Just had a Consent Agreement go into effect, I feel like I'm hanging in limbo

Nurses Recovery


Specializes in ped/adult medsurg, specialty infusion.

So to make a long story somewhat short, I was working at a hospital, full time, night shift ( I have been a nurse for 5 years) and also going through a lot of issues at home, husband with MS, taking care of 3 of my sisters kids for over 6 months, driving my husband to get Solumedrol treatments and then coming home, putting on my scrubs and going to work. I was also in the process of seeing a psychiatrist for the first time in my life because I guess I finally felt like I couldn't "hold it all in" anymore (long history of sexual and physical abuse) on top of everything that was going on at the time.

I thought I was doing the right thing, my job at the time didn't make it very flexible for me to switch shifts or call off (no-one wanted to switch with me I worked nights) SO I kept going to work, doing my job, until one night my supervisor pulls me off the floor (with a security guard) searches all of my stuff, drug and alcohol test me, sends me home...... Days later, everything came back normal, no drugs or alcohol in my system. The complaint stemmed from a "anonymous coworker" reporting that I was "acting strangely", "appearing tired in report". Well I was to go back to my job and the day before I was to go back they callled me in and basically forced me to resign or be terminated. They gave me a wonderful reference letter by the way.

I move onto another job, have been working their for almost a year, then a few months ago I receive correspondence from the board that my case in being investigated. I comply with them (knowing I didn't really do anything wrong), well then I end up being sent a consent agreement, putting my license on monitored probabation, with restrictions (such as not being a nursing supervisor, manager , etc) I do not have any drug or patient care restrictions. I have also hired an attorney to get the restrictions lifted (or try to).

Problem is, my current job, which I have been at for almost a year has had me on paid leave for 4 days while they "figure out what they are going to do with me". I have been their for almost a year, full time, great evaluations... And here I am sitting at home wondering If I am going to get a phone call and get fired!

I got kinda down on the world, like , can we not be RN's , nurses, whatever and be human beings also. YES, I was seeing a psychiatrist, I was tired, my body was adjusting to the medications he prescribed me but at no point did I make a med error, harm a patient or call off of work.

I find a lot of posts about drug and alcohol rehab but I cannot find anyone to talk to about this, or anyone who has been in a similiar situation. ANY bit of advice would be greatly appreciated!

Love ya!~

Specializes in ER, TRAUMA, MED-SURG.

Girl - I am so sorry you are having to go through this! That is a horrible situation, and to heap that on you while you are trying so hard to help your husband through his illness - my gosh! It makes you wonder sometimes how much we can stand before we just fold completely.

I did not know that they could do something like that, if we weren't under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but I guess it's the patient safety issue - but it doesn't sound like you did anything to deserve this. Your psychiatrist would be able to help in this situation, you'd think. Could he/she send in reports or something that be may be able to give you any assistance?

My dh and I will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. Again, I am so very sorry that you are having to go through this. Was this someone that was "out to get you" or something maybe? I hate to say that, but didn't you say you didn't even miss work, ect? You'd think your manager/director would have at least come to you and talk with you instead of all this.

I'm so sorry - we will definetly keep you in our thoughts. Keep me posted. I hope things get worked out.

Anne, RNC

Specializes in Med/Surg - Home Health - Education.

I am very sorry to hear that you are going through all of this. I know you do not have any drug/alcohol issues. Did you ever tell a fellow nurse, etc., that you were seeing a psychiatrist? If so, that is where the complaint stems from.

I must ask, did you sign the consent agreement? You need to appear in front of the Board of Nursing and explain to them what has been happening in your life, etc. This will let the Board know that you are tired, because of everything you have to do, including work. Also, and please do not take this the wrong way, if your state has an IPN (impaired nurse program) seek them out. They will be able to assist you. I am from Florida, and the IPN program in this state is very helpful, not only for nurses with drug/alcohol problems, but also for nurses who are facing a trememdous amount of stress. This allows the Board to know what is going on with you, but also protects your license.

