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What can I expect next from the state board of nursing after testing positive for morphine that was ED administered the night before the drug test?

Friday September 6, 2013
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Question:

Dear Nancy,

I have been turned into the board of nursing and am under investigation for testing positive for morphine, I had been given this med the night before in the emergency department. I have been very sick and had been unable to work and feel that this facility wanted to let me go. I showed them the emergency department report, and they said that I should have told them that I went to the ED. I have sent a letter of explanation to the board along with a copy of the ED report. What is likely to happen next?

Robin



Dear Nancy replies:

Dear Robin:

It would be pure speculation to say what might happen next in this situation. It would have been helpful for you to let the employer know of your emergency department visit and what medications were given to you, especially when the medication was a narcotic.

Some of the questions raised with you situation are: Why was the drug test done to begin with? Were you acting in a manner that concerned the employer? Or, was this a random test? Or, were there problems with the narcotics count on your unit so all nursing staff were tested? Or, as you said, were you being targeted for some reason?

You would be best served by contacting a nurse lawyer or lawyer in your state who represents health are providers in professional licensing proceedings. Although you have already sent the board a letter and the emergency department report, it would be foolish to think that the board will simply close the case. At a minimum, the board will probably want to meet with you.

It is never wise to go before a regulatory board without representation.Retain a lawyer as soon as you can so you can be defended well in this matter.

Cordially,
Nancy




Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is an attorney in private practice in Wilmette, Ill. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or any other advice. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional when an opinion is needed.