We recently represented a nurse who voluntarily relinquished his license in the state of California six years ago due to noncompliance with the California Monitoring Program. The nurse had tested positive for marijuana during an employment urine screen.
The nurse applied for licensure in the state of Pennsylvania and was told that he must complete a drug and alcohol evaluation. Although the evaluation indicated that there was no further treatment needed, the Board of Nursing would not grant a license unless the nurse agreed to participate in the PHMP program for three years. The program includes random urine screens, attendance at AA meetings, ongoing outpatient treatment and notification to any employer that you are in a monitoring program. Based on our interview with the nurse, it appeared that the nurse did not have a drug and alcohol problem. We advised the nurse to not enter into the PHMP.
At that time the Board of Nursing issued a provisional denial of the nursing license. We filed an appeal and attended a hearing. We presented the testimony of a psychologist who was a an expert in drug and alcohol addiction as well as nine character witnesses, random urine screens and a hair follicle test. All of the urine screens and hair follicle tests were negative. The Pennsylvania Board of Nursing recently issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order, based on what they believed to be the uncontroverted testimony of respected members of the nursing community that the nurse should be granted an unrestricted license to practice nursing by endorsement.
There are often occasions where a nurse or doctor uses a drug without a prescription or engages in casual use of controlled substances.
In many of these cases, there is clearly not an addiction.
Through the use of random urine screens, drug and alcohol evaluations, prior job evaluations and character witnesses who know the nurse or doctor, we are often able to convince the Nursing or Medical Board there is not an impairment. This results in an unrestricted license being issued.