First, before we get to what you should do, let’s talk about the two things you should not do. We strongly discourage nurses from surrendering their licenses or entering an intervention program. We can help you avoid having to do either. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about what you should do if you’re a nurse accused of drug diversion.
Diversion is a Nice Way of Saying Stealing
If you are accused of drug “diversion,” you must take this seriously. You’re being charged with stealing drugs. And either you did it, or you didn’t. There’s no gray area. And it’s not just the Board of Registered Nursing that will investigate you. Your employer and the DEA or district attorney’s office will be part of this.
Most likely, this accusation is coming from your employer. That will make your work environment awkward until the investigation is complete. You might feel scared, think about quitting, and feel compelled to agree with whatever offer they come at you with to make it all go away. Don’t.
Call RN Guardian Immediately
The very first thing you should do if your nursing license is under investigation is to be proactive (not reactive) and call us immediately. This is your chance to tell your side of the story before the investigation goes public. Don’t make any decisions on your own. Your career is on the line, and legal counsel is a MUST.
When you let us assist you, we will be able to tell you precisely what you can expect throughout the investigation process. We can also help prepare you for the questions you will be asked and guide you on how to answer those questions. Also, we will be right by your side during the interview process.
Additionally, we will help you throughout the process and after regarding your relationship with your employer. You don’t want to be on your own during this time.
Most importantly, don’t represent yourself or make any decisions alone. Remember, you’re a nurse, not a lawyer. The investigator is likely to be a former or retired police officer well-trained at interrogation.
The BRN’s Options for Nurses Accused of Diversion
The Board of Registered Nurses will present two options if you’re accused of stealing medication. They’ll say you can either voluntarily enter a diversion or intervention program or let them launch an investigation where they will impose whatever disciplinary action they see fit. So let’s look at these.
Entering a Diversion or Intervention Program
Agreeing to enter the diversion/intervention program is the only way to keep the situation quiet – sort of. Your license will be suspended for six months or more, so you won’t be working. Plus, you have to complete the program, which takes three years. Oh, and it costs $18,000.
BRN Diversion Investigation
If the BRN accuses you of drug diversion, they will likely call for your license to be revoked. This accusation will only happen if the BRN can prove you diverted the medicine, that you were sloppy with your chart records, or wasteful. Proving someone guilty of diversion is challenging to do. But remember, those conducting the investigation are well-trained and will present a solid case against you. Is that a risk you are willing to take on your own?
How RN Guardian Can Save Your License
99% of the time, our lawyers can keep nurses from losing their licenses or having them suspended. So, while it may not feel good to be under investigation, it may be your best option. We can also keep you from having a felony on your record because the DEA or district attorney will look into this.
So, save your career and your rap sheet. Call us immediately. We can answer all of your questions without judgment and help you every step of the way.
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