Impaired Provider Monitoring By The OSBN

If you have questions about OSBN monitoring practices, give us a call for a free legal consultation, (503) 232-9280.

For nurses with substance abuse problems, impaired provider monitoring can be a requirement when a nurse is on probation or participating in the Health Professionals’ Service Program (HPSP).

Anyone can file their complaint with the Oregon State Board of Nursing (colleagues, employers, patients, patients’ families), and once a complaint is filed, the OSBN automatically opens an investigation.

If the allegation involves impairment, in general, the OSBN resolves the case in one of the following ways:
• dismiss the case if a violation of the Nursing Practice Act (NPA) hasn’t been found
• discipline the license of the nurse (commonly known as “probation”)
• permit the nurse to enter the Health Professionals’ Services Program

It’s important to note that probation is a public document that is posted on the OSBN website; whereas, participation in the HPSP program isn’t a public document.

When the nursing board decides whether to put a nurse on probation or recommend participation in HPSP, the following factors are considered:
• whether patients’ drugs were diverted for personal use
• how much the nurse cooperated during the investigative process
• information from a substance abuse evaluation

The impaired monitoring by the OSBN will require a nurse to:
• abstain from intoxicating or mind altering drugs
• submit to random drug testing
• agree to monitored practice for at least 2 years
• report in on a daily or weekly basis
• adhere to workplace restrictions (as determined by an independent, third-party evaluator)

Workplace restrictions can include limiting the nurse’s access to controlled substances, requiring that the nurse be monitored while providing patient care, and restricting the type of environment in which the nurse can practice (such as overtime, night shifts, or home health care).

If you’re being investigated by the OSBN, there’s a strong chance that you’ll be asked to sign a stipulated agreement. It would help to have an experienced nurses attorney by your side through this process, to help ensure fairness and to advocate for the most favorable terms for you.

Would you like to have further information about monitored nursing practice?  Please contact our office at (503) 232-9280, or e-mail .

Please note: Kevin Keaney is a member of The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (TAANA), with more than 30 years experience as a lawyer. Prior to practicing law, he worked as a nurse for 4 years. His law firm is in Portland, Oregon.

Kevin Keaney is an attorney who helps nurses defend their license in Texas, as well as Oregon and Washington.