Providing safety for the public, saving lives and extending the career of nurses. 

This division monitors registered nurses and student 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 LAC 46:XLVII.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.

The Louisiana State Board of Nursing, Recovering Nurse Program is here and has helped hundreds of nurses recover from addiction while also keeping their jobs.

Benefits of RNP – Safety for the public, save life and career of nurse.

The specialized treatment added structure and accountability of monitoring programs for healthcare professionals have been linked to greater success in monitoring abstinence.

1. What is the Confidential Recovering Nurse Program (RNP)?


The Recovering Nurse Program is a confidential, voluntary alternative to formal disciplinary action for a Registered Nurse who may be impaired due to chemical dependency/abuse.

The Nurse Practice Act (L.R.S. 37:911-933) provides that alternatives to disciplinary action may be established. L.R.S. 37:922 (Sec. E) reads in part: “The Board, in its discretion, may maintain the confidentiality of an individual registered nurse who violates a provision of this Part whenever the Board determines the public interest will be best served by alternatives to the disciplinary process”.

The objectives of the Recovering Nurse Program are:

  • Ensure the health and safety of the public through a program that closely monitors nurses impaired by alcohol and/or other drugs.
  • Promote safe nursing care by preventing or restricting the practice of those temporarily unable to deliver safe nursing care.
  • Implement a plan for the identification and referral of impaired nurses.
  • Establish criteria for the appropriate identification and treatment of an impaired nurse.
  • Develop and maintain criteria for the identification of an acceptable treatment program.
  • Provide a structured program for nurses seeking recovery from impairment in a therapeutic, non-punitive and confidential process.
  • Provide educational programs to the health care community related to the identification and intervention of chemical dependency problems, subsequent treatment alternatives, and monitoring.

* A small number of participants are in the Recovering Nurse Program for a medical, mental, or physical condition that has or may potentially compromise their ability to practice nursing with reasonable skill and safety. These individuals have different stipulations than those with chemical dependency.


2. Who is eligible for Confidential RNP?


Registered Nurses and Students who:

  • Are licensed, eligible for licensing, or have applied for clinicals.
  • Are mentally ill or abuse alcohol or drugs to the extent that their nursing practice may be affected, and,
  • Voluntarily agree to enter the program and provide consent for appropriate medical and psychiatric evaluations,
  • Have no prior disciplinary actions by this or another licensing Board.


3. Who is ineligible for Confidential RNP?


RN’s are ineligible for confidential RNP if they have:

  • A criminal conviction or pending criminal charges;
  • Been previously disciplined by the Board;
  • Been terminated previously from this program, or any other diversion program, for non-compliance;
  • Sold drugs;
  • Caused significant patient harm or death.


4. How do I enter the RNP?


Contact RNP at LSBN 225 755-7546 or e-mail


5. What’s the first thing I have to do?


Stop working as a Registered Nurse, sign an agreement and complete an inpatient evaluation at a Board approved facility.


6. What is the duration of the RNP agreement?


The agreement is for five years.


7. Where do I find the Board approved facilities?


They are located here, or a copy can be sent to you per request.


8. What do I do upon completion of evaluation?


You should contact the RNP and then comply with the recommendations from your evaluation.


9. If treatment is recommended, what do I do once I complete treatment?


  • Contact the facilitator of the RNP group (this information is included in the program agreement packet) for date, time, and location.
  • Start attending the required groups/meetings (AA/NA, Aftercare, RNP group).
  • Have your verification calendar signed at each group/meeting.
  • Begin drug screening by contacting the drug screening service daily (see below).


10. When will I be able to return to work?


Prior to returning to work, you must complete the recommendations from your evaluation (i.e. if inpatient or intensive outpatient treatment was recommended, this should be completed). In addition, you must have a release from a Board approved addictionist, Board staff approval, and a signed Employer’s Agreement (available on the website).


11. I was terminated due to narcotic discrepancies. Will I be able to get employment?


Most of the nurses in RNP are employed. The nurse support group may be helpful with suggestions regarding employment.


12. When should I let my future employer know I’m in RNP?


You should make them aware during the interview process since there will be certain restrictions that need to be considered if you are hired. You will also need to have an employer’s agreement (signed by you, the employer and RNP) in place prior to starting work.


13. What are the work restrictions?


  • You can not administer narcotics for a minimum of six months after returning to work.
  • You can not work 11-7, overtime or critical care areas for the first year after completing treatment.
  • You must have direct on-site supervision for the duration of your agreement.


14. What happens if I relapse?


If you relapse or have an adverse report you will have the opportunity to sign a five-year agreement and return for an evaluation.


15. How do I get set up for drug screens?


You will receive instructions for enrollment with Chain of Custody forms either directly from Affinity or from your RNP Case Manager upon orientation. It will be your responsibility to contact the system daily (via phone or internet) to see if you have been selected to screen. If selected, you must go for drug screening at an approved site that day.


16. What happens if I miss a screen?


The frequency of your screens will be increased the first time. A second missed drug screen will result in the Automatic Suspension of your license and you may have to return for an evaluation and/or sign another agreement.


17. Is there a list of medications that I can or cannot take?


The RNP has a list of medications and substances to avoid as well as permissible medications. This is a partial reference list and should be discussed with your healthcare provider. If your healthcare provider prescribes any medication, a Medication Report Form should be submitted within five days. Remember, if it makes you feel different it is probably mood-altering so it should be avoided.


18. Should a Medication Report Form be sent for any medications that I take?


Yes, anytime you are prescribed medication, the healthcare provider should complete the form. These prescriptions include not only controlled substances but other prescribed medication as well (ie blood pressure medications, psychotropics, antibiotics, NSAIDs, etc.) since some medications could affect the drug screens.


19. I was previously in the RNP and my license was suspended, how do I re-enter the RNP?


You should submit a detailed letter explaining what has occurred since you were last licensed. Please include any treatment for substance use disorders you may have completed as well as any criminal matters resolved or pending. After receipt of your letter, you will receive a memo outlining what steps you will need to take to re-enter the RNP.