Student nurse in recovery

  1. Hi all! I'm a 24 year old student nurse who got sober from alcohol and prescription amphetamines a little over 2 years ago. I started out as a biomedical sciences/research major and then switched to nursing. I was in clinicals for a year when I got sober and transferred to a nursing program in Minnesota. I ended up having to start clinicals from the beginning but am almost halfway through the new program and am wondering about what will happen when I apply for NCLEX and licensure. Will I have to self-report or will they find out (god willing, it will have been 4 years since active alcoholism). My main worry is about restrictions because I've heard that some states require you to only work day shift and have a narcotic restriction. I never diverted from patients as a nurse technician or student nurse, and my DOC was alcohol, so will I still have to deal with those restrictions? And should I start documenting meeting attendance now? So many questions but appreciate any answers
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  2. Visit Queenofthesouth24 profile page

    About Queenofthesouth24

    Joined: Jun '18; Posts: 3; Likes: 6

    15 Comments

  3. by   Recovering_RN
    How will they know if you don't tell them? If it were me, I definitely would not say a word! Yes, you will be put into a monitoring program with random (expensive) drug testing, evaluation (also expensive) by an addiction specialist, outpatient therapy IF you are lucky BUT they could even require inpatient treatment (doubtful this far out from active addiction but it's been known to happen), narcotic restrictions, no nights, no call, no floating to other units. It will make getting a job as a brand new nurse VERY difficult (but not impossible). So if it were me I would not disclose that information when applying for my license!!!
  4. by   Kel65
    Duct tape in you past. Silence.
  5. by   caliotter3
    Grab yourself by the scruff of your own neck and do what needs to be done without announcing it from the peak of Mt. Everest for all the world to hear. You are the one who ultimately must keep yourself in line anyway, so might as well start now. You will thank yourself for the favor.
  6. by   Big Blondie
    Loose lips sink ships!
  7. by   unreal
    Unless you have some sort of criminal past related to your alcohol/Rx amphetamine usage that you have to answer for, I WOULDN'T SAY A THING. Go on about your recovery and share it with no one.
  8. by   LindsayRNL
    I'm late to the party. I agree with everyone else so far. If there's no conviction, just answer no on your nursing application to the board. Keep your mouth shut about it otherwise you'll be invited to participate in an expensive alternative to discipline monitoring program.
  9. by   Queenofthesouth24
    Thanks y'all. This has been incredibly helpful, and I hope this conversation helps other student nurses that might be in recovery. It's a shame that it can be such a punitive system, but it seems to be getting better, at least here in Minnesota. Hope you all are having great weeks!
  10. by   hppygr8ful
    Quote from Peyton8593
    Hi all! I'm a 24 year old student nurse who got sober from alcohol and prescription amphetamines a little over 2 years ago. I started out as a biomedical sciences/research major and then switched to nursing. I was in clinicals for a year when I got sober and transferred to a nursing program in Minnesota. I ended up having to start clinicals from the beginning but am almost halfway through the new program and am wondering about what will happen when I apply for NCLEX and licensure. Will I have to self-report or will they find out (god willing, it will have been 4 years since active alcoholism). My main worry is about restrictions because I've heard that some states require you to only work day shift and have a narcotic restriction. I never diverted from patients as a nurse technician or student nurse, and my DOC was alcohol, so will I still have to deal with those restrictions? And should I start documenting meeting attendance now? So many questions but appreciate any answers
    Unless your treatment was related to a crime such as a DUI. Any treatment you received is considered private and protected by HIPAA Almost all nursing BON applications ask questions about treatment for addiction or mental illness involving psychosis in the past 5 to 10 years. Many of us in the interest of rigorous honesty answer these questions truthfully and end up practicing under restriction. I cannot advise you to lie on your application however you should decide for yourself what to do in this scenario, If you have no criminal background and therefore no public record of your addiction and are doing well in your recovery (Congrats on that BTW) decide what you would do. Once you answer yes to those questions you will required to sign releases from all your doctors and there will most definitely be restrictions of some kind on your new license


    Good luck and best wishes to you


    Hppy
    Last edit by hppygr8ful on Jun 18
  11. by   amzyRN
    There's lots of stigma around mental illness and addiction issues. If it were me I would keep a tight lip. Though in the ideal world, health care would treat the aforementioned as equally as it treats a condition like diabetes, but it dosen't. Even medical issues, I'd keep quiet.
  12. by   BurnedoutICURN
    Quote from Peyton8593
    Hi all! I'm a 24 year old student nurse who got sober from alcohol and prescription amphetamines a little over 2 years ago. I started out as a biomedical sciences/research major and then switched to nursing. I was in clinicals for a year when I got sober and transferred to a nursing program in Minnesota. I ended up having to start clinicals from the beginning but am almost halfway through the new program and am wondering about what will happen when I apply for NCLEX and licensure. Will I have to self-report or will they find out (god willing, it will have been 4 years since active alcoholism). My main worry is about restrictions because I've heard that some states require you to only work day shift and have a narcotic restriction. I never diverted from patients as a nurse technician or student nurse, and my DOC was alcohol, so will I still have to deal with those restrictions? And should I start documenting meeting attendance now? So many questions but appreciate any answers
    Do you have any arrests? Felonies? Misdemeanors that are related to drugs or alcohol? If no, then don't say anything.

    We'd all like to believe in a utopia where people won't judge us on past mistakes. I can tell you that is not the world in which we live. You're doing the work. You're doing what's needed for you to stay sober. I would not share this with any governing body. Good luck to you. I hope you do well on your road to recovery.
  13. by   Queenofthesouth24
    Thanks friend. No arrests or any criminal history, just was headed towards a bad place, and now I've been sober for nearly 2.5 years, so seem to be doing well for this being my first rodeo. I try to stay humble but this has actually revealed a love for mental health, so I plan to carry that into my practice in acute care. I appreciate the advice.
  14. by   Randomnurse3
    I would answer question about this with a big fat NO. Never reveal this to anyone! There is no way they will ever know unless you tell them.

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