Can I be in PNAP without the involvement of the State Board of Nursing?
Yes. PNAP can monitor nurses without involvement by the state board in several instances.
- The nurse has not had any legal charges.
- The nurse has not been confronted for being impaired while on duty.
- The nurse is not accused of diverting substances from the workplace.
- The nurse is attempting to reinstate a suspended license.
All calls are handled with caring and confidentiality.
Our goal is to assist professionals who need help with a drug or alcohol problem or mental illness BEFORE his/her practice is affected. We encourage nurses and nursing students to call PNAP for help BEFORE they have a complaint filed with the Board and BEFORE they need an attorney because they have criminal charges.
What makes me eligible for enrollment in the PNAP monitoring program?
You are eligible for enrollment in our program if you are a nurse or a nursing student who has been diagnosed with a substance use disorder or a psychological and/or mental health disorder such as bi-polar disorder, psychosis, and schizophrenia. Enrollment requires entrance into a monitoring contract with PNAP and an agreement to comply with the terms and conditions. You voluntarily sign a contract with PNAP as a commitment to your recovery.
Are there any costs associated with the program?
Yes. Participants are responsible for paying for the cost of an evaluation. This cost is dependent on the treatment provider who is performing the evaluation. Clients are also responsible for any co-pays and deductible payments should treatment be required. The participant will be responsible for the cost of all random drug screens. There is an annual fee for participation in PNAP for most participants. This varies dependent on the type of license or advanced practice degree.
PNAP has established a financial assistance program that can help support qualified candidates by defraying costs for a period of time. Please don’t be discouraged regarding the associated fees. Discuss your financial concerns with your case manager.
What are the key components of monitoring by PNAP?
Total Abstinence-PNAP is an abstinence-based program. Participant must maintain total abstinence from any and all addictive substances and alcohol. This includes products that contain alcohol, kratom, bath salts, any substance that potentially contains THC, one of the active components on cannabis, or any mood altering substance.
Random Drug Screening: average cost $32 – $50 per screen plus collection fee charged by the collection site.
Treatment: Evaluation and agreeing to the recommended treatment plan. Possible treatment recommendations include:
In-Patient Detoxification, In-patient Rehabilitation, Partial program, Intensive Out-patient Program, Individual Therapy and Group Therapy.
PNAP will assist you with obtaining funding if necessary.
Twelve Step Meeting Attendance – FREE- Participants must agree to participate in 12 step recovery meetings and submit verification of attendance.
Health Care Professional Group-Nurses will enroll in a health care professional group following discharge from the higher intensity treatment programs. This group meets on a weekly basis.
Monitored Practice-Employers or potential employers must be aware of your participation in the monitoring program. Confidentiality is our priority. We will obtain a release for your direct supervisor and all correspondence will be directed through that person.
How long will I be monitored?
Our program is a three-year monitoring program that provides support and documented evidence of your recovery.
I was suspected of taking drugs from my employer – what should I do?
Contact PNAP immediately for assistance so that we can gather information and guide you through the referral and reporting process.
My employer said they have to report me to the Attorney General’s Office, the DEA, and the local police — what will happen?
Employers have a legal requirement to notify these agencies if there is a suspicion of diversion. You may be contacted by any of these agencies. Contact PNAP and we can assist you in finding legal representation. Attorneys should be experienced with both criminal law and administrative law when dealing with the Board of Nursing. It is important they understand the effect a criminal plea may have on your license.
My employer said they are reporting me to the Board of Nursing — what will happen?
A complaint to the Board of Nursing will be referred to the PHMP (Professional Health Monitoring Program), whose role it is to determine the likelihood of your practice being a danger to the public. That determination will be based largely in part on the results of a drug and alcohol and/or a mental health evaluation by an approved provider. You will receive a letter from the PHMP requesting you contact PNAP. However, PNAP is available to nurses and at any time, and we encourage you to contact us before you receive the letter.
What is the PHMP?
The PHMP (Professional Health Monitoring Program) is a Pennsylvania government agency that works in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Licensing Boards. Their primary focus is to protect the health and safety of the public from healthcare providers who they believe may be at risk of being impaired. They will determine eligibility for an alternative to discipline monitoring program. They are also responsible for any disciplinary monitoring agreements issued by the Board of Nursing.
What should I do if I get a letter from the PHMP?
If you receive a letter from the PHMP, please contact PNAP as it instructs you to do. Our role is to help you address the letter, refer you for an evaluation if necessary, and clear up any misconceptions you may have about what is being asked of you. We will also explain the entire process and any consequences of your failure to respond. Please, we advise you not to ignore this letter as it could result in public and permanent discipline on your license.
What are the requirements for application for or renewal of a Nursing license in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania RNs must complete all 30 hours of CE before the end of the renewal period. Any CE hours completed outside of the biennial renewal period may not be used towards the required 30 hours.
CE Requirements for RNs:
Pennsylvania RNs must complete 30 hours of Board approved CE during biennial renewal periods. The Board assigns registered nurses to one of the following license expiration dates:
- April 30 in the even-numbered years
- October 31 in the even-numbered years
- April 30 in the odd-numbered years
- October 31 in the odd-numbered years
Effective January 1, 2015, all persons applying for issuance of an initial license shall be required to complete 3 hours of DPW-approved training in child abuse recognition and reporting requirements as a condition of licensure.
CE Requirements for LPNs: No CE Required.
Link: Child Abuse Reporting CE on Nurse.com
Link: Free Child Abuse Reporting CE at The University of Pittsburgh
What are the rules for the reporting crimes and disciplinary action?
Effective October 17, 2015, RNs, LPNs, CRNPs, LDNs, and CNSs MUST notify the State Board of Nursing of the following: Pending criminal charges and criminal convictions MUST be reported within 30 days of the action. Discipline taken against a license in other states/jurisdictions MUST be reported within 90 days. Notification should be made online.
- Pending criminal charges
- Criminal convictions (including a guilty plea, conviction following a trial, probation without verdict and Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition)
- Disciplinary actions taken by other states/jurisdictions
Pending criminal charges and criminal convictions MUST be reported within 30 days of the action.
Discipline taken against a license in other states/jurisdictions MUST be reported within 90 days.
Notification should be made online at: pals.pa.gov
As part of that notification, licensees will be able to upload relevant documents. Licensees who do not have internet access shall mail the notification and supporting documentation to the Board office. Failure to make a timely report may result in the imposition of a disciplinary sanction.