This division monitors student nurses and registered nurses in the Recovering Nurse Program (RNP) through confidential agreements and disciplinary orders. The RNP was developed to protect the consumers of health care in Louisiana while allowing a Registered Nurse recovering from a substance use disorder and/or a medical, mental or physical condition to maintain licensure while being closely monitored by the Board through a structured agreement or order. Participants are allowed to join the program confidentially if they meet criteria outlined in L.R.S 3419 or through consent order with probation if ineligible for confidential entry. After completion of treatment and clearance to return to work by the RNP staff and treatment team, the individual is allowed to practice in a highly supervised setting. Monitoring includes, but is not limited to, frequent random drug screening, reports from employers, participation in Aftercare and verified participation in support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Please view the monitoring section of the annual report for statistical information on the RNP.
Benefits of RNP- Relapse rates for the general public following treatment for substance use disorders is 40%-60%.
The added structure and accountability of monitoring programs such as the RNP have been linked to greater success in maintaining abstinence. Relapse rates are calculated by the number of active confidential RNP participants as of December 31st divided by the total number of relapsed participants for the year. Relapse rates for the past three years are between 6% and 11% which is significantly lower than the general population.
Danielle Smith, MSN, RN
Recovering Nurse Program Managers
Kathie Pohlman, LCSW-BACS, MBA
William 'Jade' Wilson
I am so very grateful for the Louisiana RNP. Today I am trusted by my family, friends, fellow employees, and employer. The RNP gave me the accountability I needed and the AA program gave me the tools for living in the 12 steps. I use them in my daily life. I am continuing in a profession that I love and came very close to losing. I have learned to respect my disease and protect my recovery. Thank You again to the RNP for all the nurses you have helped and will continue to help. SB
Thanks for everything. Everything the RNP has asked me to do has helped me. I have a great sponsor and I'm working the steps. AA is great... I think the RNP is well structured and does facilitate my recovery. Best of all I'm very happy and my life is good. (TS)
Addiction is a progressive and fatal disease of attitudes, personalities, and a general negative outlook on life that is rooted in fear, insecurity, and a low self-esteem. By acknowledging this, I know that honesty is the principle I must live by... I am committed to change because I have discovered that I have a disease. I can no longer blame others for lifes' ups and downs, which used to give me an excuse to take pain pills. My disease is treatable, not curable. God has a much better plan for me!!! (KR)
My time in the Recovering Nurse Program has been life-changing. I am grateful for the lessons learned and have every intention of continuing my life in recovery with the supports that have been built during these past years. I do not know that I would gotten the AA program without the Nursing Board having been a 'power greater than myself'. The life I have and love today would not exist without the Recovering Nurse Program, and I have a heartfelt appreciation to the program that has done so much for so many. (CS)
...I am a sponsor to others, and try to live life as an example of what this program can do for you, if you want it. I am an active member of AA...and for that I am grateful to the RNP program...This program has taught me valuable tools to use in case temptation arises, such as notify my supervisor using complete honesty, calling my sponsor, another nurse in the program, and/or my RNP facilitator, and making a meeting. (PM)
I volunteered for a 6th year in the RNP. Nurses notoriously are not the best patients, so it takes nurses taking care of other nurses in recovery to break through that silent barrier, that feeling of failure that first comes which is a symptom itself of this disease. Other nurses in recovery and the RNP understand it is not a failure any more than CHF or Cancer. This disease process is cunning, baffling, and powerful and takes the loving care, yes tough love at times, of the program and the RNP to shed light on the disease aspect of this and focus on recovery. To non-recovering nurses at times no explanation is possible, to those of us in recovery no explanation is necessary!! Thank God for the program of recovery and the RNP. We understand how patients may not necessarily like there surgeons or staff while they are in pain in early recovery, then later credit them for saving their lives. The same goes for the board and staff of RNP. Those who do recover will, with God's daily grace, thank and be grateful for the RNP. We have not been punished, we have been given a gift, we've been shown we are worthwhile, worth loving, and worth saving! Isn't that the kind of care we aspire to show OUR patients?! (PL)
I am thankful for the RNP because without it I wouldn't be able to be the nurse I am, and love my patients the way I do. The solutions are in the steps. Good things often come out of garbage. (AA)
My experience in the RNP was not only life changing for myself but for my family as well. When I entered the RNP I was concerned that I would not be up to the challenge. The tools I learned at ARRNO and through my RNP counselor was priceless. I learned to look at my alcoholism as a disease and not a matter of will power. Treating it as a disease, practicing the 12 steps and working with my sponsor gave me an above average chance of being successful. Like any other disease I must treat it daily for it to stay in remission. I learned how to not just stop drinking but to actually be sober. I found the staff of the RNP to be kind, compassionate and helpful from the very start. I was overwhelmed at first thinking about all the things I was going to have to do in order to be compliant. The RNP staff and counselors gave me direction and helped me to structure my life in order to be successful. There is no doubt in my mind that if I had not accepted this life changing opportunity I would not have survived much longer. (TS)
The downward spiral of addiction was all encompassing; affecting me physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually. My Hydrocodone usage was only a symptom; the 15% of this disease. The deep-rooted causes & conditions, my life-long inability to cope with rejection & abandonment was the 85% of this disease. This fall, I will celebrate 5 glorious years of the recovery process. (MV)
My relationships with my friends and loved ones have improved drastically, I now know my self worth, understand the power in humility, and can live up to my true potential. I can now accept my addiction as a life long disease that requires daily work. I have been given the tools necessary to deal with the stressors that come with life from my after care counselors, my sponsor, and RNP facilitator. I live a healthy, balanced life physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I believe in the recovery process and know that it works if you work it. Above all, I am grateful. (GW)
I was never asked to become a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I truly believe there are no volunteers to this program. But God knew I needed it and through the forces of the Board of Nursing, I was lead there. Humility, courage, faith, and sacrifice is what I was taught over these years, and I pray that they will stay with me for many many more. Truth is the program allows me to be a better nurse, a better team player, someone who listens to directions and picks skills up very quickly. It allows me to admit faults, and be humble enough to ask questions. (DM)
The interior darkness of addiction that had plagued me has been broken; the life-draining burden of painful core issues & trauma has been revealed & lifted. I am immersed in God's unfathomable mercy, love & peace. These are the rewards granted me through my recovery process. (MV)
Louisiana State Board of Nursing17373 Perkins RoadBaton Rouge, LA 70810
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