Becoming a licensed nurse is a lengthy and difficult process — one that can be derailed or stripped from you under a number of circumstances. Of course, all nurses are merely human and are capable of making compromised choices in difficult circumstances. This can be especially true when it comes to nurses and addictive substances, which they may have greater access to than most. However, just because you may make a mistake does not mean that you absolutely deserve to have your nursing license revoked. If you are facing a potential license revocation due to substance abuse, it is important to know that you have rights that deserve protection and several avenues you can pursue to keep your license and your livelihood.
If you have noticed that you are using some substance, especially narcotics or prescription-grade painkillers, you should absolutely get the help you need to live without them as soon as possible. Whether or not substance use has officially posed a threat to your license yet, you deserve a life that is not controlled by one substance or another. For your own sake and for the sake of those in your care, you should seek treatment before an incident arises, if at all possible.
However, thousands of nurses across the country have had their licenses threatened or stripped because of substance use that compromised their work. If you have been officially cited for substance abuse, or even if a superior has informally brought the matter, now is the time to take action. The good news is that you may be able to retain your license without it ever being stripped or suspended if you take appropriate steps to get clean. The abuse of painkillers or other substances is very common in the nursing community due to ease of access and a demanding work environment. There is no need to become another case of a promising career sidelined by substance abuse if you get the help you need now through professional treatment.
If you are facing a formal action against your license, there is no need to take it sitting down. The guidance of an attorney with experience in professional license defense can help you explore all your options, including getting your life and career back on track.
Source: NursingLink, “10 Ways to Lose Your Nursing License,” accessed Jan. 12, 2017