Nursing is not for the faint-hearted. There are times you will feel helpless as people suffer and die in front of you. You will have to make urgent decisions on not enough sleep, and sometimes you will get them wrong. Then to top it all, you will have to deal with angry and possibly violent members of the public. Being a nurse can play havoc with your mental health.
You may turn to alcohol to blot out the things you see and the feelings you find hard to handle. While many nurses get home and pour themselves a glass of wine, if you are not careful, one glass becomes a bottle, and once a week can become every day. Before you know it, the wine turns to something stronger, and you are grabbing secret swigs from a liquor bottle you’re keeping hidden at work.
You are not alone. It is estimated that around 1 in 10 nurses will have alcohol issues during their lifetime. What may surprise your friends and colleagues is how well you have hidden it from them. Yet around 1 in 5 alcoholics can still function to a sufficient level in their jobs and daily life so that most people do not notice. However, this does not mean it is okay. As a nurse, you need to be at the top of your game every minute of your working day.
You could face disciplinary action from the California Board of Registered Nurses (BRN) if someone catches you drinking at work or suspects you are drunk. However, with the correct legal help, you might be able to negotiate to save your nursing license if you deal with your alcohol problem.