Texas nurses are unfortunately no less susceptible to substance abuse than are people in the community at large. But, what's worse, where laypeople may be able to make a clean break from narcotics and other problematic substances by distancing themselves from it physically, it is part of a nurse's daily duties to be near all sorts of substances that may weaken their barriers against temptation. And that is why the Texas Nurses Association put into place the Texas Peer Assistance Program for Nurses, or TPAPN.
TPAPN serves Registered Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses who find themselves worried about their growing dependence to or abuse of substances (and it also aids them with issues of mental health). Most of the time, nurses join this program voluntarily—and it is geared toward giving them aid, not disciplining them, which is why it is confidential for the most part.
Yet it should be noted that TPAPN does have links to the Texas Board of Nursing. A participant's identity may be revealed to the Board under certain circumstances—such as when a court order has placed them into the program, when they post a positive drug screen, when they exhibit behavior that is considered to be inconsistent with recovery, when they appear to be endangering or compromising the safety of patients, when they withdraw from TPAPN, or when they are dismissed from TPAPN (particularly in the case of expulsion).
Expulsion may happen for a number of reasons. If the nurse shows an inability to keep a steady job, for example. Or if they fail to keep to the terms and conditions of participation in the program. Or if TPAPN determines either that the nurse is medically incapable of adhering to the terms of participation or that they are behaving in a manner that undermines their ability to safely practice nursing or to recover from their addiction. Or if the participant does not notify the Case Manager that they have obtained employment in nursing, fails to gain approval from that Case Manager, or fails to complete their TPAPN Work Agreement with their employer before they begin work. And there are other reasons. Sometimes those expelled from TPAPN are then reported to the Board of Nursing for the disciplinary process to begin.
In the case of both expulsion from TPAPN and referral to the Board, an experienced professional defense attorney to help. We aid Texas nurses in keeping their licenses in good standing when those licenses are under attack by the Board. If you are facing disciplinary action, contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation. We here at BERTOLINO LLP are skilled at assisting nurses in doing everything that can be done to ensure the most favorable possible outcome to their cases.
With offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, we serve clients all over the state. Contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.