Jump to content

Who will hire someone like me?

Posted
Slittle5 Slittle5 (New) New

I graduated a couple months ago, started a job at a hospital the day after I took the NCLEX and was fired a few weeks later after a post incident drug screen came up positive for oxycodone. I didn't divert, just used my husband's meds thirty six hours before the needle stick that helped land me here. I met with a lawyer today, and promptly self reported after our meeting. This was a colossally stupid way to start a nursing career, I know this. Everything I hoped for seems dashed on the rocks. I feel like I was given this incredibly dependable new car, one that promised to get me far in life, only to crash it into a tree while on endocet a month after I got it. How am I going to find a job with no experience and stipulations on my license? Who will hire someone like me? Nurses in dialysis only get hired with experience, right? I definitely DO NOT want to work anywhere around narcotics after this, but what options are out there for that? My lawyer suggested getting a job before the board acts on my license and ingratiate myself with the staff in order to build up a decent reputation. She said by the time the board zeros in on me, these future employers won't fire me for my indiscretion because I will have won them over on my charm. I am having a hard time swallowing this advice because I will be like a sitting duck, waiting for the BON to swoop in and strike. Who's to say these employers won't kick me to the curb the second they find out I'm in recovery? What do I tell the people I interview for? Can anyone offer advice or stories of perseverance? Maybe just words of encouragement? Help.

catmom1, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Psych, Med/Surg.

Sorry I don't have time to post in more detail, but I will tell you that I have been coming to this recovery forum since 2006 and it is CHOCK FULL of stories of perseverance. Just page back and read and know that you are not alone.

:hug:

Catmom :paw:

sissiesmama, ASN, RN

Specializes in ER, TRAUMA, MED-SURG. Has 22 years experience.

Hey little! Glad you're here with us on the recovery forum! I'm Anne and an addict. I was placed into our state's RNP after being caught diverting meds at work in 1999.

I know it's hard to think about what will happen - been there.

So u were given a nice car and took it for a spin. U hit a tree - but it didn't take u out. U have injuries but u can come back from this. U may have to learn a new way of doing things or a different street when you're back out on the road - a new or longer route.

Hopefully some of this makes sense to u - kind of late to be thinking - I know I have found such support while reading the posts here, especially when I had a lot on my mind - kind of like that I wasn't the only person - the only nurse going through this.

Anne, RNC

I kinda agree with the lawyer it worked for me...

CrunchRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health. Has 25 years experience.

That advice is actually very good. People that already have you on staff and presumably like you are much more likely to deal with the stipulations. Go out there and find a job now.

LilRedRN1973

Specializes in ICU, psych, corrections. Has 8 years experience.

I ended up in dialysis without experience by getting a job there as a tech first. I was waiting for the BON to grant me my license back (albeit with restrictions) and while waiting, applied and was hired as a tech. They were fully aware of my situation and actually held a nursing position for me during the months I was waiting to apply for my license back. In my state, you are not allowed to work as an RN while going through your rehab, 90 in 90, IOP, aftercare, counseling, etc. You must have all of that first before you apply to get your license back after surrendering it. This takes about 5-8 months. So I surrendered it in July 2008 and received it back in March 2009. I started work as a dialysis tech in December and this allowed me to make a decent living (about $16/hr) while learning about dialysis. The DAY the BON met and granted me privilege of working as an RN again, the dialysis clinic switched me from tech to RN. So I had a job from day one of my contract.

And you say who will hire you, being in recovery, etc? I have been at my current job for 5 years (psychiatric clinic) and my supervisor hired me, knowing my 1 year sobriety birthday was around the corner. I am very grateful he gave me that opportunity because Monday, I start my new job as a nursing supervisor (that comes with a paycheck of $90k/year, more than I ever would have made working in the hospital as an ICU nurse, which I now know is NOT the appropriate place for me....ever). I would not have had the opportunity to even apply for that job if I didn't have the 5 years of psych experience that I do as a result of my supervisor taking a "chance" on me. And my new job knows all about the fact I was on contract with the board, my hx, my recovery, etc. and they still hired me. I did not have to tell them as my record has been "wiped clean" so to speak since I have completed my monitoring agreement with the board but I wouldn't have felt right NOT telling them.

