need legal advice about an Impaired Professional ???

Nurses General Nursing


I am in a horrible predicament, my soon to be X husband has relapsed into drugs, I was recomended by the police to dispose of all the drugs he had in the house. Some of them were sheets of narcotics from places he has worked. He is also an RN.

Am I required to report him to the state? I was told not by my Lawyer, but she is a divorce lawyer, not a nursing one.

He, of course, SWEARS he is still clean, and the 2 accidents he had were not his fault, and the drugs were being returned to his work with their full knowlege(even the illegal ones).

I will probably never believe another word he says (we have kids)

I know I am supposed to report any coworkers I know are impaired, but does this count as well? His coworkers have been aware, and nothing has been done there.

I do not want to do this out of vindictivness, but I know he has impaired thought proscess



*** May we all have the serenity to accept what we cannot change, and the determination to change what we cannot accept. ***

I am sorry to hear about the problems you are having. You are in a hard place right now, I don't know what I would do. I would think it doesn't make a difference if he is your husband or not, that you should report him. Did he get any help? Or did he say he is clean all by himself? I would question how he got clean. I guess all you can do is look at how this will impact you and your children first. Good Luck to you and your family.

I am very sorry to hear of your present difficulties. However, in your situation, I think it might be advisable to present this question to your state board of nursing. In my home state, having knowledge of an impaired professional, but not reporting it puts you at risk for legal ramifications much the same as the impaired person. However, as laws vary from state to state, I think this question could best be answered by your Director of Nursing Practice (or whatever title your board uses).

Quite simply, would you want him [in a professional sense] taking care of one of your kids? This is a hard one. You use the term relapse: has the state board been involved previously? Does the program in your state have an anonymous reporting component? Keeping consequences natural and logical, I would say that his behavior warrants involvement by the assistance program of your state board. Our thoughts go with you...

You are in a very bad situation. As a nurse you are required to report other coworkers if you know they are involved with drugs, but I'm not sure if you are required to as his wife (X). In some places wives are not required to testify against their husbands. Going to the state board of nursing is HUGE step...there will be lots of legal implications once he's reported. You might try talking to him and or the company he works for telling them/him that either he goes and seeks some sort of rehab and takes a leave of absence until this is completed or you will be forced to report to the Board of Nursing. Your state board of nursing will probably take his working privlage away until he gets some help. This may sound very hash,but he is dealing with people's lives and that's not to be taken lightly. Best of Luck and hang in there!

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