I took a pre-employment drug screen and tested positive for marijuana. Now what?

By | 2022-02-08T17:36:24-05:00 February 18th, 2009|0 Comments


Dear Donna,

I am in a bit of a bind. I took a pre-employment drug screen and tested positive for marijuana. I know this will be reported to the state board. I have never got in trouble before. How long will it take to come back to me that I was reported? I have another job lined up, and they will do background check this week. It has not been reported yet. I am still on administrative leave and will find out soon. This hospital doesn’t know what I tested positive for. I only know because the lab told me. Basically, I assume I will not be working there anymore. I had arranged this other job earlier, so I did not lie when I said no I have never been in trouble. If I pass their pre-employment stuff, will they ever find out? If the board is notified, I know I should get a nurse lawyer and most likely will have to do a rehab program with drug testing. I don’t mind; I’d rather do that than have my license revoked or suspended. It’s so complicated. I barely drink and don’t do drugs. I know it’s my fault because I did smoke marijuana.


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Confused,

You are understandably in a panic and confused about what will happen next. You are also second-guessing everything, and that is not helpful or healthy. I cannot possibly answer these questions for you. There are too many missing details and variables. Do yourself a favor and talk to a nurse attorney now to find out what your rights and responsibilities are in this situation. Find a nurse attorney by getting a referral from your state nurses association (whether or not you are a member). You can also ask around, look in the phone book under “Attorney’s,” or get a referral from the American Association of Nurse Attorneys (http://www.taana.org). Every nurse attorney doesn’t belong to TAANA, but it is a good resource.

My best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeek’s “Dear Donna” and author of Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional and The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career. Information about the books is available at http://www.nurse.com/CE/7010 and http://www.nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to http://www.nurse.com/asktheexperts/deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call (800) 866-0919 or visit http://events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.


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