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MN New Nurse with History

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BlueDaisy BlueDaisy (New) New

Hi all, I'm looking for some helpful information from anyone who's been through the process. I am just finishing nursing school and have applied to take my NCLEX about a week ago. I am a recovering alcoholic with a little over 2 years sobriety. I am aware that I will probably have to go through an investigation and will most likely have to be monitored for a period of time once I pass my boards. I'm wondering if anyone has been in this situation and if they know roughly how long an investigation of this kind will take (should I wait to start applying for jobs?) and once issued a conditional license how hard is it to find a job and does anyone have any tips for this? Thanks in advance for POSITIVE feedback.

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience.

How would the BON know about your past? There is no need to bring it up; you're two years into sobriety and it's none of their business as long as you stay that way. Don't "out" yourself, believe me, there is nothing to be gained.

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 19 years experience.

Hi all, I'm looking for some helpful information from anyone who's been through the process. I am just finishing nursing school and have applied to take my NCLEX about a week ago. I am a recovering alcoholic with a little over 2 years sobriety. I am aware that I will probably have to go through an investigation and will most likely have to be monitored for a period of time once I pass my boards. I'm wondering if anyone has been in this situation and if they know roughly how long an investigation of this kind will take (should I wait to start applying for jobs?) and once issued a conditional license how hard is it to find a job and does anyone have any tips for this? Thanks in advance for POSITIVE feedback.

Unless your history includes arrests or convictions I would not disclose to the BON. If you are solid in your recovery stay anonymous. Beaing honest in all our affairs does not mean we have to put ourselves in jeopardy. Even if you were in treatment as a private citizen that is your private medical history.

Peace and Namaste

Hppy

I agree with the previous post. Don't offer any additional information than needed. I divulged my entire post to the board and really ended up shooting myself in the foot. I was given 3 year monitoring program in order to get my license. If I had to do over again I surely wouldn't have told them all I had. Be honest but be smart and protect yourself. Congrats on the sobriety!

Thanks for the feedback but, I did get a DUI just under 5 years ago so I did have to disclose and honestly, I planned on disclosing regardless because I just don't want to be looking over my shoulder the rest of my career. I have applied to take the NCLEX and I was honest about my past so now I've been sitting here waiting for their response. I've read a lot of pretty hopeless things on here which makes me wonder if I'll ever be able to pursue a career in nursing and if I am able to make it through the monitoring process without it breaking me emotionally (and financially) I wonder if I'll ever be able to do any kind of nursing beyond dialysis, corrections or long term care. I need a ray of hope here...

dirtyhippiegirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in PDN; Burn; Phone triage. Has 8 years experience.

Gather all info pertinent to your recovery both past and present. Do you see a therapist? Go to AA? Have a sponsor? Get letters, document AA meetings, etc. You def want a papertrail that you have 2 years of sobriety to present to the board. New grads start out in non-acute care and move to acute care all the time. The key restriction itself is usually temporary and that is the immediate barrier to getting an acute care job...I would work really hard on not getting a stipulated license though.

It it so not hopeless. I was honest about my past and was offered a 3 year monitoring program. Once I complete this my license will be clear. I am required to call in on a daily basis to find out of I have a drug/et oh test, 2 x weekly AA meeting, nurse support group, monthly counseling and self reports every 3 months. My employer also has to fill out a report every 3 months. It was a little overwhelming at first but then it all becomes like 2nd nature.

I was fortunate to find an employer to hire me on the spot and she hAs been my mentor and friend. It has been such a rewarding experience all together. remember that a monitoring is program is different than a diversion or discipline program . Most employers know the difference. You may not get hired on the spot but you will get hired it just may take som e time. I had the same feeling. Keep us posted!!!! And good luck !!!!!

Thank you dirtiehippiegirl, that's helpful. I can get a paper trail for most of the things you've listed because I have done or am doing all of it but, I would have to start the paper trail for AA now since it's not typical to do this. Do you mean have someone sign off that I've been there or just a list of dates I've gone? When you say "work really hard not to get a stipulated license" what do you mean by that? What would I have to do to NOT get a stipulated license?

Sorry for so many questions, this is new for me.

