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Defending your nursing license if you deal with substance abuse

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2024 | Professional License Defense

Defending your nursing license while struggling with substance abuse is a daunting challenge, particularly in a state like California, where the health care profession is rigorously regulated. Substance abuse can severely impact your ability to provide safe and effective care, leading to disciplinary action against your nursing license.

Thankfully, acknowledging the problem and seeking help can both benefit your personal health and potentially play a significantly positive role in the legal defense of your professional credentials.

First steps

When seeking to defend your nursing license, you’ll generally benefit from acknowledging substance abuse concerns and seeking professional proactively. California offers resources such as the Board of Registered Nursing’s Intervention Program, which is designed to protect the public while assisting nurses in recovery. Participation in such a program is voluntary and can help you to safeguard your license from the effects of formalized discipline.

Alternatively, if you do not proactively address your situation, you’re going to potentially risk your license. Substance abuse among nurses can lead to serious legal implications, including license suspension or revocation. The California Board of Registered Nursing takes allegations of substance abuse seriously, given the potential risk to patient safety.

As such, if you’re already under investigation – and are, therefore, not in a position to self-report and take advantage of the Intervention Program in a proactive capacity – building a robust legal defense is essential. Seeking personalized legal guidance is a good way to get started.

Regardless of your circumstances, however, it’s worth emphasizing that demonstrating your commitment to rehabilitation and your efforts to maintain sobriety can significantly impact the defense of your nursing license for the better.