A commitment to substance abuse treatment is commendable, and it’s something that can better your own life and make you a more successful nurse. However, before you decide to self-report to the Board of Nursing, consult a nursing license lawyer. Depending on what you reveal to the Board of Nursing, you may be asked to tell them about your issues in detail, enroll in the HPSP for treatment and monitoring, and possibly limit your scope of practice until your issues are well-managed. What you say and do during this time can put your license in danger, even if you go to the Board with good intentions. While the Board does support nurses with mental health or substance abuse issues through the HPSP, their primary responsibility is still to the public. If anything you tell them is alarming or raises a red flag, you could suddenly have far more trouble than you expected.
Meeting with a lawyer first still allows you to tackle your issue head-on and take responsibility for it. However, your attorney will help you prepare for conversations with the Board of Nursing, inform you about likely outcomes, and advocate for you throughout the process. This puts you in a much better position to determine or influence the outcome of the situation. If you are in this position, you should highly consider hiring a nursing license defense attorney before you decide to self-report to the Board of Nursing. In Minnesota, if you are in this situation, Barb Forshier of Forshier Law can help. Reach out to our office for a consultation today.