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The perfect storm


Has 23 years experience.

I have never wanted to quit nursing in my 24yr ER career until now. (Brief history before I start). My interim manager was my coworker and for what ever reason she never liked me. I’ve NEVER been written up in my life. I had brought harassment charges against her within the last 4 months and lost. Nobody wins harassment at the VA. It’s very common to be harassed and not be able to do anything. I recently contacted my union rep about new charges against her. This is how crazy it is here.
now to the current issues

almost a month ago I had a pt in ETOH withdrawal who also was an ex heroin user. The Dr gives me a verbal order for 2mg of Ativan but outs in for 1mg. I didn’t check the order. I was so freaking busy. (Bad nursing practice yes...diversion no). I go to Pyxis and there’s been 2 discrepancies from the night before that we’re not resolved all day. I grab Ativan out of Pyxis and hit that theres 11 vials found but actually it was 10. I swear under my breath and grab the ticket and bring it to the charge RN immediately and tell her we have to resolve it before she leaves.

I attempt an IV for 45 min or more with 3 unsuccessful attempts. I give up on it and accidentally throw away the vial of Ativan with all the garbage from IV attempts. I realize this and start digging in garbage but it’s too full to find. I leave the room and notice the charge leaves an elderly man In the WC in another room in my area who’s actively bleeding from his skull laceration. CT calls for this pt and of course we’re very short staffed so I have to wheel him down there (which is a far walk)

I come back and see a NOC nurse who is awesome at difficult sticks. He gets the IV in the pt calf and I grab another vial if Ativan. I give the med to the pt and go to chart the IV. I guess I didn’t chart the Ativan which is very unusual for me. So now it’s time to give report to next RN which I do. It’s well past my time to leave and I leave exhausted and frustrated at yet another crappy day in ER without enough staff AND Without reconciling the Ativan.
I come back the next day and tell the charge RN we need to reconcile. She says it’s been done by the interim manager already. I think to myself. oh ***! She’s gonna use this against me. I immediately go to her office and she tells me we can meet later with the pharmacist to straighten it out. I wait hours for this to happen. I wanna tell what happened. I don’t trust this manager. The Manger never comes to ask. I ask the pharmacist when we can all meet so I can tell them what happened. She says she isn’t the contact person for these types of things. I thought that strange. But nothing happens.
Then another 2 weeks go by and I don’t think anything if it until this manager tells me late in the day I need to go for a drug test. I knew I would be positive for cannibals (it’s legal in the state but not federally). My thoughts are it’s better to do pot than becoming addicted to opiates which I’ve lost 3 friends to overdoses I have a herniated disc that needs surgery. I refuse opiates from Drs (yes stupid move for pot use)

I drop urine. I’m distraught and leave work sick. I knew she would be relentless. I come back next day and work another week then I get pulled off the floor one day and reassigned to doing 1:1s. On the floor No patient care.
I’m informed I’m under OIG investigation for drug diversion. I’m sick to my stomach. I begin to feel suicidal (I’m not now ... I have a strong church family supporting me) The thing is... I have an RX for xanax that I rarely take. I had it for several months prior to this, since my dad died. I developed anxiety during his illness and this manger harassing me and refusing to let me take FMLA.
I can’t believe this is happening. I think to myself this is the perfect storm. I’m trusting in God and hoping the truth comes out. I’ll take consequences of pos drug test for pot. But I refuse to admit to diverting. I did not divert. I never would. It was bad nursing practice. I should have verified order and charted it. I also have xanax at home at my disposal if needed. I am sick to my stomach that this is ending my career. I have lots of coworkers that wrote letters to vouch for me. But I don’t think it will help. Any thoughts??

rn1965, ADN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Women's Health, LTC. Has 25 years experience.


Get a hair test, to prove no use.


1. DO NOT TALK TO ANYONE, even your manager or pharmacy

2. Get an Attorney TAANA.org

3. Hair follicle test

Take a deep breath, and keep yourself healthy. Do not let this destroy you.

We are here for you.


Has 23 years experience.

We have a union but they’re pretty useless. I just can’t wrap my head around this....

She drug tests me for reasonable suspicion. AND doesn’t test me for the very drug she’s saying I diverted! Then allows me to return to work that day?? but I’m so distraught because I know she has it out for me so I go home crying.
I return the next day and I’m able to work another week without being removed?? You would think I would be removed immediately if she “reasonably suspects” diversion and my being high?
I’ve talked to multiple cops on campus and asked if the security footage can be pulled because my patients curtains were open the whole time. There’s camera all over. They keep them for a month. I have 3 days for that to happen. They will see me digging in garbage and giving the charge RN the ticket to resolve discrepancy.

I consulted an atty... retainer is $4500 I just drained all my savings paying mortgage/bills this past year because I was caring for my dad who was in hospice for 8 months and drained all my PTO.
I’m stunned at how some Nurses will use their powers to ruin others careers. I’ve always mentored student nurses and teach them to respect other Nurses and the differences they may have. We ALL make mistakes.
I support myself and don’t know any other way of sustaining my finances. Working at the VA was my lifelong dream and now a nightmare. My dad was a Veteran. I love my vets.

I believe in the power of prayer and that the truth will be revealed some day. I’d like to ask for prayers in getting through this with the truth coming out and this never happening to anyone else. Thank you for responding! ❤️🙏🙏

Oh my goodness, big hugs to you! This sound so incredibly distressing.

I am saying a prayer right this minute for you ...

You’ve been through a lot with the loss of your dad and caregiving for him, plus your own health and pain issues. And then the other nurse harassing you and nobody seeming to care or being willing to hold her accountable. I’ve been harassed before too, by an LPN when I was a CNA, and it was absolutely awful because it was relentless and nobody would intervene no matter how much evidence I brought to them. It’s vile that nurses could do that to each other and I’m sorry this is happening to you.

There are pretty strong chances that you will be essentially forced into a monitoring program for the weed, even if you can prove you didn’t divert. I would work really hard on getting that security footage - though it probably won’t be easy because nothing on the side of justice ever is. I would make sure you are confident with the attorney you are choose as they are going to make or break it for you. Don’t pay the retainer until you’ve shopped around a little bit and found the one that seems aggressive enough. It takes guts to actually try and exonerate somebody and go toe to toe with a monitoring program to get the very best possible monitoring contract for you. In addition, depending on your state, some boards try to create criminal charges out of diversion, so proving you didn’t do that could be a pretty big deal (deep breath tho, many BONs don’t pursue that). Hopefully the drug test was negative for the Ativan and that will help your case certainly. Though, if the test you took didn’t test for it, the attorney might wisely suggest you get tested to prove you are clean.

We are here if you need to vent. Many of us have been through hell and back and are at various stages on this roller coaster.

Edited by KatEverly

AbbeyR, ADN, BSN

Has 22 years experience.

We are all here you for. This forum has been my saving grace. Did you only take 1 urine drug test? I’d definitely get a hair test to show you don’t have the drug in question in your hair.

what state are you in?

Prayers and positive thoughts coming your way


you do not have enough post yet for me to send you a PM, but if you can PM please do I want to explain something that may help

Edited by AbbeyR

AbbeyR, ADN, BSN

Has 22 years experience.

9 minutes ago, MADDOG70 said: