On or around July 9, 2014, the Pennsylvania Nursing Board revised its Application for Exam and/or Graduate Temporary Practice Permit (TPP) and Re-exam. The application now asks the following question:
Do you currently engage in, or have you ever engaged in, the intemperate or habitual use or abuse of alcohol or narcotics, hallucinogenic or other drugs or substances that impair judgement or coordination?
If yes, are you currently participating in the Professional Health Monitoring Program?
Prior to this change, the Nursing Board never inquired about the use of alcohol or drugs.
If you answer “yes” to the question regarding intemperate or habitual use or abuse of alcohol or narcotics, you may be subjecting yourself to the Voluntary Recovery Program (VRP), which is a three-year monitoring program administered by the Professional Health Monitoring Program (PHMP). For more on the VRP Program, click here
Even if you are in recovery, as a condition to getting your nursing license, you may be required to enter the VRP Program. Also, if you have ever had an alcohol or drug related incident, you may be required to enter into the VRP Program.
In addition to the two above questions, the revised application now asks the following:
Have you ever had your DEA registration denied, revoked or restricted? Have you ever had provider privileges denied, revoked, suspended or restricted by a Medical Assistance Agency, Medicare, third-party payer or another authority? Have you ever had practice privileges denied, revoked, suspended or restricted by a hospital or healthcare facility? Have you ever been charged by a hospital, university, or research facility with violating research protocols, falsifying research, or engaging in other research misconduct?
If you answer “yes” to any question on the application, you may encounter difficulties in obtaining a nursing license.
It is best to hire a skilled nursing license attorney if you anticipate answering “yes” to any of these questions so that your rights and obligations can be explained to you. I regularly represent nurses, doctors and other healthcare providers who are seeking licenses to practice their profession and can guide you in these matters.