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Help self reported to pap in wi and don't want to sign contract

Cpeanut Cpeanut (New) New

I took a random drug test at work which came back positive for opiates that I was prescribed as well as sleeping pills and benzos that I was not prescribed which I had been given to by family. I was proactive and completed an intensive outpatient program and have continued with my therapists and psychiatrists. Plus I voluntarily got off all the opiates I was prescribed for a chronic pain condition. My work suggested that I self report to the professional assistance procedure which is a non disciplinary program. I reported myself and received a contract for 3 years. The contract requires a min of 48 drug tests a year, no alcohol, and I can't leave the country. My work, therapist, and psychiatrist believe this is too severe. I don't want to sign the contract. Does anyone know what happens if I don't? Should I get a lawyer? Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 40 years experience.

Yes get a lawyer and if you don't sign your license could be at stake.

PAP offers participants an opportunity to obtain treatment for chemical dependency while ensuring that immediate action can be taken should a participant relapse or drop out of treatment. Participation in PAP will not exempt the professional from discipline.
http://www.dsps.wi.gov/Other-Services/Professional-Assistance-Procedure

Oh yes, please please please retain an attorney that is knowledgeable about the BON in your state. This issue can affect your ability to earn a living for at least three years so it will be worth every penny. It does sound harsh to me too but I live in another state. Good luck to you.

In Florida. No signing of the contract equal BON referal.

Also, 3 years isn't that bad. Many folks get a 5 year contract. Personally I would sign it and do what is asked of me.

sallyrnrrt, ADN, RN

Specializes in critical care, ER,ICU, CVSURG, CCU.

get an attorney, with experience in board of nursing issues in your state, best of luck and [[hugs]] ~from texas

Help me understand what a professional assistance procedure is. Is it through the BON?

Thanks

I see that someone else answered my question about PAP. My concern for nurses in general when other say "get an attorney" is does anyone understand how expensive attorneys are? They charge by the hour. That being said how does one find an attorney who is competent in nursing specific matters without losing a large amount of money? Any information from the members would be appreciated.

The ANA website provides contacts for attorneys specializing in administrative law (aka the BON- for our purposes). Most attorneys wil allow you to retain them at a fixed price- I am not saying this is cheap, mine was 7 grand (yikes). If you have malpractice insurance this will be covered. With that said, my lawyer is for criminal purposes (should they arise) and I have dealt with the board on my own. Some boards have a "one size fits all" diciplining process as mine does (we do not have an alternative to disipline program in my state *sigh*) so it didn't matter much to me to go to them in my own, nurses with or without a lawyer get the same deal no matter how hard they fight- but I was also very guilty and complete honesty has been the safeguard that keeps me sober. Now- in most other states it seems that nurses will have a enter outcome with a lawyer- so if you can afford one- get one. It could mean the difference between returning to work after treatment and having to have your lisence suspended for a year or years! And 7 grand is certainly worth the loss of income that could be lost in even a year of not practicing. Cash out retirement, 401k, get a loan from the bank. It is doable.

Thanks for all the comments. The PAP program allows me to continue to work with no marks against my licence unless I were to fail a drug test or don't get treatment. Then they could report it to the BON. I completed treatment before I self reported so now all I have to do is continue with aftercare which I've been doing anyways. My big problem with my PAP program is that I travel a lot with my husband. I currently have a trip to Ireland and a cruise booked and paid for. Not being able to leave the country for 3 years seems harsh. Obviously my work, therapists and doctors know the whole situation and they all agree that this seems unfair. I applied for the PAP program because it was the ethical thing to do and now I wish I hadn't. I really hope it's not too late for a lawyer to help me....

I honestly don't see how they can tell you that you can not leave the country. You really need to speak to your case manager and explain about your travels.

Wish you the best of luck.

My case manager was the one who told me that. I can only use two testing sites and they don't have any international locations.

Yes speak with your case manager- our contracts here say that if we leave the country we must provide a urine sample and hair follicle upon our return- maybe this is an option

I'd sign it- the job market for an RN in another field is tough- the hourly rate is much lower and a lot of the skills we have don't seem to translate. I am almost at the end of 2 years out of 4- the first year went slow- this one has gone by much faster. I have been able to travel with the "exemption policy" which allows time away from testing once you have 9 months of testing.

For the attorney part I hired one... he didn't help at all, and put my license in jeopardy. Plus I got to pay him about 2000 dollars when I did not have an income.

The attorney I have spoken to is board certified in administrative law. She is also an RN and the focus of her practice is nursing license defense. You could probably just google " nursing license defense " and find someone. Any nurse that finds themselves in such a situation should be aware that the BON is NOT your friend. The purpose of the BON is to protect the public. In the state of Texas on the BON website it is possible to read about disciplinary action taken by the BON against nursing licenses. It is very scary reading as frequently when a nurse has been charged with something such as a DWI they will refer to the nurse as being " on call or on duty" when they are actually not on call and in fact may be on vacation and thousands of miles away from their place of employment at the time. I do not know in what state you reside but I suggest you check on your state's BON website for the details of disciplinary action taken against nurses in situations similar to your own. Good luck to you.

Edited by Tigerlily8
spelling, oops

sissiesmama, ASN, RN

Specializes in ER, TRAUMA, MED-SURG. Has 22 years experience.

Regarding the trips - I know in Louisiana if we went on vacation we called our case worker - if there wasn't an approved center close we were able to give a specimen the day we left and again as soon as we got back. Not sure if it would help at all.

Anne, RNC

I see that someone else answered my question about PAP. My concern for nurses in general when other say "get an attorney" is does anyone understand how expensive attorneys are? They charge by the hour. That being said how does one find an attorney who is competent in nursing specific matters without losing a large amount of money? Any information from the members would be appreciated.

Getting an attorney is expensive. NOT getting an attorney can be even more expensive.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 40 years experience.

I see that someone else answered my question about PAP. My concern for nurses in general when other say "get an attorney" is does anyone understand how expensive attorneys are? They charge by the hour. That being said how does one find an attorney who is competent in nursing specific matters without losing a large amount of money? Any information from the members would be appreciated.
The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (TAANA).

What has an attorney ever really done- the BON has its own administrative law- they write the rules and they have the final say. If you are at all "guilty" the attorney cannot use civilian defense techniques-

My BON at least took hiring an attorney as a hostile move... The best advice I got was from a second opinion when it was clear the first attorney was mucking things up: they make the rules.... jump through the hoops... be humble

I like the be humble advice:). It was helpful for me to at least speak to a lawyer- she gave me very worthy advice. I will not be bringing a lawyer with me to the board- however the advice was gold. I was terrified and had I not spoken with an attorney before speaking with the investigator I would have surrendered my lisence- that was what the board wanted me to do. Her advice was its better to have a suspended lisence than they to get one back after you have surrendered. I do think lawyers are helpful- particularly if the punishment does not fit the crime. In my case the punishment does fit and is paramount to my recovery.

LilRedRN1973

Specializes in ICU, psych, corrections. Has 8 years experience.

My BON also sees it as a hostile move and things do not turn out so well if an attorney is retained. For me, surrendering my license was the way to go. Five years later, my contract has been completed and there is no evidence I was ever disciplined. Had I not surrendered, I would have entered into a probation contract, which carries a bright red "YES" whenever someone would check my license for verification. With the surrendering and subsequent monitoring contract, mine now says "NO".

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