Thanks Omaapecm, it's nice to hear a success story!

dirtyhippiegirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in PDN; Burn; Phone triage. Has 8 years experience.

Thank you dirtiehippiegirl, that's helpful. I can get a paper trail for most of the things you've listed because I have done or am doing all of it but, I would have to start the paper trail for AA now since it's not typical to do this. Do you mean have someone sign off that I've been there or just a list of dates I've gone? When you say "work really hard not to get a stipulated license" what do you mean by that? What would I have to do to NOT get a stipulated license?

Sorry for so many questions, this is new for me.

Yeah -- I would date/time your AA meetings and have someone sign them. Maybe have your sponsor(s) write a letter giving more background to your AA program of recovery if they are willing. (Monitoring programs LOVE AA.)

I know this is the optimist in me but I glanced at the MN BON website/application and it doesn't say that answering "yes" to the drug/alcohol problem question (which I assume you did...or did you just divulge the DUI?) will automatically divert you into a monitoring program, although I am obviously not familiar with the MN program. Will you probably get some sort of monitoring program/stipulated license agreement? Probably. But it can't hurt to approach this with the mindset that there is a possibility of getting an unrestricted license which will make your new grad life 100x easier. Build the case for a really strong recovery, that you have learned from your actions.

Thanks you so much for your optimism. It is genuinely appreciated. I did answer yes to both questions, dishonesty wasn't really an option in my mind. I will definitely take your advice and keep you posted!

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 19 years experience.

Thanks for the feedback but, I did get a DUI just under 5 years ago so I did have to disclose and honestly, I planned on disclosing regardless because I just don't want to be looking over my shoulder the rest of my career. I have applied to take the NCLEX and I was honest about my past so now I've been sitting here waiting for their response. I've read a lot of pretty hopeless things on here which makes me wonder if I'll ever be able to pursue a career in nursing and if I am able to make it through the monitoring process without it breaking me emotionally (and financially) I wonder if I'll ever be able to do any kind of nursing beyond dialysis, corrections or long term care. I need a ray of hope here...

"Don't knock those other nursing jobs I worked psych for 6 years and made a pretty good income doing it, Then I worked another 6 years with a company that managed group homes for disabled adults and again made pretty good income. I tend to get bored after 6 to 7 years and seek change.

I am working long term care now and although it has it's unique challenges it is still a necessary aspect of nursing care especially with our aging population. Just this past Thursday I got a call on a job I applied for four years ago at the State Prison. It pays $45.00 and hour with $10.00/hr differentials for nights, weekends and holidays and $20.00/hr differential for lock downs. I am not sure I am going to take it as I am pretty much through with jobs that offer hazard pay as I was injured twice during my psych years. Still if you have the right personality for it Coreections nursing can be quite lucrative.

Hppy

Yay and Crap at the same time....I have an interview scheduled for Friday. I know I don't have to disclose on the first interview but, what do I do? Is it even wise to accept a position (should it be offered) without even starting the monitoring program yet? What should I tell my potential employers if it gets to a second interview?

MissCerah

Specializes in Special Education (children/adults).

I went through this recently... in the state of PA this is what happened to me. When I applied for my Authorization to Test for the NCLEX there is a question asking about arrests or something along those lines. When you check yes to that it automatically sends you to be evaluated. I had to send in a written statement about what happened, IN DETAIL, the outcome and then whatever rehabilitation I had done. Remember to only disclose what they know about. Only talk about what is on your record, because that is all they are asking for. Do not hurt yourself more in the long run by telling them things they didn't ask for. They give you 14 days to wait for a decision and if you do not hear from them by that time you can call them to ask the status of your ATT. Once you have your ATT and pass the NCLEX you are a NURSE! No restrictions, no monitoring service. Hopefully this helps answer some of your questions. :)

Thanks MissCerah. I just wanted to give everyone an update...I passed my boards on Monday and was issued a license number today. I couldn't believe it because they never asked for more information or anything (I had it all ready). I called to verify and said that I had replied "yes" to a couple of questions on the application so I was wondering if the board needed to follow up on that at all and the lady at the BON said, "No, if you were issued a license number you are good to go". Could this be for real? I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. Does anyone think I'm actually clear with no monitoring or do you think they would issue me a number and then contact me about investigating for possible monitoring?