Stresses of the job, accessibility and other factors may contribute to drug abuse by nursing professionals. When nurses suffer from substance abuse disorder, they may face disciplinary action that could affect their ability to continue to practice nursing, or even threaten the safety or health of a patient.
Through the California Board of Registered Nursing’s intervention program, nurses dealing with drug use may get the help they need and avoid losing their professional licensure.
Who is eligible to participate?
According to the California BRN, nursing professionals must meet certain eligibility requirements to gain admission into the program. To participate, applicants must have nursing licensure and residency in California. Those seeking entrance into the program must also agree to reasonable psychiatric and medical evaluations. Nurses with mental illnesses may also apply to participate in the intervention program.
Nursing professionals may lose eligibility to participate in the program if they have received disciplinary action by the BRN for substance abuse. Those previously terminated from this or another such program due to failure to comply with the requirements cannot enroll again.
What does the program do?
According to the California Department of Consumers, the intervention program aims to provide nurses struggling with substance abuse the help and treatment they need. The program offers drug use assessments and, if necessary, referrals for detoxification or other such treatments. The program will develop a rehabilitation plan for participants, as well as monitor and regularly reassess their progress. While enrolled in the intervention program, nursing professionals must submit to observed drug testing. However, they will also receive encouragement, guidance and referrals to local support services that may aid them in their recoveries.