As far as I am concerned, your supervisor acted too hastily. He/she should have come up to your unit, and spoken to you in private, to assertain what was going on. She could then have asked you if you would be willing to submit to a drug/acohol test. It is probably mandatory in that hospital. You may also have a case in wrongful terminiation. They forced you to resign or be terminated. They used pressure, without any evidence of wrong doing. Ask your attorney about that possibility.

Please keep me informed of what is going on. I have dealt with several cases involving the BON.

You and your family are in my prayers.

God Bless

Specializes in long term care Alzheimers Patients.


I am also sorry to hear you are going through this. I will pray for you. Please let us know how you make out

Love Debi

Specializes in ER, TRAUMA, MED-SURG.

GotoGirl - I am glad to see you are getting some good support from members here. Like I said, I am so very sorry for everything you are going through, both at work and with your husband ill. That is definetly a hard load for anyone to carry.

I agree that it seems like your supervisor was a little too hasty in this - it does make sense like another poster said that if another staff member had been told you had been seeing a psych, that is where this started. In my opinion, though, it wasn't any of his or her business and they certainly shouldn't have done what they did to instigate this in the first place.

Please know we are here for you, whether it be to lend a cyber ear for you to vent, or whatever you need. I pray for you - for peace for you in this situation at work and pray also for your husband. You will be in our thoughts.

Anne, RNC

Specializes in LTC, MDS, Education.

Hi there Goto, I just had to send a short note to tell you how sorry I am that this is happening to you. Like the old saying, "When it rains, it pours" . Also, because I, too, have scars in my back from being the victim of back-stabbing over the years. You feel like you want to just :barf01:. I have learned over the years to keep my personal problems to myself. Because no matter how nice and " concerned" a co-worker may appear, they are NOT your friend. I am so glad you have legal help. I am sending hugs and prayers your way. PLEASE keep us posted! :flwrhrts:

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

you need a lawyer

Specializes in ped/adult medsurg, specialty infusion.

I have an attorney. I was told to sign the consent agreement and not go before the Board because they would add even more punishment. YES I did confide in a coworker that I was seeing a psychiatrist because she was a old psych nurse and confided to me that she gained a lot of help from seeing a psychiatrist. I guess in my heart I can't see why she would turn on me like this. She would always tell me I could call her mom and she saw me as her "adopted daughter" ( I don't have a "family" really.) I never trusted ANYONE in my life and had finally started to trust and to think she could have caused this just breaks my heart.

Also, Thank you all so much for supporting me, you don't know how a few kind posts can really help me through the day! I worked all my life to "make something of myself" and move on from my traumatizing childhood and I feel like it could all be taken from me! Thank you all so much, I am not saying I am a victim, just wrong place, wrong time, decided to put trust in someone whom I shouldn't have

Specializes in OB/GYN, Peds, School Nurse, DD.

Are they requiring you to seek any psychiatric care? I'm in an Impaired Professional Program due to severe depression with suicidal ideation for the past 7 weeks; I graduate in 2 days. I do not have a consent order but I am in group with several people who do. I don't know how it is that I am able to fly under the radar and they don't. I know its a PITA, but if you want to continue being a nurse I guess you'll have to comply with their rules, at least until you can get a hearing. I'm glad you've got an attorney. Hopefully he can be instrumental in getting this all sorted out. Good luck!

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, Oncology, Rehab, LTAC.

GotoGirl I am so sorry you are going through this. It's just so sad that as nurses we take care of everyone else, but when it comes to our coworkers they just as soon stab you in the back as smile at you. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers that everything works out for you. Keep your head up and take care of yourself.:hgu:

Specializes in ICU, nutrition.

The board should have presented you with all their evidence and given you an opportunity to respond to your accuser(s). What exactly did the consent agreement say? I have unfortunately dealt with the SBON and was publicly censured in the past. You can PM me if you want.

I am so sorry you are going through this. You are in my thoughts and prayers. It's difficult and embarrassing, but you will get through it.

Specializes in ER, TRAUMA, MED-SURG.

Hey. I'm like whipping girl in that I have had to deal with the SBON in our state. Actually, my hubbie and I both have. PM if I can help at all. You're in my prayers.

Anne, RNC

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