Turned down due to nursing probation

  1. I just wanted to share an experience I had recently with applying for a nursing job. I have a consent agreement with the BON for 5 years also called nursing probation. I was interviewed for a RN job a local hospital and the interview went great. I did not share that I was on nursing probation and wanted to let them know at the 2nd interview. I was called back for my 2nd interview and it went very well then I told them about my consent agreement and what was required of it. I got a call back about 1 week later stating that my interview, references, and experience were amazing and they wanted to hire me! BUT, the nurse manager had experience with my type of situation in the past and it did not go well and I believe the nurse relapsed. So, she stated point blank that the reason I was not being hired was because of my history of substance abuse! I'm over half way through my nursing probation and have been clean and sober for 4 years....I explained. The nurse manager said that was great and to give her a call when it had been 5 years and my probation was over! What the heck! What is her mindset? Does she feel that I'll be magically "cured" when I hit the 5 year mark? I cannot believe the ignorance some people have when it comes to addiction. Somehow I feel that she just didn't want to deal with the paperwork.....sigh.
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    About determined_nurse

    Joined: Mar '11; Posts: 6; Likes: 9
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience


  3. by   catmom1
    Unfortunately you are not alone. One director of nursing acted like I had soiled his carpet by daring to apply at his facility. I have more than 6 years C & S and over 4 years of 5 years of probation completed. Just be happy they asked you to reapply when your probation is over. I certainly didn't hear even that.
  4. by   mona1023
    This is why I have not even asked for my return to work assessment to be completed yet. I am fortunate to be receiving unemployment right now, but I know that I will need to return to work in the next few months. I have 4 months clean and i am grateful for many things in my life. However, I do not believe that anyone will be willing to hire me, even though my old nurse manager told me that she would give me an excellent reference about my nursing care. I really believe that I will always be viewed with disdain and disgust because I am an addict. I do not believe that I would be treated couteously, with respect, or even as a human being by anyone in the medical/nursing profession who knows I am a recovering addict. With that being said, all I am doing right now is trying to work a program of recovery to the best of my ability and remain accountable for things I have done while in active addiction.
  5. by   catmom1
    I know how you feel Mona, but I have learned when I start thinking "always" and "never" about how I will be looked down on etc, that is my own shame talking. Although I have been having a terrible time since last May looking for work, even I have had people who were respectful of me despite my past. I had a job for 2 1/2 years where I was hired my someone who was thrilled to have me. Unfortunately she left & her replacement just didn't like me for whatever reason...

    My biggest obstacle is my own shame. I stayed away from nursing for 5 years after I got in trouble because of it.


    P.S. Whatever you do don't let feelings of shame and worthlessness drive you back into your addiction! CM
  6. by   iisonu
    This situation is most unfortunate! I have been a nurse for over 15 years, and the pride and dignity that we have when we become nurses does not have to go out the window when our insufficiencies are exposed.

    I worked as a med/surg director once, and the experience was Grande! I hired many nurses that were on probation, in the RNP, etc., and their past histories never phased me! We (nurse candidate and I) agreed to look towards the future and begin a prosperous sober future together! I provided counseling, encouragement, and even personal 1:1's with all of my nursing staff, and actually, these were the BEST nurses I've ever worked with! I NEVER judged anyone's past, because I am a firm believer that EVERYONE has "issues" some of us just know how to conceal them better than others, and some of us NEVER get caught!

    Just recently, I incurred a board consent order for failing a pre-employment drug screen (tested (+) for THC). I did not expect to be on this side of the table, but it is what it is! At first, I was embarrassed, ashamed, and felt guilty that I had let those who looked up to me down, but I can assure you that I am going to be better and not bitter from this situation! Again, keep in mind, WE ALL HAVE A PAST!!! And, those who are quick to judge perhaps are doing the most wrong ! They know who they are, but they rule with such iron fists only to protect, cover up, and hide their own mistakes!

    In this case, I will toot my own horn and humbly say, that I wish there were MORE compassionate, understanding, and caring people (nurses) like me that would give us a second chance without be condescending and judgmental. We as nurses proclaim that we will always "care" for others, but should that exclude our own? NOT!!!

    Nurses do eat their own...and I believe that!!! LORD help us all!

    T.O.T. He who is without sin, cast the first stone!
  7. by   LisaB19
    Just a little FYI, we do fall under the ADA, so if someone isn't hiring you just because you are a former addict, they can't do that. Look it up, I was a little surprised.

  8. by   catmom1
    Quote from LisaB19
    Just a little FYI, we do fall under the ADA, so if someone isn't hiring you just because you are a former addict, they can't do that. Look it up, I was a little surprised.

    How do you prove the violation? Employers can and do refuse to hire former addicts---all the time, simply because of their pasts.

    This is one place where the disease model of addiction really hurts us since the whole idea of "once an addict always an addict" might lead some to think we will dive for the narc box at our first opportunity even if it has been decades since we were active in our addiction.

  9. by   LisaB19
    I believe that if the employer, such as in the OP, states that they would hire her except for her past SA, that is a case for a ADA case. Take a look here:


  10. by   iisonu
    How do we deter the thought process of these "said" individuals? If the ADA and other organizations can back indidviduals with circumstances such as ourselves, why haven't they done so? The comments, posts, stories, ideas, etc. has helped me personally through this transition (knowing that I am not alone), but what entity will truly step up and assist us in fighting for our rights?

    Nursing is the one of the most esteemed professions, and we rally to advocate and fight the rights of patients/families, their ethical dilemmas, and legistative nursing laws, but I say once again, when it comes to us "nurses" we MURDER one another!!! WHY are we letting this happen? WHEN will the UNION truly come together? WHO is willing to take on this battle? HOW is it going to get started? WHERE will it all end? And at WHAT time will we stand together and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH???


  11. by   BeOne77
    Are you required to divulge that you have a consent agreement and how does that work for bipolar disorder. Here we are talking about addicts but what about for something like bipolar disorder. How should that be handled. Any input? Thanks Beone77
  12. by   HunnieBadger
    I know that in North Carolina we are required to, down to a conference call with the program manager and the hiring manager from what I gather. Best part of it (insert sarcasm here) is that if the board disagrees with the choice of employment, they can tell you that you can't work there!! So it's not easy to land a job d/t all the stips AND they can still tell you it's not a satisfactory choice! Not to mention all the other ways they will run my life for the next few years...
  13. by   MichelleRN34
    I live in NC and didn't have to do that .
  14. by   HunnieBadger
    Michelle, I'm in the AP, I think we are in different programs.