Intervention Frequently Asked Questions

Is This Program Right for Me?

What About Working?

  • 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?

Confidentiality?

Cost and Time of Program?

Intervention Evaluation Committee?

  • What is an Intervention Evaluation Committee?
    Pursuant to statute, the BRN has the authority to establish Intervention Evaluation Committees (IECs). Each committee is composed of three registered nurses, one physician and one public member who are all appointed by the Board for their expertise in substance use disorders and/or mental illness. There are currently 14 IECs throughout the state. The IECs are responsible for recommending which applicants will be admitted to the program, establishing rehabilitation contracts for participants, monitoring participants' compliance and determining when participants will be successfully completed or terminated unsuccessfully from the program. IEC decisions are final.
  • Where will I have to go to attend Intervention Evaluation Committee meetings?
    There are 14 IECs throughout California. When you enter the program, you will be assigned to a committee that is as geographically close as possible to the city in which you reside. The IECs will decide how frequently you will meet with them. For example, after your initial meeting with this committee, they may schedule you to be seen in three months, six months, nine months or one year. In between IEC meetings you are fulfilling the requirements of your rehabilitation plan within your community if possible. Any self-help or nurse support group meetings that an IEC requires you to attend will usually be geographically close to the community in which you reside.

Program Contractor?

  • What do you mean by the Intervention Program Contractor?
    The Board of Registered Nursing has the authority to contract out for the implementation of the Intervention Program. The Board of Registered Nursing, however, has administrative oversight of the Program. The current contractor is MAXIMUS.
  • Who should I call to enter the Intervention Program?
    The BRN contracts out with a private entity to monitor RNs in the program. The current contractor is MAXIMUS. Please call MAXIMUS at 1-800-522-9198 if you are interested in participating in this program.

Miscellaneous

  • Am I mandated to report a nurse whom I suspect is diverting drugs or using drugs?
    Filing a complaint is not mandatory; however, it is critical to ensure safe quality care in California. To learn more about filing a complaint, please refer to the information contained on this website under the Enforcement Program.
  • Am I treated differently if I refer myself to the program versus waiting for a complaint to be filed?
    Nurses enter the program in two ways: Self-referrals (the BRN does not have a complaint on file and the nurse is referring themselves to the program), and Board-referrals (the BRN has received a complaint and the nurse has been offered the opportunity to participate in the program). Once in the program, either type of referral is treated according to their recovery needs, not because of how they were referred to the program.
  • Can I withdraw from the Intervention Program at any time?
    Since the Intervention Program is a voluntary program, an RN may withdraw from the program at any time. However, an IEC will determine your status at the time of withdrawal. For example, if you have been non-compliant and want to withdraw from the program, you may be terminated as non-compliant and will not be eligible to return to the Program. Additionally, if you are a board-referral, the BRN may take disciplinary action for acts committed before participation in the Intervention Program.