If the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) finds you have failed to uphold their standard, they could punish you by suspending your license temporarily or taking it away for good.
That will mean all those years you spent training and gaining experience go to waste, which is not beneficial to you or a public faced with a shortage of nurses. What’s more, it might not address the true problem at hand.
Many nurses make mistakes due to drink or drugs
Nurses have a reputation for partying hard, perhaps as a way to block out their daily realities. Dealing with death each day or watching once-healthy people lose their abilities to support themselves can be devastating.
Anyone that comes in the next day with a massive hangover is more likely to make mistakes than someone who feels fresh.
It’s not just big nights out that are the problem. Some nurses take alcohol or drugs daily to “give themselves a helping hand.” For example, snorting cocaine to stay awake during yet another long shift.
The BRN could take issue with the drug or drink use itself, even if they are not aware of any mistakes made due to it. By allowing the option of diversion programs, the board accepts that nursing can be tough and that sometimes people make poor choices to try and cope with it.
Helping them escape their dependency and find better solutions gives the nurse a second chance. And it allows the public to retain an experienced pair of hands. If you believe you could benefit from a diversion program, seek legal help to argue your case.