Need advice from my fellow nurses in recovery!

  1. Hello all!

    So, I have posted a few times before, but, I am hoping to hear some of your experiences.

    My story: I have 12 and a half years sobriety. I had my AZ RN license revoked in 2003. I am attempting to have it re-issued. I submitted my application July 31 and returned the additional questionnaire in September.

    I do have a previous arrest/probation for possession, but, it has been sealed. I did disclose, as a matter of integrity and I figure it will be discovered anyway.

    My questions:

    1. I currently live in Texas, and I know I will need to relocate during the refresher and probation. Will I then need to go through a program in TX?

    2. Does anyone have experience in how long AZ usually takes to determine IF they will re-issue?

    3. How do nurses working 12 hour day shifts deal with the drug testing? A half hour lunch does not seem to be enough time to go to a lab, submit sample and be back to work.

    4. What are the chances I will need to attend evals/IOP, etc? I did submit letters from my sponsor, past therapist (who stated I was successful in drug therapy for one year, as part of my diversion program), current employer, and a negative urine (observed drug screen).

    I am hoping to gain some insight and words of wisdom. I also wish to shout out everyone who shares their stories. It has been helpful to me.

    Thank you all, in advance!
  2. Visit rn1965 profile page

    About rn1965, ADN, RN

    Joined: Jul '13; Posts: 171; Likes: 291

    8 Comments

  3. by   Recovering_RN
    The only thing I have any knowledge to share is your #3, about how to fit a drug test into a day where you are working a 12 hour shift. I did home health as my first job in monitoring, so stopping at a lab in between pt visits was easy. My second job is at a free standing ER and it's a night shift. So I can get off work and go straight to the lab before going home to sleep. Unfortunately my lab doesn't do drug tests until 8 am, so I have to wait a bit but not long. You can also try to work only weekends, since drug tests on weekends are extremely rare. Not impossible, but very very rare. And finally, when you interview for a job, your employer accepts the restrictions of your program, and one of those is allowing you time to leave to submit a drug test if required. It sucks, and you'll lose any privacy because whoever watches your patients for you while you're gone on your long lunch break will eventually want to know why you always get to take long lunches, and they may resent you for that too. But it's part of what the employer agrees to when they hire you.

    One more option, here in Texas we are allowed to use other labs, not just Quest. Care Now is open until 10 or 11 pm, so you could do your test after you get off work. For me I would be stressing ALL DAY knowing I had to test that evening, because I'd be afraid that somehow I'd forget and go straight home. I have this ongoing fear of forgetting to go test on days I'm selected, or forgetting to check in. I have an alarm (it's actually a recurring "Reminder" on my iPhone) set on my phone to remind me to check in every day, and I change the status to Completed only after I've checked in. On days I have to test, I don't change the status to Completed until after I've gone to the lab and submitted my sample, so that it will continue to remind me all day. I'm obsessive like that.
    Last edit by Recovering_RN on Nov 6, '17
  4. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Yeah, I can talk about the pee tests or mandatory meetings you may be forced to attend. I have a place that tests 24/7. I have to drive a bit to get there but I can always get a pee test done. They will give you a list of testing spots and you will have to manage it the best you can but you cant miss a test because of work. I also have to attend weekly "support group" meetings (1 & 1/2 hours of pure BS) and they are to take precedent over work. All of this can make it hard unless you have an understanding employeer
  5. by   rn1965
    Thank you for your reply. I know I am putting the horse before the cart a bit, since I have not been officially accepted into the monitoring program. But, I feel I have a pretty good chance!

    Thank you, again!
  6. by   SobreRN
    Quote from rn1965
    Thank you for your reply. I know I am putting the horse before the cart a bit, since I have not been officially accepted into the monitoring program. But, I feel I have a pretty good chance!

    Thank you, again!
    I agree from what I have seen here you have a pretty good chance particularly given it was non-work related simple possession. I am beginning to think nurses with a non-alcohol related RAP sheet for manslaughter have an easier go of it!
  7. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    I actually think that's true. If I beat up my significant other would the BON get involved or would they make me do rehab even if I did it stone-cold sober? What about verbally abusing patients or letting them lie in their own filth? Med errors? Ignoring patients while I catch up with my buddies on FaceBook for endless hours.... I'm pretty sure more egregious happen in our profession daily then somebody smoking a joint or getting a DUI away from work. If you are impaired at work that's different but we are in a profession which has few healthy boundaries so why not claim jurisdiction over a person's private life.
  8. by   rn1965
    Quote from SpankedInPittsburgh
    I actually think that's true. If I beat up my significant other would the BON get involved or would they make me do rehab even if I did it stone-cold sober?
    From some of the things I have read (and heard), it does seem that at times, the involvement of the board is overboard. For instance, the new RN who had a DUI many, many years ago and not so much as a parking ticket since is saddled with some, most or all of the requirements as a nurse found impaired at work or diverting from patients in need. I do not understand that in the least.

    For me, I have been clean and sober nearly 13 years (documented proof) and I feel like I may be hit with just as hard a penalty and someone who is one week into their new-found sobriety.

    Of course, I am speculating, but from all my friends here in this forum, I would say I am about as close to right as I can be!

    Here is wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season!
  9. by   noctanol
    As far as pee tests, are you in a rural area?? If not, find a lab that will send someone to you or one that tests after hours or early in the morning. If you work in a hospital then use your labs, it may cost extra but you can tell them to call you when they're ready and it's a 5 min deal. Cut all your expenses and focus on getting the board order over and done with. If youre going to use an after hours or have them come to you, expect to pay double (110). Also remember you won't always test on your work day., Some will be your off days so you'll have plenty of time to get to them.
  10. by   rn1965
    Quote from noctanol
    As far as pee tests, are you in a rural area?? If not, find a lab that will send someone to you or one that tests after hours or early in the morning. If you work in a hospital then use your labs, it may cost extra but you can tell them to call you when they're ready and it's a 5 min deal. Cut all your expenses and focus on getting the board order over and done with. If youre going to use an after hours or have them come to you, expect to pay double (110). Also remember you won't always test on your work day., Some will be your off days so you'll have plenty of time to get to them.
    Thank you for your reply. I am not in a rural area, so, I am hoping that the UAs will not be much of an issue. Since I have not been accepted into the monitoring program just yet, I am not sure who they will use as their source of testing. I am happy to hear that some use their hospital labs. Never thought of that, what a great idea!

    I have been saving money and cutting as many expenses as I can right now. I know the process will be a painfully expensive one. But, knowing ahead of time has helped me prepare.

    Thank you, again!

    Have a wonderful day!

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