Returning to work after suspension

  1. Hello,
    I have been reading a lot of posts of different situations of returning to work after your license has been suspended. I worked as a LPN for nine months before my license was suspended due to my pain pill addiction. I never diverted any medications. I now have over two and half years sobriety, my license was re-instated in October 2011.I do have a narcotic restriction. And for that reason have been applying for jobs that do not involve narcotics. DO I have to tell them right off the bat that I have this restriction. I have had only a few phone interviews, and it always gets asked why I left my last position. So I go into the story. "I am in recovery, and was addicted to pain pills, my use got in the way of my present job." I try to word it differently every time. I have yet to get a call back for a second interview. What else can I do? I know that if I can get in for an in person interview it would be different. I do not want them to think that I lied because I was not honest in the beginning.? Has anyone had any luck getting a job after being suspended? How do I word this, without saying too much?
    Thanks! I appreciate any help!
  2. Visit snoah profile page

    About snoah

    Joined: Apr '12; Posts: 10; Likes: 8
    from US
    Specialty: Pediatrics


  3. by   finley
    Hey Snoah!

    Congrats on going back to work. May I ask what state you're in? I want to know all the states that have diversion programs. I'm not sure all of them do, maybe I can post a new thread on that.

    Anyway, onto you. Yes, I had to enter back in after suspension and had to work with restrictions for a while. I did not tell people in interviews. I know there is the honesty in all of our affairs principle but we also didn't get sober to be doormats. Taking care of us is also important. So, I don't feel it's a lie by omission and I did not disclose my history during interviews. I would say any other reason you left your last job thats closer to the truth. Family illness. That would be you, the one with the illness. I don't know. Personal time off. Whatever. Because we are covered by the ADA. They cannot revoke an offer based on an addiction. So I always disclosed it after I got the job offer. If you have a narcotic restriction they could turn around and say we cannot honor the terms of the contract. They can tell you that and thats legal but they can't say no job because you're an addict. You telling them up front allows them to do just that and you don't know why they're not calling back. That's just my opinion.

    Hope it helps.
  4. by   Eric Cartman
    Here's my 2 cents. Honest is a great policy, but society frowns upon addicts/ alcoholics, even if you are in recovery. It might be tough to find a job right away, but have you considered applying for positions in drug rehabs, or detox centers? Those facilities sometimes are a little bit more understanding toward people who have problems with addictions. I went to rehab once upon a time and all of the nurses at the facility were in recovery.
  5. by   snoah
    Thanks for responding. I am in Minnesota. The monitoring program I am involved in is called HPSP. I have thought about applying at detox/rehab but have yet to find an opening to do so. I have another phone interview in the morning and am going to try to leave out the fact my license has been suspended. We will see how that goes, its worth a try at this point. I am just thankful to hear that it is possible to find a job after your license has been suspended. I was starting to give up hope. Thanks again!
  6. by   KaseyJo
    Read below
    Last edit by KaseyJo on Apr 6, '12
  7. by   KaseyJo
    I, too, live in Minnesota and am currently enrolled in HPSP. I will be going through the same thing in the future as my license is currently in the process of suspension. I see that you live in Minneapolis? I used to live there and I know that there are plenty of options for nurses who have narcotic restrictions. I used to work in Minneapolis with nurses who had restrictions so there is definitely hope. I also know of nurses who, after returning from suspension, applied for positions in which narcotics were not even a part of the job. Maybe that's an idea, too. And living in the Twin Cities, there are many, many nursing jobs that do not require administration of controlled substances. I suppose it's just a thought. We are in the same boat, in the same state so if you give up hope, then I have to, too ....and I can't do that. I wish the very best for you.
  8. by   Charlotte23
    You should tell them right away because they will find out before they hire you if you have restrictions! Good luck! I have been sober for 9 years. I got sober before going to college for nursing but I still have a small record to contend with. Do some volunteer work or something similar to show that you are a healthy part of the community... and you are not a liability. There is a nurse (she was printed in a recent article in my home state) who has books on nurses and addiction..going back to work.. The statistics are crazy for nurses and addiction., I think she said it was 1 in 10 which is about 500,000. I filled my resume with volunteer stuff and a really high GPA so I could say this is who I am today!
  9. by   Meriwhen
    OP: have you tried psych? From what I've seen, psych facilities tend to be more accepting of nurses in recovery. Also, there are psych opportunities in lots of different care settings, so you may be able to find one that will accommodate your narcotics restriction.
  10. by   snoah
    Thanks everyone. I had a phone interview last Friday, and left out the fact that my license had been suspended and I have a restriction. The interview went really well. The best one I have had so far. I think that if I get called back for an in person I may explain.
    Kaseyjo - Do you know of any companies in Minnesota that will hire someone in our situation. I have talked to my case manager and she did not know of anything. I do need to beef up my resume a little, and volunteering is something I have considered and will look into. I had a feeling it would be difficult finding a job, but not this bad. I have been applying at clinics because of the restriction, and it is what I want to do. All applications are done online, and the time I have taken my resume in I got no results. I can't give up hope, this is what I want to do and am a wonderful nurse. Its just hard to keep your head up when you have rejection after rejection heading your way.
  11. by   KaseyJo
    I just wanted to clarify. So you are an LPN? I can certainly try to contact some people that I know who might have good ideas if you're an LPN. Thank you
  12. by   snoah
    Yes I am an LPN. I would really appreciate it if you could find anything out! Thank you!!
  13. by   KaseyJo
    I apologize for not getting back to you sooner, I have had a rough couple of days. I'm going to try to look into more LPN positions but I'm more familiar with RN positions. Interim Healthcare is an organization that has been great at working with nurses who have restrictions. Many psych positions as well as the obvious chemical dependency nursing positions are very accepting as long as you have maintained your sobriety. There are many places that you could "start out" with that are restriction friendly, particularly dialysis units, online or phone nursing, and other areas that narcotics are not even an issue. I will do some more investigating for you. Or....we could start our own business in Minnesota and make tons of money and never have to work again. It's just a thought I'll get back to you on more ideas.
  14. by   Meriwhen
    Quote from KaseyJo
    Many psych positions as well as the obvious chemical dependency nursing positions are very accepting as long as you have maintained your sobriety.
    True that...but please don't think that your being in recovery means that you have a lock on a CD job or that it will be easy.

    I've seen staff unable to keep their own recovery separate from their patients'...and this includes staff with lengthy periods (decades!) of recovery. The patients need to find their own path to recovery and they may choose to do things differently than you did. Or they may have different beliefs than you. Or they may make the same mistakes over and over despite your teaching and the fact that doing X and Y worked for you. Or they keep relapsing because they haven't hit their bottom yet. Or they flat-out are not interested in recovery and are there because they were coerced by family/friends/employers, were brought in by the authorities, or they just wanted three hots and a cot.

    Sometimes staff confuse their recovery with the patient's, feeling that the patient's recovery is about them as well as the patient...and this can negatively influence how they treat the patient.

    Also, depending on the type of job you get in addictions, you may be giving out controlled substances. This is particularly true for acute detox for most substances, and for tapering benzo addicts off their drugs. For long-term recovery programs, not so much. But CD positions aren't necessarily narc-free.

    There are lots of staff in recovery that do very well in this setting, so definitely look at these places! But keep what I said in mind as the grains of salt. And remember that your recovery should come above all else.