Without going into detail, I've managed to have myself in a pretty bad situation. It really is a matter of being guilty because I can't prove my innocence. My lawyer thinks if we go the investigation/trial route, they will still put me on probation and refer me to the program and said he he thinks can get me into the TPAP. So, my thoughts are if the end result are the same, why not do it where I don't have a permanent mark on my license. As much as I can't prove my innocence they can't prove my guilt, if that makes sense. I'm worried if I volunteer for this program, that will be all they need to hang me. Also, while in the program, what is your license status? I was told I would voluntarily stop working. Will it be public record I'm in TPAP? What happens when my license expires and I need to renew, will they let me?
Members could better help you if you would disclose the state you are in. Different rules in different areas.
Do you mean TPAPN which is Texas?
I don't know what state you're from but I have seen people try to fight the system and end up getting severely punished, whereas here I am totally guilty but in my state's program and have a clean license because I confessed my guilt and did what they wanted. Some states make you stop working for a period and/or with restrictions while on the program. I imagine if you fight it you would end up in the same program anyway if you lost? I think what they do, if there are restrictions, is to have your employer fill out some report quarterly or whatever. If it is not public discipline, it shouldn't be viewable in the BON website. Can't speak for the specifics of your state though. But yeah knowing what I know about how this all works, if I were in a situation where I couldn't prove my innocence I would sign up for my state's program even if I was in fact innocent. My state doesn't make you stop working though but still, a clean license is important.
I think it's noteworthy that your lawyer is wanting to avoid an investigation/trial as that usually takes more of their time (and your money in lawyer fees) than to simply get you signed up for the alternative program. Sometimes lawyers encourage the nurse to fight it (I believe) so they can charge the nurse more money. Anyway, usually signing up for the alternative program has a time limit so I would try to figure this out soon before it isn't an option anymore.
If they can't prove you are guilty I would not volunteer to enter a program. Especially if I didn't do anything wrong. That's the same as admitting guilt in the eyes of the BON. I would take my chances but that's me! Sorry you are dealing with this.
Well let me clarify a bit. If you improperly wasted narcotics, for example, they can getcha on that alone. I have seen "improper waste of narcotics" written publicly on nurse's licenses. This is public discipline and does not go away. All future employers would see that. They don't have an alternative program that I know of for innocent nursing mistakes. They do for drug and alcohol problems. Not fair to you but it is what it is.
If you have not made any actual errors... say for example a coworker says they think you are using but there's no proof... this would be something I would fight.
But honestly, if your lawyer (who knows all the details that you haven't shared with us) thinks your best option is the alternative program I think that speaks volumes because that is less time and less money for the lawyer (I assume). Don't get me wrong, the alternative program is going to be a major pain for someone who doesn't have any actual problems (you can't even have a sip of wine on your birthday, and the random testing costs money). But I think this is better than public discipline that would effect your future employment.
Yeah tough call here. The program I'm in stinks to high heaven. Its expensive, intrusive and largely nonsensical. I got a DUI so I was guilty. No way I'm volunteering for this program unless I was guilty of something bigger than charting errors unless they were repeated with a pattern and addressed and I failed to modify my practice. Expanding these programs to simple charting errors is simply wrong.
I've been at this a long time ( I was a class A screw up for a lot of years ), this is my first true sobriety. Just an example: if you stagger a little, or push the gas peddle in you car in the parking lot, instead of the break, crashing into someone. If you have a spiteful ex who says you're acting a little 'off.' All of these things can land you in very hot water. How are you going to prove any of it's not true? They are going to err on the side of public safety. Now, with a good attorney, you may succeed. But, proving you did nothing is going to cost you.
In addition to not doing drugs and alcohol, which is always a good idea. You have to be ever vigilant about the places you work and the people you hang out with. Once you are on the radar, any easy notion of proving you did nothing wrong is off the table.
It's either be in drug monitoring contract or mental health. It is possible to do your time and eventually be released from either. But, I've also seen nurse's become so consumed with proving their innocence that they've made things worse.
If the company can come up with 'reasonable suspicion' it may not matter if you did it or not.
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