This is my story... please read.

Nurses Recovery


Hello fellow nurses,

I have been a LVN (Texas) since August 2009. In June 2010, I failed a post-incident drug screen in which I turned up positive for THC. Fast-forward to 2014 and after a [somewhat] lengthy investigation process, the Texas Board of Nursing has issued an order for me to participate in the TPAPN EEP program. For those not familiar, this is a program for nurses in which those with an isolated incident participates in a 12-month monitoring program. You must pass 18 drug screenings within this 12-month period. Additionally, you are subjected to undergo an evaluation for chemical substance abuse. Fortunately, this program is COMPLETELY CONFIDENTIAL, unless you fail your drug screening, at which time your employer and all Boards of Nursing you have a license with are informed of the infraction (had to submit a disclosure agreement to allow communication between my employer and state boards of nursing).

I am not concerned with passing my drug screenings. I have not smoked marijuana since 2010. I do not drink alcohol. And I am not prescribed "potentially abused substances." This post is simply about the emotional baggage my poor decisions have caused me so many years in the future.

I know I am not the only nurse going through this. But you know, there are sure times it feels like it. I have been "OK" for the last few weeks, but tonight, I had an overwhelming "heaviness" cover me, and I am just simply on the verge of tears. It's the idea that I could lose my livelihood. It's the idea that I have to put out all this money. It's the idea that I feel like a failure. Here I am in my late twenties, no criminal history, and now I am facing a potentially life-altering circumstance. It's just so ... OVERWHELMING.

Please share your story with me.


195 Posts

Hey there, You are not alone. this forum is a great place to "vent" your fears and frustrations. Listen, I just completed TPAPN in Feb/14, you completion letter is in the mail, you can do this because you are worth fighting for. Yes, throughout the whole ordeal I had waves of feeling like I'm in prison, surges of emotion sadness, depression, I cried to, the threat of losing your livelihood horrified me (OMG my bills, Family). Survival for me, Make the most of today, don't waste time worrying about tomorrow. Play exactly by their rules, and stay off the radar (out of trouble). I only talked to my CM 2 or 3 times in the 2 years I was in. Look for the things in your day that make you smile, be your own best friend (don't beat yourself down). You can do this, its not easy, but you are worth the effort. Peace

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

1 Article; 20,908 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

I do not have a personal story....but you are not alone....((HUGS))

Specializes in ER, TRAUMA, MED-SURG.

Hi behr!

You are definetly not alone! Glad you're here with us. I finished LPN school in 91 and became an RN in 96. I entered the RNP program in Louisiana in 1999 afterI was caught diverting waste meds at work.

I felt SO alone and embarrassed when I got fired from my job! I had a very hard time finding a nursing job after that. Had NO idea how I would even be able to buy groceries. I took a job delivering pizza for about 6 months or so until I finally found someone that gave me a chance. One of the other RN's put in a good word for me with his manager. I got the job and was finally able to feel better about myself. It was a long road to try to repair my reputation -

Even now if I run into a few of the people from that hospital they act like I have the plague but I know that I can hold my head high and maybe help another nurse that finds themselves in the shoes I wore those years ago.

Anne, RNC

Anne, RNC


91 Posts

Hi, yn. I just want to say: I admire you for laying yourself out bare to us; your bravery is noted and admirable. Your livelihood, your role as a nurse? Those are vital to your future, yes. Your value as a human being is of even more importance. You DESERVE to live a good life, no matter what -- or maybe especially BECAUSE of your additional role as a fighter/ survivor. Keep going. Not sure if I have been around long enough to PM, but wish we could talk. I KNOW I have some resources that can help you build on even the hard knowledge you've gained. {{{{HUGS}}}} There will come a day when your current experience will also make sense in your healthcare role. Being human makes you MORE accessible to your patients, not less.


510 Posts

I hear exactly what you are saying. Man oh man did I do some awful things I thought I was not capable of! Most days I go about my merry little way, excited about life, and then....dun....dun...duuuuun! Flash! I feel like the lowest of the low, no one in the world is as awful as I am, how will I make it through, I want the life I had before, I don't want this life I created! How will I eeeeever bounce back?! Everything is different now! And then I stop, realize i am living in the past or future tripping. Then I think about today and who I am right now. Today I am trustworthy, clean and sober, I've met more incredible people than I can count, I have an army of support in my family and AA, and I am a good person. I am also a nurse, that isn't going to change. I will always have my degree, knowledge, and most likely: my lisence. You can do this! Allow yourself to feel this experience, and if you are like me: cut the "at least"s from your life. Swallowing the pain of this experience and not allowing yourself to grieve does not serve you. Welcome to the forum!


195 Posts

Nurse's Rock, Recovering Nurse's are the Rock, for Nurses in need of someone to listen!

I feel your pain, and hope you are in a better place by now. The beauty of feelings is they are certain to change. Talking about them when they are causing a meltdown is helpful. Peace.


178 Posts

A one year, confidential contract with limited urines. I think thats pretty easy compared to some of the stories that have been posted about recreational marijuana use. Many have not been as blessed to have it confidential, have far more urines, and face longer contracts. I'd say that this was a good shake up for you and hope your eyes are open and its made you a better LPN.

Lord knows my encounter with the board and all this mess has surely made me more aware of things! I have 2 more years left on a 3 year contract, urines at least twice a month if not more, not to mention all the meetings and paperwork!

Keep you head up, a year is shorter than you realize!



32 Posts

Specializes in OB/GYN, Internal Medicine, Medical Speci.

Hello yngbehr,

I don't have a personal story..but I just wanted to say It is awesome you shared your story to start your healing process and to help others. Stay Strong and Kudos too you.

" Only God"

can turn a Mess into a Message..

A Test into a Testimony..

A Trail into a Triumph..

A Victim into Victory!!


139 Posts

Specializes in Addictions, Adult Psych.

You are not alone, and soon this will be a distant memory. Everything will be okay!


32 Posts

Thank you for your honesty! I am in similar I know exactly how you feel. Didn't know if I could keep the lights on much less how I was going to pay for daycare so I could fix food at minimum wage. I became so accustomed to having a $2000-3000 check every month to being lucky if I was able to make 350/week. Paying for drug testing was always my priority though. I picked up a second job just to pay for my drug tests. I know it's depressing. Lord knows if I collected my tears through this I'd have a hundred gallons. But I will say this, the road isn't easy. It's long and hard. But if you want it bad enough it is so worth it in the end!!!!

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