**Please keep negative, hateful comments off this thread, I've already beat myself up for weeks regarding my current situation and don't need a gang of you to help me
I have been in Nursing for 3 years now and just got fired from my hospital job for a ridiculous mistake. I need advice on how to move forward in this, I feel paralyzed in fear and shame as my incident has been self reported to the state board for review. I have no idea how to talk about this in future interviews.
my first job I worked for 2.5 years on a busy medaurg unit an hour away from my house, I recently switched jobs only a few months ago to an amazing unit in another specialty I loved that was close to home. I was working the night shift and enjoyed it a lot.
I packed my lunch for my second shift of three in a hurry as I was leaving the house so I could get to my shift early. I packed a flavored sparkling water my friend left at my house in my fridge after a pool party the week before and another soda for some energy when things slowed down in the middle of the night. My husband tried the sparkling water earlier in the week and so had I and I didn't just want to throw them away. The night was going great, my patients were wonderful and I took a lunch break at midnight and drank some of my sparkling water with my meal. I did my med passes, charted, and sipped on my drink at the station as I went about my nightly duties. The morning was busy so I spent 15 extra minutes at end of shift wrapping up my charting and checking everything over. I wanted to make sure to clock out before 8am so I grabbed my things and rushed to clock out once I was done.
I received a text message once I got home from my manager with a picture of my sparkling water from the front desk that I had left out. I thought oops! I forgot to clean my workstation up! As others in the thread began to Freak Out about the drink I realized that this sparkling water my friend brought to the house had ALCOHOL in it. Guys I DRANK THIS AT WORK. I tried not to panic and called my husband to try to keep me sane enough to call my manager. He had no idea the drink had alcohol either, he had one earlier in the week and didn't even think to check the label of the can. I called my manager and was honest that this drink was mine, and did my best to explain I had no idea the content of the drink but what was done was done which seemed hard for him to believe. I was fired on the spot and asked to self report to the state board. Now I'm jobless and have no idea how to explain to future employers this insane incident. I feel terrible and shameful but so thankful I innocently sipped on the thing for 6 hours and didn't even finish it so my patient care wasn't affected. Thank God, I think how much worse this could have been. If I had thrown the can away I NEVER would have even known what was actually in that can. My dumb self didn't even know alcoholic seltzer water existed to check for it. Stupid me.
My employer agrees my patients were not affected so it's not being pursued as a patient related incident. The state board says it's going to take upwards of 18 MONTHS to complete the report since it's a low priority case. I'm going to be given a choice to go through AA and regular urine screenings, with restrictions on my license for up to three years (non disciplinary program) or have an investigator from the board look into my case. I have no idea how to navigate this. I don't even know what I'd do in an AA meeting, I don't frequently drink - I've been drunk once in my life, this isn't me! This whole situation feels like a bad dream. I'm in my mid 20's and I feel like I've ruined my nursing career only 3 years in.
If you're going to comment, please, I need facts about this. Plenty of people in my life say they 'think' it'll just get dismissed and they 'know' I'll get another job but I just can't believe everyone's opinions. I'm praying for a Degree of Censure and no restrictions on my license, I don't know how likely that will be. Thank you for reading my story, I've read through every thread on this site- all I hear about nurses that get fired is bad discouraging things but I can only hope that it's just the bad stories that get written on here and the good endings people don't write about.
Jobless and Confused