was a "prescription strength Tylenol." As a nurse I just thought she meant like an extra-strength Tylenol you can buy over the counter. HUGE MISTAKE! a few hours after I took the pill I mentioned how great the Tylenol worked, that's when I found out it contained codeine. I explained all this to my unit director, company care, and the CNO, and even had the woman who gave it to me send them an email stating I didn't know it had codeine in it before taking it. To no avail...I was terminated because I took a substance that I did not have an rx for. We all cried. I LOVED my job, my home, my bosses. And they all loved me. They stated the BON would contact me soon regarding their own investigation. My question is: How does the BON investigation differ from the hospital investigation? IS it just to see if I need IPN? I have no addiction issues or signs of diversion or stealing or anything like that. a one-time HUGE DUMB mistake!!! Please help, I'm so anxious!

Specializes in Med-surg, telemetry, oncology, rehab, LTC, ALF. Has 7 years experience.

I would get an attorney, ASAP. You need somebody on your side when you're dealing with the BON.

allnurses Guide

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

4 Articles; 4,720 Posts

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 21 years experience.

The BON can suspend your license and/or place you on probation for this offense. The best thing you can hope for is a result where it's all chocked up to a huge mistake on your part. Still the BON exists to protect patients from dangerous nurses. They look at the ability to make sound judgement while working. You did not make a sound judgement. For that there will be a penalty. Probation/Diversion is a pain in the arse but it's doable and is the price we pay for mistakes.


3 Posts

Someone from IPN called me yesterday saying they were given my contact info and a little bit about my case from the department of health, offering me to start IPN now. I would have to not nurse for at least 3 to 5 months, pay $800 for an M.D. evaluation on what kind of treatment I would need, and then agree to whatever contract they offer me. However I am not an addict have never had problems with addiction. There is no question of divergent or stealing or anything like that. I think I am going to decline because I do not feel IPN at this time would benefit me. I think I will wait on the board of nursing to come up with their recommendation and if it is IPN, so be it. But I need to be able to work, I am a single mom of three young children.

Orca, ADN, ASN, RN

2,066 Posts

Specializes in Hospice, corrections, psychiatry, rehab, LTC. Has 28 years experience.

The prescription was not mine, the woman who gave me the pill said it was a "prescription strength Tylenol." As a nurse I just thought she meant like an extra-strength Tylenol you can buy over the counter. HUGE MISTAKE! a few hours after I took the pill I mentioned how great the Tylenol worked, that's when I found out it contained codeine.

The word "prescription" should have been a giveaway. Extra-strength Tylenol does not require a prescription. This could be an issue with the BON. You took a prescription medication that was not issued to you. I'm not clear whether you went to work after taking it. If so, it had the potential to impair your judgment and functioning, which is a practice issue.


3 Posts

No, I had taken it the afternoon before the day I worked. I realize my mistake now of course. Especially as a nurse "prescription strength" should've been a red flag. I know there is prescription strength ibuprofen (800 mg) and I was being careless and probably just thought that's what she meant. Like a higher dose than usual?


281 Posts

Specializes in tele, ICU, CVICU. Has 12 years experience.

In my state, if they "offer" the program to you, and you do not accept, it usually bites you in the butt. If you decline the voluntary program, your file is send to a different division, (disciplinary side, verses voluntary). The only difference I was able to find, was that voluntarily doing program (& completing successfully) there will not be a blemish on your nursing license, whereas the disciplinary option leaves a ding on your license. Otherwise, it's the same between the two options, at least here.

In regards to the addiction evaluation (I never had one...). More often than not, that doctor will recommend the contract maximum. It seems many of these specialists' get some of kickback from addiction & recovery facilities/programs. So, it's in the doctors' best interest to recommend more treatment (in or out-patient, therapy, etc).

The fact that IPN already contacted you and "offered" you to join the program, it seems that know they want to get you into a contract.

I think you should definitely consult with a administrative attorney (or two...) about your 'case'. They would be able to better advise you about options that. Yes, they're expensive... but losing your nursing license is much more expensive in the long run. I learned the hard way, lawyer wise & I wish I had asked for some financial help to afford one. Live and learn...

There are some good points to your case: the letter from woman who gave you the T#3 making statement, exemplary employment history etc) However, the Even so, the BON is no fun and they might not even glance at the positive aspects of your case.) I don't know the difference between your employer vs. BON investigations might vary. The BON is usually very slow to do well, almost anything it seems.

Sorry to hear of your situation. Hoping they are willing to not see you as a 'cookie cutter' case...


1 Article; 720 Posts

Specializes in ER, ICU/CCU, Open Heart OR Recovery, Etc. Has 12 years experience.

I'd consult an administrative attorney, one that has experience with the Board of Nursing.


169 Posts

Whatever happened with your case?

klone, MSN, RN

14,483 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 17 years experience.
Whatever happened with your case?

The OP has not posted in a year. I doubt they will see this.