Joining the BRN’s Diversion or Intervention Program is voluntary, so it makes sense that you can also withdraw from the Diversion program at any time, right? Of course, but not without serious consequences.
Why Nurses Join Diversion
Nurses join Diversion or Intervention for a number of reasons: they were diverting medication from their employer and wanted help to recover, they were fired after an employer accused them of diverting, or they were arrested for a DUI or other alcohol or medication related crime. Few nurses self-report to Diversion. Most RNs enroll in the intervention program after having received a letter “offering” them the program as a way to save their license from BRN imposed discipline.
What Diversion Is and Isn’t
The Diversion program is the only alternative to a BRN investigation or adverse action against an RN’s license. It does not offer total “confidentiality” as its purports to do, but rather keeps the matter from being published on the BRN’s own website attached to your license. It does not preclude any criminal investigations or action. There is a novel’s worth of information about what the Diversion or Intervention program is on the Blog, but what we discussing here is what happens if you leave it.
Every admission you make in Diversion is protected by the strictest confidentiality. Admitting to your counselor that you’ve diverted Fentynal from your employer for the better part of the last 18 months every chance you could, will never come to light. It will never be made public. No one will ever know… as long as you remain in and finish the Diversion Program.
What Happens If You Withdraw or Get Kicked Out of Diversion
If you withdraw from the program for any reason, or if you fail in the requirements of the program and are terminated from it, that privilege of confidentiality is gone. Your entire file, every urine test, every word you’ve ever uttered, every admission you ever made, all the deep dark secrets are all turned over to the BRN’s enforcement division and are used against you. The Deputy Attorney General (DAG) assigned to your case will be giggling all the way to the copier with pages and pages of personal admissions of narcotic use, abuse, underlying mental health issues and theft of medication. If the incident is within the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution, the DA will be doing fist pumps because that information is now discoverable by them and can be used to prosecute you criminally.
I recently had a nurse contact us who had left Diversion, based on fallacious advice from the geniuses at Maximus and the BRN Enforcement Division itself, that the withdrawal from the program would not adversely affect her license. The moment she withdrew, Maximus notified the BRN, the BRN requested a copy of the nurse’s file and then they handed it off to the DAG who had an open and shut case for an Accusation using the nurse’s own admissions in counseling sessions as causes for action. This is not the first case like this, where a nurse mistakenly relied on the advice of the people at Maximus or from the BRN itself. It is critical to remember that Maximus and the BRN cannot give legal advice, so you run the risk of asking them and taking their advice and they run zero risk in giving it to you, even if it’s flat out wrong.
The 6 Important Takeaways
- Misuse of drugs or alcohol is a violation of the Nurse Practice Act.
- Diversion is a violation of the Nurse Practice Act and is Criminal.
- Mental health issues that could impact your ability to function as a registered nurse are cause for revocation of a RN license.
- Confidentiality is only guaranteed if you complete the Diversion Program.
- Your entire Diversion file will be turned over to the BRN and used against you if you do not complete the Diversion program.
- Do not fail or withdraw from Diversion once you have joined, if you have made any admissions that you don’t want the BRN to see, to use against you, and to eventually publish, to be publicly attached to your RN license forever.
Need Advice? Call People Who Can Actually Give You Advice
If you have received an offer to participate in the Diversion or Intervention Program following a DUI, read more here or just call me directly. If you are considering self-reporting to Diversion and want to run it by someone first, call me. If you are accused of or suspected of, or really… even if you were diverting… read this or call me.