Do I have to release my private medical record information to the board of nursing when applying for licensure? I had one instance when I was 18 in which I experimented with marijuana and a pain pill. My parents found out, and I was immediately sent to the hospital and underwent a drug test, which came up positive for THC and opiates. I am now 22 and in my last semester of nursing school. I am confused about whether this information should even be shared with the board of nursing. I never went through any drug rehab program or drug counseling before or after that incident. I was not sent to any substance abuse clinic nor did I have any other substance abuse issues; this was simply a one-time occurrence influenced by my lack of maturity and dumb youth. If I share this information, I’m worried the board of nursing may think I have a drug issue or worse, restrict me or not give me a license at all. What are your thoughts?
Nancy Brent replies:
Your question is a little unclear because you did not indicate whether the board has asked for your medical records to be submitted with your licensure application, some other entity (e.g., your school of nursing) has requested you do so or you are just concerned about this issue. It may well be your concern is based on one or more of the application questions, and you want to be certain you answer the questions truthfully.
You need to consult with a nurse attorney or attorney in your state who can specifically advise you about this particular situation and the basis of your concerns. It is important you handle the situation correctly and doing so is best achieved by obtaining legal advice from the attorney with whom you consult. It would be best to do so as soon as you can because graduation is around the corner and your application to sit for the NCLEX will need to be completed soon.