Indiana Nursing License Probation
Nursing is an incredibly challenging career, both physically and emotionally. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that some nurses slip up and make mistakes that put their nursing license at risk. When this occurs, they may be subject to an Indiana nursing license probation and must comply with further requirements and restrictions in order to continue their career in this field.
Given what’s at stake, it’s vital that any nurse currently subject to an Indiana nursing license probation understand the in’s and out’s of your probation requirements. This includes background on certain programs, like ISNAP (or IPRP), as well as the performance criteria that their employer is required to report back to the Indiana State Board of Nursing. Furthermore, any nurse who fears that they have already violated the terms of their probation should contact an Indiana nursing license defense attorney to help ensure that they are not held to a standard more strict than that which is provided under the law.
To speak with an Indiana Board of Nursing attorney today, contact the Indianapolis law office of Keffer Hirschauer LLP at 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Nursing License Probation Restrictions and Sanctions
The Indiana standards of practice for nursing and other health professions, located in Indiana Code 25-1-9-4, prescribe a set of guidelines that must be upheld by all licensed nurses, as well as other licensed medical professionals, in the state of Indiana. If a licensed nurse fails to meet these standards, they may be subject to a variety of sanctions or penalties set forth by the State Board of Nursing. As stated in Indiana Code 25-1-9-9, these may include:
- Permanent revocation of license
- Suspension of license
- Censure of the licensee
- Written reprimand of licensee
- Placement of the licensee on probation
- Assessment of a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 per violation
One of the most common sanctions levied by the Board is to place the practitioner’s Indiana nursing license on probation. When this occurs, the licensee may be limited in the number of hours or shifts they may work, as well as the type of work environments in which they may be employed. In addition, they may incur fines, be required to report in person for interviews and meetings, submit to random mental or physical tests, or be compelled to participate in a continuing education program or the Indiana State Nurses Assistance Program (ISNAP), or IPRP. Finally, the licensee’s employer is required to submit quarterly performance reports to the State Board of Nursing.
Indiana State Nurses Assistance Program
When a nurse is placed on probation due to an incident involving workplace impairment or intoxication, a positive drug screening, or an alcohol-related conviction, like a DUI, they’re often required to complete a Recovery Monitoring Program through ISNAP/IPRP. This program, which is typically 1-3 years in duration, may include mandatory drug and alcohol testing, counseling and other treatment services.
When the Board chooses to place the practitioner’s Indiana nursing license on probation and requires them to complete a Recovery Monitoring Program through ISNAP/IPRP, they may experience a variety of professional restrictions. Per the ISNAP participant handbook, this could include restrictions on the number of hours or shifts they are able to work; access to narcotic drugs; or the type of settings in which they may work.
Furthermore, nurses in a Recovery Monitoring Program may be subject to randomized 13-panel urine drug screens, which they must pay for out-of-pocket. Since these screens are randomized, each licensee must check in daily between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. to see if they have been scheduled for a test. If the licensee has been scheduled for a test on a weekday they must submit their sample by 11:59 p.m. that same day. If the test has been scheduled on a weekend or a holiday and the collection site is not open, they may need to contact the helpline to find an available lab. When this occurs, the nurse may be subject to a different type of drug testing, such as hair, nail, and/or blood test.
In addition, nurses participating in ISNAP are required to submit reports each month. These reports shall contain self-help meeting logs and/or Nurse Support Group meeting logs. On top of that, they must also submit a quarterly self-report, and ensure that reports from their sponsor, worksite monitor, addiction physician, psychiatrist and therapist (if applicable), are submitted as well. However, it’s important to note, that a nurse may only submit the self-report themselves. All other reports must be submitted by the stated individual, such as the addiction physician or worksite monitor.
Mandated Quarterly Reporting
When the Board places a practitioner’s Indiana nursing license on probation their employer is required to submit a performance report to the Board each quarter. This report touches on a variety of topics, including the amount of hours the nurse has worked; their attendance and tardiness; their performance on the job; their medication administration duties, and their overall access to medications.
The report also requires the employer to provide information on any changes to their position or responsibilities, performance deficiencies, and their compliance with the rules and policies set forth by the agency and the Board. Furthermore, the report asks the employer if they believe that that the employee is remaining abstinent from all mood-altering chemicals and whether any concerns or reports have been made against the nurse.
The employer quarterly report for a nurse on probation form is publicly available on the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency website and should be reviewed by all nurses currently placed on probation by the Board.
Concerned About Indiana Nursing License Probation?
In today’s world, nurses are in charge of caring for patients from a variety of backgrounds, in a variety of mental and physical states. On top of that, they must work hand-in-hand with a rotating cast of physicians and endure long, arduous shifts, all while attempting to find a healthy balance between their work with their personal life. Given this, it should come as no surprise that some nurses find themselves at odds with the requirements placed upon them by the Indiana State Board of Nursing and face the possibility of having their Indiana Nursing license put on probation.
If you currently are facing disciplinary action by the State Board of Nursing, or worry that you have violated the terms of your probation, don’t hesitate to contact an Indiana professional license defense attorney from Keffer Hirschauer LLP. Our firm is passionate about defending and protecting the livelihood of nurses, all around the state of Indiana. Furthermore, our skilled litigators have represented dozens of nurses before the Board and understand both its culture and tendencies. To speak with an Indianapolis attorney today, call 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.