Like every other human being, registered nurses can make mistakes and fall prey to errors in judgment. Nursing is a high-stress, high-pressure occupation even when you love your job. As such, alcohol and drug addiction can happen before you are even aware that you might have a problem or that your nursing license is in jeopardy.
Because the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) recognizes how helpless an addiction feels, it offers licensed nurses struggling with substance issues access to a diversion program. In some cases, this might not be the best approach for a nurse, but in other situations, it might be just what you need to make a fresh start.
Before going further, you should understand that you do not have to decide these issues alone. Many registered nurses facing similar issues have placed their trust in a nursing license defense professional. Nursing license defense lawyers can put the matter into the proper perspective, help you identify and address your problem and explain the possible benefits associated with diversion programs. Some of these benefits include:
- It is an alternative to harsher disciplinary proceedings
- You will receive support and encouragement throughout your enrollment
- You have a better chance of keeping your issues private
- You will get help determining an appropriate plan geared toward rehabilitation instead of punishment
- Access to safe detoxification treatments
- A smoother transition back to your nursing career
In the end, it is at least worth the effort to explore a BRN diversion program. If you decide that you are not eligible and that you simply made a single error in judgment, you can discuss other alternatives with your lawyer to protect your license and keep you working.
Source: California Board of Registered Nursing, "Registered Nurses in Recovery, BRN’s Diversion Program," accessed April 20, 2018