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How does medical marijuana affect nursing school drug tests?

On Behalf of | Nov 25, 2021 | blog, Medical Licensing

If you are thinking about attending nursing school, you are undoubtedly looking forward to a long and productive career caring for others. Still, there is a good chance your nursing school conducts regular drug tests. After all, both nursing schools and licensing boards have an interest in ensuring nurses do not abuse controlled substances.

Using marijuana for medical purposes is typically legal in the Keystone State, while recreational use of the drug continues to violate state and federal law. Even if you have a prescription for medical marijuana, your nursing school has the authority to drug test you.

There is no exemption

According to a recent precedential opinion from the Commonwealth Court, a nursing student had no right to an exemption from her school’s drug tests. The student had requested an exemption because she realized her medical marijuana usage would cause her to fail the school’s screenings. The nursing school’s policy prohibited students who failed drug tests from continuing with the program.

Your future license may be at risk

The status of marijuana usage in the U.S. has been in flux for a number of years now. While wide-sweeping changes may be on the horizon, you must keep an eye on your future nursing license when you are pursuing your nursing degree.

Even if you manage to stop using medical marijuana during school, marijuana usage may jeopardize your nursing license.  For example, marijuana impairment may cause you to make mistakes when treating patients or cause you to drive under the influence.

Ultimately, because using medical marijuana may be problematic for both your nursing education and eventual career, it may be advisable to look for other ways to manage your medical condition.