I lost my nursing license for three years. I have 1.5 years to go and am being asking by the state board of nursing to submit random urine samples, which is OK since I’ve been sober for three years. However, I can’t afford the cost of submitting the samples, which is $73 each. Is there any way around this? I’ve been a nurse for 17 years and when I get back to work, I want to help patients going through detox.
You should be congratulated on your continuing recovery and your interest in working in a detox program to help others who need treatment.
Unfortunately, the random drug screens you are required to do will most probably not be waived since it is a way for the board to evaluate you remaining clean and sober. However, there may be alternatives as to where the drug screen is drawn. As an example, when the board calls, it might be possible for your personal physician to draw the screens and send them to the specified lab. Or, perhaps selecting another lab to analyze the sample is an option.
You might want to contact the attorney who represented you before the board and see if an arrangement like this can be agreed to by the board. If you did not have representation, contacting a nurse attorney or attorney who represents nurses in professional disciplinary proceedings and could raise this issue with the board would be a good idea.
The random screens must be done so the board knows they are random, the results are accurate, and the specimen is analyzed by a reputable lab. An alternative arrangement that meets all these criteria and at a cost that is less expensive for you is worth pursing.