- Does a court ordered intervention program take the place of the BRN's Intervention Program?
A court ordered intervention program does not take the place of the BRN's Intervention Program.
- Do I have to enter the BRN's Intervention Program if I plan to obtain treatment on my own?
The Intervention Program is voluntary. We recognize that there are many great treatment programs available. However, they do not take the place of the BRN's Intervention Program. If we have received a complaint, we will offer you the opportunity to enter our Intervention Program. If you do not accept, the complaint will be investigated. If you do accept our program, an Intervention Evaluation Committee (IEC) will want to know about any programs you have entered or completed, so they can determine what other elements to include in a treatment plan they develop for you. For example if you have completed an in-patient treatment program, the committee may mandate completion of an aftercare program in addition to 12 step meetings, nurse support group meetings, etc. If you are currently in a treatment program, we recommend that you continue to participate in that program.
- If I was successful in completing the BRN's Intervention Program previously, am I still eligible to participate in the program again?
Yes, RNs who have successfully completed the BRN's Intervention Program are eligible to participate in the program again. An IEC will, however, determine if you are accepted into the program.
- I am licensed in another state and participate in their Intervention Program. I am thinking about transferring to California. Can I automatically transfer to California's Intervention Program while I am in the process of obtaining a California license?
Nurses who are participating in another State's Intervention Program and not yet licensed in California are not eligible to participate in California's Intervention Program. By law, an RN must be licensed and residing in California in order to be eligible to participate. Once a California license is obtained, however, we can communicate with the state you are from (with the written permission of the nurse) and inform that state about your progress in California's program. Please check with your state to make sure you can transfer to another state and still be in compliance with their program.
NOTE: There is nothing on California's application which would require you to disclose that you are in another state's intervention program as long as your participation in that program is not considered discipline.
- I am an LVN. Can I Participate in the BRN's Intervention Program?
By law, only Registered Nurses are eligible to participate in the BRN's Intervention Program. However, LVNs may want to attend nurse support group meetings if they are experiencing a problem with substance use disorder or mental illness. Please refer to the nurse support group listing
on this website for information on where those groups meet and how to contact the facilitator.
- I have had one DUI, is this program for me?
The Intervention Program is a program designed to help those who have a substance use or abuse disorder. Statistics have proven that just because a person has had one DUI does not necessarily mean that an individual hasn’t been driving under the influence before, or that he or she doesn't have a problem--it may mean that this was the only time the individual was caught. Only you know what is going on in your life. If you choose not to enter the program, any complaints we have received will be investigated. If you choose to enter the Intervention Program you will follow an individual rehabilitation plan.
- I only diverted one time, is this program for me?
This is a voluntary program and we cannot mandate that anyone enter the program. The Intervention Program is not a place to avoid discipline for a one-time error, but it is a place to receive help for a problem. If the BRN receives a complaint that you have diverted from the workplace, you will be given the opportunity to enter the program. If you do not choose to enter the program, we will need to investigate any complaints we have received to determine if disciplinary action should be taken. Only you know what is going on in your life. You will need to make a decision as to whether or not this is a program for you.
- How do I know if I am eligible to participate in the Intervention Program?
The BRN will always check your eligibility prior to your entry into the Program. Please refer to What is the Intervention Program?
for additional eligibility information.
- Will I need to stop working if I decide to enter the Intervention Program?
Yes. When you are first entering the Program, you must stop practicing until either a clinical assessment or an IEC determines that you are safe to practice. This can be done only after enough information has been obtained to make that determination.
- How long will I be off work if I decide to enter the Intervention Program?
The length of time an RN will be off work is very individualized. IECs make the determination on a case-by-case basis. This is a way of providing for immediate intervention and ensuring that the goal of public protection is being achieved. This is also a time for you to focus on recovery, which will greatly assist you in returning to work safely. In addition, the return to work will be a gradual progression. When you are allowed to return to work, there will be restrictions to your practice. Those restrictions may include, but are not limited to, non-patient care, no nights, no access to drugs, no home health, not to be the only RN on duty, and a limit on the number of hours you may work. As you progress in recovery, the restrictions are lifted until by the end of the program, there are no restrictions to your practice. You must also have a work site monitor in place prior to returning to work. This monitor must be someone in a supervisory capacity who will be able to assess how you are doing when you return to work and prepare quarterly reports for the IEC.
- How will my employer be notified that I am participating in the Intervention Program?
Due to the confidentiality of the Intervention Program, neither the BRN nor the Intervention Program Contractor can legally notify employers that RNs are participating in the program. It will be up to you to notify your employer that you are participating in the Intervention Program and that you are required to stop practicing until it is determined that you are safe to practice. Once you are accepted into the program, you may sign a release form authorizing your case manager to communicate with your employer.
- How will I be able to survive financially if I cannot work?
Please know that many nurses who have entered the Intervention Program have experienced financial hardships. Some have been able to get assistance by obtaining disability during this time. Financial counseling is also available through our Contractor. In addition, nurses who enter the Program will be referred to nurse support groups. At these meetings, you will be able to network with other nurses to discuss ways in which you may be able to cope with financial difficulties. You may also be able to obtain work outside of nursing (although, many nurses have found that they need to take this time off to focus on their recovery.) Also, many nurses face the possibility of losing their license if they do not enter this program and that would be more of a financial hardship in the long run. Keep in mind that we believe that substance use disorder is a disease, which if left untreated could be fatal. Who will provide for your family then?