Substance Abuse And Nursing Licenses

Do you need to consult with an attorney regarding your nursing license or other professional licensing matter? Call (503) 232-9280 to schedule a free consultation with a nurses attorney.

Combine a stressful job, long shifts, and relatively easy access to pharmaceuticals, and it is not surprising that some nurses might struggle with substance abuse.

In fact, one of the most common causes of discipline from the OSBN (Oregon State Board of Nursing) comes from substance abuse.

When nurses become addicted to alcohol, prescription drugs, or even non-prescription drugs, they put patient care, their jobs, and even their nursing careers at serious risk.

Whether you consumed drugs or alcohol at home or on the job, if you’re impaired while you’re working as a nurse, you could face  some serious consequences, which could include the following:
nursing malpractice claims
•loss of your job
work restrictions
•sanctions from your state nursing board (including loss of your nursing license)

If you have received a letter from the OSBN or have been contacted by an OSBN investigator about substance abuse, please contact our law office immediately. Kevin Keaney is an experienced attorney who can represent you through all stages of nurse investigations and license defense process, helping to mitigate the affect on your career and livelihood.

In the majority of cases, the state board will consider sending a nurse who has a substance abuse problem into a diversion program.  A nurse can be referred to this Health Professionals’ Services Program (HPSP) either by the nursing board or the nurse can self-refer.  This program can include impaired provider monitoring and/or workplace restrictions.  Once the program is completed successfully, the nurse will receive a non-disciplinary settlement from the board. If the nurse entered the HPSP through a self-referral, then there will be no public document and no nursing board involvement.

Each case involving a nurse and substance abuse, however, is unique, and in a free legal consultation, we can discuss your specific situation.

For more information about how substance abuse could impact your nursing license, call our office at (503) 232-9280, or e-mail us at .

Please make note: Kevin Keaney is a member of the American Association for Nurse Attorneys (TAANA), and prior to becoming a lawyer, he was a practicing nurse for four years. He is licensed to practice in Oregon and Washington, as well as Texas, where he can also help nurses who need an attorney.