The Texas Board of Nursing (BON) investigates complaints involving allegations of drug or alcohol abuse by nurses. Nurses who use or misuse drugs or alcohol, or suffer from addiction, are at risk of losing their nursing license. However, the BON has policies in place that seek to get a nurse experiencing a problem with drugs or alcohol help while also ensuring the nurse’s fitness to practice.
The BON has the disciplinary authority to require a person to abstain from drinking alcohol or using other drugs and to submit to random drug screenings. Texas Occupations Code §301.543.
It is not uncommon for the BON, as part of a Board Order, to require random, periodic drug or alcohol screenings as a condition of employment and continued nurse licensure. The BON contracts with RecoveryTrek, a HIPAA-compliant drug and alcohol testing service.
The drug testing procedures utilized by RecoveryTrek include testing for alcohol consumption. The Board reports testing is more sensitive and capable of testing for alcohol consumed further in the past and for “detecting smaller amounts of alcohol consumption that the testing utilized by the Board in the past.”
If you are under Board order to submit to alcohol screening, a positive screen for alcohol can result in immediate suspension of your nursing license.
If you are required under Board Order to abstain from using controlled substances, including Nubain, Stadol, Dalgan, Ultram, and other synthetic opiates, then a positive screen for any of these substances without a legitimate prescription can result in an immediate suspension of your nursing license. If you are written a prescription for a controlled substance, you are required to notify the Board. Your healthcare provider must also submit a written report identifying the medication, dosage, and prescription date within 10 days of the prescription. Failure to submit proper notification may be considered a violation of your Board Order.
The consequences of a positive drug or alcohol screen, or a missed test, are serious and puts your license in immediate danger of revocation. It is critical to understand the terms of your Board Order and comply with all terms and conditions.
When Your Nursing License is at Risk
You have worked for years to become a licensed nurse in Texas. If you are under investigation by the Texas BON for allegations of drug or alcohol abuse, or other alleged malfeasance, your license, reputation, and career are on the line. It’s critically important that you take the complaint seriously from the start and address the allegations head-on.
Our law firm helps professionals, like you, keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by a state agency or board.
If you have received a licensing complaint, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We represent licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. Our honest, experienced attorneys will fight aggressively on behalf of your license and reputation.
If you have questions or need to speak with an attorney about professional license defense, please call (512) 476-5757 or click here to contact us.