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Thread: Diversion in California

  1. #1

    Diversion in California

    Hello to everyone and thanks in advace for all replies.

    I just got a letter from the CA BRN RE: complaint they received and they offer me to enter a diversion program. I have done the most stupid thing in my life - I have asked a patient for the discontinued drugs (can you believe it?!), but I am not a drug user, have never been, I have submitted for a voluntary drug test when patient complained, I tested negative, yet, I did what I did (out of despair but that is another long story), and I don't think it would ever help my situation.

    The question is: I am not using drugs (and haven't), I am not selling drugs (and never done so), would they even accept me to be in the program? Would I have any record on my licence if I go into Diversion and complete it successfully? I am on the therapy for PostTraumatic Stress Disorder and do take Lexapro, Trazodon and I do take an occasional Xanax once or twice a week at night, never at work (which I am NOT going to take now, even though I am shaking like a leaf).

    I work for Home Health agency now, and I understood from paperwork that it would be a No-No. The other questions is: "No-no" forever? What happens after the diversion is over? What if no one hires me while I am on diversion and the question raises later: why weren't you working as a nurse? I know that I will be successfull in the program because I don't drink, I don't smoke and I don't do drugs.

    I have looked at the posts and some of them saying I should be aware of the foods (sauses)? What sauses are dangerous?

    What to expect at the meeting with the DEC? Who is a counselor in Sacramento area?

    I would appreciate all of your help. Thank you very much and God bless!

    I feel like I am loosing the ground under my feet, but I believe there has to be a light at the end...

  2. #2
    Member Extraordinaire hppygr8ful's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    Wink Re: Diversion in California

    I am a graduate of the California Diversion program and I can tell you there is life after the program. The first Question I have is - "What were you intending to do with the discontinued drugs if the patient had given them to you? You speak of dispair something I am intimately familiar with as it was a suicude attempt that brought me to the attention of the Board. I am a garden variety alcoholic(sober over 6 years) But when it all spun out of control I was lost and alone and "checking out" seemed like a viable option.

    I don't usually recommend Attorney's for these cases but I think if you can afford one you should talk to a lawyer familiiar with licensing issues. If you did not take the drugs, and you are not an alcoholic/addict (only you know for sure) You may be able to put this behind you without the Diversion hoop jumping.

    Don't get me wrong Diversion saved my life and If that's where you need to be go there, But it's a long involved process and you won't be able to do home care while you are in diversion. Unless your employer is willing to work with you and make you something like an intake coordinator.

    In Diversion

    You will not be able to do direct patient care for at least 6 mos to a year.
    Then you will gradually regain privileges dependent on your progress.

    You can collect disability in California under a diagnosis of Major Depression - but not addiction so make you your doctor's on board

    You will be required to attend AA/NA/EA Daily for 90 days then gradually reduced over two to five years but never less than 3 meetings a week.

    You will be required to give random Urine and sometimes hair follicle test ( at your expense) For two to 5 years.

    If you are on psychiatric medications you will have to be under the care of a psychiatrist

    You will have to stop taking the Xanax completely.

    If you issues stem from depression rather than addiction - you may be able to have a modified contract that omits some of this but only a lawyer can negotiate this for you. Don't sign a Board Contract without fully understanding what you are getting into.

    Write to me here if you want to talk more you can also send me a PM.

    When it's all said and done you will work again and be able to be at peace but only you know where that journey begins for you.

    Peace and Namaste


  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Thumbs up Re: Diversion in California

    Hi, I'm new to the CA Diversion process as well. I am not a drug addict or alcoholic either, but do have major depression etc. I am on Lexapro only and have an appointment tomorrow with my Doctor to up my dosage.

    I'm so glad to find this website, and especially this forum. Thank You so much to all the nurses that are in or who have graduated from Diversion for posting.

    It looks like I will be starting the NA/AA meeting and might have to do Outpatient Rehab. I'm hoping at my first DEC meeting they will let me reduce these as again I do not use drugs or alcohol but for now I am trying to be willing to complete this process because my lawyer says an investigation by the BRN will be not only expensive and time consuming but I will probably be put on probation eventually and then have to go to a similar process like Diversion.

    I'm very worried about these random tests, and luckily found this before I ate any of the Panda Express my wonderful husband brought home last night!


  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2013

    I'm on diversion in cali

    Hi.. I'm a nurse on diversion in Cali. I just started 2 months ago and have been struggling financially.. I got an offer for a caregiver private duty job and was wondering if anyone new if I can work as a caregiver? I would appreciate any advise

  5. #5
    Member Extraordinaire hppygr8ful's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    It depends on the DEC and the circumstances - Are you seeing a psychiatrist? You need to get on disability. I can refer you to a great psychiatrist who is very familiar with nurses in the dec. He doesn't charge extra to do the required monitoring and p.aperwork and he really good a medication management.

    As far as going to work is concerned - The DEC is not likely to let you go to work in any kind of patient care for 9 to 12 months. Then you have to work somewhere where your employer files a monthly report on your work. You won't be allowed to pass meds for at least 6 months after starting an new job and you can't work overtime. If you try to sneak a job and you get caught you'll use your nursing license for sure.

    If you need to work find something that's non nursing. Preferably something you can do off the books. Like cleaning houses. Or a part time on the books job such as delivering pizza. It's all seems very demeaning but the process does serve to keep you humble which is the key to successful recovery. JUst remember that "This too shall pass."

    Peace and Namaste


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