There will be employers who will consider you for employment....they are far and few between but when you find them, they are worth it. I would NOT want to work in any place that didn't have at least some sort of understanding about the disease of addiction and the knowledge that it does not make us bad people. I consider myself a safer, more prudent nurse now because of the 5 years I spent on contract, the 6 years I have in recovery thus far, etc. Good luck :-)

Thanks to all of you for your support, I got choked up at all of the comments.Its nice to know there are people out there who don't view me as a pariah. It's also nice to know you're out there, albeit anonymously, cheering me on. I've applied in a few places online and plan on doing the foot work next week but I'm a little leery of not being forthcoming about the imminent BON restrictions. What do I tell people during interviews? Also, any ideas on where I can find some nurse's meetings? I want to get as immersed in my recovery as possible before the proverbial pooh hits the fan.

catmom1, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Psych, Med/Surg.

I want to get as immersed in my recovery as possible before the proverbial pooh hits the fan.

My state has a Licensee Assistance Program that you can call anonymously to ask about licensee support groups that include nurses and other healthcare practitioners in recovery. These groups are commonly referred to as caduceus groups (after that snake thing from the Greeks that signifies the medical arts).

Also, I have run across nurses in general AA and NA meetings but there are a lot more of them at the licensee support group, in my experience. All types of groups are important so you don't isolate and allow the shame to blossom in your soul. I have been there and it is excruciating.

Good luck & let us know how it goes.

Catmom :paw:

Thanks to all of you for your support, I got choked up at all of the comments.Its nice to know there are people out there who don't view me as a pariah. It's also nice to know you're out there, albeit anonymously, cheering me on. I've applied in a few places online and plan on doing the foot work next week but I'm a little leery of not being forthcoming about the imminent BON restrictions. What do I tell people during interviews? Also, any ideas on where I can find some nurse's meetings? I want to get as immersed in my recovery as possible before the proverbial pooh hits the fan.

Welcome to the recovery forum! I wanted to share with you what my monitoring agent said. You will always have to disclose what you've done to a future employer. Mine is obvious since my diversion was reported to the National Practitioners Data Bank. Not everyone's situation gets reported. The reason being is because if we withhold that info, it violates the Nurse Practice Act. I was told that that offense would have my license permanently revoked. So always be open and honest about your journey if they ask for the details. I do feel the same way you do with feeling the "who's gonna hire someone like me." I have 5 months until I can be reinstated and I'm already nervous about this. Hang in there and keep us posted!

catmom1, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Psych, Med/Surg.

...You will always have to disclose what you've done to a future employer....I was told that that offense would have my license permanently revoked...

I have been reading here extensively for over 8 years and have read of many cases on my state's website concerning adverse action on nurses' licenses. I have never seen a case of permanent revocation of a nurses license even in cases of what I consider shocking violations of a monitoring contract. (Examples include: missing multiple random drug screens, altering prescriptions for controlled substances, disregarding multiple requests for paperwork from the Compliance Monitor, testing positive for high levels of opiates or ETOH, etc. etc. even multiple times :wideyed: )

In my state, the nurse is allowed to reapply for reinstatement two years after the revocation and mine is one of the strictest I have seen in terms of punishing offenders.

I have two points for Slittle5:

1) Please look back in these forums because all of your questions have been answered multiple times. You will eventually get some good responses to your current questions but you are cheating yourself if you do not check the archived threads here that cover this issue.

2) You will have to disclose but do not do so before you have sold yourself and your skills in person. Never, never, never call an HR department and announce you have discipline on your license. If an application asks, you must answer honestly but you don't need to be spilling your guts to everyone upfront because you think your license will be "permanently revoked" if you don't.

Catmom :paw:

Edited by catmom1

Thank you for your post. It has encouraged me as far as you saying a licensed was not revoked PERMANENTLY. If you read my post, you'll know what I am going through right now. May I ask what state you reside in? Thank you