something jumped out at me from State Board of Pa newsletter

  1. "It has become evident that the nursing profession in the Commonwealth has a serious problem with substance abuse....The board has a disciplinary function in relation to substance abuse by its licensees. The nursing profession and its professional organizations have the responsiblility for peer assistance and need to take a more active approach to the prevention and treatment of substance abuse." No doubt about it, the state boards job is to punish nurses, no help there for anything or anybody.
    Last edit by oramar on Nov 15, '02
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    About oramar

    Joined: Nov '98; Posts: 7,097; Likes: 5,234
    returned nurse


  3. by   sjoe
    What needs to be remembered, and is usually NOT, is the simple fact that state BONs are representatives of CONSUMERS, not of NURSES. They exist to supposedly protect patients from fraudulent and/or incompetent acts of nurses or people pretending to be nurses. That's all. They don't pretend to be anything other than that,

    No matter how much nurses blindly hope otherwise, that these boards represent them somehow--"They ain't yo' mamma.".
  4. by   -jt
    New York State Nurses Assoc developed a program for their members with addictions to support them, help them beat their addictions & get their lives & licenses back. It functions in conjunction with the state board of nursing. NYSNA lobbied the legislature to make our program available for all RNs & LPNs in the state & last year the governor signed it into state law. Its now a state-funded program open to all NY nurses who need help with addiction. Maybe you could suggest that PA does something like it. Its called S.P.A.N. (Statewide Peer Assistance for Nurses). Check it out on
    The link to SPAN is on the top of the page.
  5. by   NRSKarenRN
    From PA's Bureau of Professions :|

    The Professional Health Monitoring Programs (PHMP) provide a method by which professionals suffering from physical or mental impairments, such as chemical dependency, can receive the appropriate treatment and monitoring to ensure that they remain competent to practice safely.

    The Disciplinary Monitoring Unit manages the cases of impaired licensed professionals under formal discipline by the various boards and commissions.

    The Voluntary Recovery Program offers confidential, voluntary treatment and monitoring of licensed professionals suffering from mental or physical impairments.

    The Professional Health Monitoring Programs recently underwent a full review regarding efficiency and effectiveness. Consequently, it has been strengthened in its ability to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Commonwealth. The Voluntary Recovery Agreement with the boards was modified so that the legal basis upon which the program rests is now strictly adhered to. The urine screen component was made more effective by the requirement that all screens be processed through the Bureau's contracted laboratory.

    The new agreement will ensure that action can be more swiftly and effectively taken to protect the public against impaired professionals who violate their agreements with the boards.
    Standardization of screening procedures and accuracy of screening results are now assured.

    The cost of screens is kept reasonable for all participants.
    Commonwealth attorneys are provided with solid forensic evidence if prosecution becomes necessary.
    The development of individual memoranda of understanding between the Bureau and the board-approved peer assistance programs will increase the efficiency of the bureau's cooperative interaction.

    In 1996 the Bureau's PHMP program received the Council on Licensure, Enforcement, and Regulation (CLEAR) award as Program of the year for its improvement of PHMP process.

    If you know of a licensed healthcare professional with a mental or physical impairment which may be interfering with his/her capacity to practice safely, call:

    1-800-554-3428 (in Pennsylvania) or 717-783-4857
  6. by   oramar
    Lot of interesting stuff in this newsletter. Confirmed what I said last year. Vast majority of dicipline is metted out to chemical abusers. If you just stay clean and sober your chance of going up before board is tiny.
  7. by   NRSKarenRN
  8. by   oramar
    Thats is great, a link to the whole newsletter.
  9. by   maureeno
    A few years back, when our hospital changed to the Pyxis machine, the trainers filled the drawers in the practice machine with candy. The idea was to motivate and reward trainees.
    Now of course, candy is different than drugs; but to encourage nurses to ever take and consume something from the drawer is operant conditioning gone amuck.
  10. by   BadBird
    I disagree that it is the BON responsibility to help the nurses stay clean and sober, it is our responsibility to stay that way. I am tired of people blaming others for their addictions, it is time for people to be accountable for their own actions and not expect everyone else to bail them out. The BON is right in suspending or revoking the licenses of impaired nurses, would you want a impaired nurse taking care of your or someone you loved? There are many programs available for someone who wants help but that person must choose to take advantage of the opportunity, if not why would you want them to endanger other lives?
  11. by   oramar
    I do not relieve people of their personal responsiblity for one second. However, I know from post here that other State Boards have a more progressive approach. It just was the tone of the statement that suprised me. It sounded so harsh. It appears to me that our whole society is in the midst of a chemical abuse problem that dwarfs other waves of abuse by comparison. This is an old hippie making that observation, I have never seen anything like this. I have watched generation after generation make the same stupid mistakes for years and it has never been this bad. I disagree with Badbird about "many programs avaliable". I think access to chemical abuse support is very limited. About 10 years ago I was actually working in a patient facility when the goverment cut the pins out from under them with a sever reduction in financial aid. In 1992 there were "many programs avaliable. Not anymore. My advice to anyone is don't take that first step into drug addiction. I never used the stuff when I was a kid even though it was all around me. That is how I avoided getting addicted. It is sad how many people don't have that much forsight.
  12. by   canoehead

    please. give us a little more credit than that.
  13. by   PJRNC2
    Several years ago South Carolina add $7.00 to the nursing license fee to assist in treatment of impaired nurses due to drug addiction. How the money is being used is unknown to me. When I see a thread like this I put it on the 'to do list' to find out how the program is working. But alas, other more pressing things occur and I never find out! It doesn't really matter 'they' are going to keep putting the money in the 'pot'.