Nursing school health screen/drug test


I'm hoping someone can help me. I recently applied to an RN program here in Connecticut. I am pretty much accepted but I have to pass a criminal background check, health screen and drug test. No problem on the background check, but I was recently discharged from the Army with a couple bulging discs in my c-spine for which I take Lyrica. I also recently started taking a light dose of Buspar while I work through some issues with my Doctor. Can this possibly keep me out of Nursing? I can't really seem to find anything at the colleges website or in Connecticut law. Any help would be appreciated.

Sun0408, ASN, RN

1,761 Posts

Specializes in Trauma Surgical ICU. Has 4 years experience.

Nursing is soo hard on your body and back. With your disc issues have you thought about how hard this will be on you? I couldn't imagine going into something knowing I will be on my feet 12 hours a day, pulling, turning, tugging obese pts etc.

Back injuries have retired many many nurses or caused some of them to continue to work because they can't do anything else hoping not to "make it worse". I wish you the best in which ever you decide.


663 Posts

Nursing is not just PHYSICAL labor..theres soooooo much more out there..dont be discouraged and go for it..I know pkenty of very successful nurses that dont have to lift ppl or even ever worked in a hospital:)


251 Posts

Specializes in Trauma | Surgical ICU. Has 7 years experience.

If you have a valid prescription, take it with you when you go for your drug test because most drug tests tests for benzos and opiates.

Your back injury may become a problem, however, not only for nursing school but in your nursing career in general. You have to be able to bend your back, lift at least 50 pounds, not to mention just standing for long hours. But if nursing is really for you, don't let that stop you. Bedside nursing isn't the only thing you can do.


663 Posts

Plus your meds arent controlled so they dont even test for that


234 Posts

They only test for 'real drugs' like marijuana and're fine! Just disclose to the doctor or nurse what meds you are on.

Specializes in Critical Care, Med-Surg, Psych, Geri, LTC, Tele,.

Most schools will allow you to take medications as long as you have a prescription. Some students stop taking even prescription opiates and narcotics and alcohol prior to applying to avoid having to disclose the use of these. HTH!

morte, LPN, LVN

7,015 Posts

lyrica is indeed a control.

Plus your meds arent controlled so they dont even test for that


144 Posts

I dont think it would show up in a normal routine drug screen BUT as long as you are taking it how you are supposed to be and obviously have a script you will be fine. I worked for a neurologist for a long time. Loved it until we had to move because of the Army. Lyrica IS a controlled substance btw.


599 Posts

I take Klonipin for panic. But I only take it at night. I wonder if that will show up. I know the drug test I took at work (before I started treatment for my panic) was very in depth. It tested for all street drugs and prescription drugs. But if you have the bottle with you when you go then there isn't a problem. They are worried about illegal use. Good luck :)


190 Posts

In our admissions e-packet one of the documents was all about our drug screen. It said the time frame of the UA (our 2 day orientation but not a specific date...figuring it's spread over those two days for all 81 of us) and it gave a list of the drugs that would be tested for. They included illegal drugs and their metabolites and a bunch of prescription drugs such as Vicodin and klonopin. As long as you have a valid and verifiable prescription, you don't fail if you come up 'hot' was how my question about it was answered (for me it was a post-op pain control question).