How can a nurse with a suspended license seek an alternative to a board of nursing request?

By | 2015-09-08T13:59:58-04:00 September 9th, 2015|4 Comments

Dear Nancy,

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.


Dear Stella,

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.



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About the Author:

Nancy J. Brent, MS, JD, RN
Our legal information columnist Nancy J. Brent, MS, JD, RN, received her Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and concentrates her solo law practice in health law and legal representation, consultation and education for healthcare professionals, school of nursing faculty and healthcare delivery facilities. Brent has conducted many seminars on legal issues in nursing and healthcare delivery across the country and has published extensively in the area of law and nursing practice. She brings more than 30 years of experience to her role of legal information columnist. Her posts are designed for educational purposes only and are not to be taken as specific legal or other advice. Individuals who need advice on a specific incident or work situation should contact a nurse attorney or attorney in their state. Visit The American Association of Nurse Attorneys website to search its attorney referral database by state.


  1. Avatar
    marcella September 14, 2015 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    the board sets up approved labs to perform random urine drug screens. some nurses have been cleared to have urine samples collected their employers, I have never heard of a private physician collecting random samples. also, from the information I get from nurses in this type of program, a lawyer to represent you does very little except to lighten ones bank account adding more of a financial burden. the only thing to do is to comply with the board.

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    Lillian Mccaskill Noble November 17, 2017 at 8:02 am - Reply

    Hello my name is Lillan M. Noble my LPN license is suspended until September 2021, what online college would be best for me to pursue my RN license. My PNAP casemanager says its ok long as I don’t interact with patients until my suspension is complete. I figured if I have to take state boards again I could take RN courses online and just do that, but I need help finding a online program that would permit that. Any feedback will be helpful.Thank You

    • Avatar
      Lillian Mccaskill Noble November 17, 2017 at 8:07 am - Reply

      Please help Iv’e been clean for a year, but currently had problems paying for the urines. HELP. TX.

  3. Avatar
    Celli Wisneski September 7, 2021 at 1:52 am - Reply

    Any recommendations on attorneys familiar with PNAP?

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