What is the Alternative to Discipline Program?
The Board’s Alternative to Discipline Program is for nurses and CNAs whose practice may be impaired due to chemical dependency. The goal of this program is to protect the public by identifying impaired individuals, providing interventions, education, and by requiring that the nurse or CNA successfully completes a Board approved treatment program for chemical dependency. The program allows the nurse or CNA an opportunity to return to the practice of nursing and take responsibility for their recovery while being closely monitored through a nondisciplinary non-public agreement with the Board.
How do nurses and CNAs enter the program?
Step 1: A nurse or CNA willingly reports to the Board of Nursing that they are addicted to alcohol and/or controlled substances, are willing to seek treatment, and want to enter the Board’s Alternative to Discipline Program.
Step 2: The participant must agree to temporarily voluntarily surrender their license or certificate through an agreement process and seek treatment. The participant must submit documentation to the Board that they have successfully completed a Board approved treatment program that includes eighty (80) hours of didactic work, eighty (80) hours of group counseling, and twenty (20) hours of individual counseling totaling one hundred eighty (180) hours of programming. The participant must also submit documentation to the Board that they have successfully attended at least one (1) AA/NA meeting every day for 90 days in a row. The treatment program must be completed within six (6) months of acceptance into the program.
Step 3: After the participant has successfully completed the treatment requirements and AA/NA requirements, they must agree to abide by the terms and conditions of a monitoring agreement for a minimum of five (5) years. The agreement is designed to closely monitor the participants nursing practice while supporting their recovery activities.
Who is eligible to enter the program?
Nurses or CNAs who:
- are licensed or certified in Nevada to practice nursing
- report themselves to the Board for addiction and/or impairment related to alcohol and/or controlled substances
- abuse alcohol and/or controlled substances to the extent their nursing practice has been affected, and
- sign a voluntary agreement to enter the program and agree to follow all components of the program.
What services does the program provide?
For the public:
- immediate intervention to protect the public as an alternative to a longer disciplinary process.
- coordination and consultation with employers to assure patient safety
For the nurse or CNA
- the ability to continue to work as a nurse or CNA
- consultation about entering the program
- monitoring and ongoing assessment of their personal recovery
- random drug and alcohol testing
- information regarding local professional and support services
- encouragement, support and guidance in recovery as an effective alternative to disciplinary action
- removal from monitoring when the program is successfully completed with no discipline reported to the national data bank
Click here to download information regarding Signs of Impairment on Duty
For more information please contact the compliance department at 775-687-7723