It started out casual and it wasn’t a problem. It was an escape, recreational, stress relief. It was manageable. It was fun, but then it wasn’t fun, then it was ugly, then it was scary, then I wanted to die. No one saw what was happening. I didn’t even see it at first, then I ignored it, rationalized it, justified it. It was this darkness that rose up and tried to take all of me. I wasn’t what I envisioned as the stereotypical addict. I had a job, a career. I was senior nurse in a large academic medical center. I had won various awards and earned several advanced certifications. I was respected among my peers and colleagues. I had the husband, 2 kids, 2 new cars in the driveway, the white picket fence. On the surface, everything appeared perfect and socially acceptable, but it was all an illusion. Fancy and sparkling on the outside, but vile and rotting on the inside. I used the outside successes to fill the inside void, but it was never enough and I sunk deeper and deeper. I would have never found a way out had I not been caught diverting and been reported to the BON. Something greater than me did for me what I could not do for myself. In what felt like seconds, the life I had built came crumbling down. I felt alone, scared, angry, and filled with shame and guilt. I thought that I was the only nurse to ever experience anything like this. I thought my obsession and compulsion to drink and use drugs was a character flaw, a mortal sin, a lack of control when in fact it was the disease of addiction.

PNAP and PHMP quickly became part of my vocabulary. I learned there were others like me. There was a way out if I chose to do what was suggested to me.

The Voluntary Recovery Program (VRP) provided a structured and regimented climate in which recovery remained the constant priority while integrating nursing practice back into my life. Each step of the way, I was supported and guided not only by my case manager, Beth, but also by my recovery social network including numerous recovering healthcare professionals I encountered on this journey. I took full advantage of the multiple support avenues afforded to me in this process. I learned to take suggestions in order to find and maintain a better way of life, a life in recovery. Throughout the years I spent in the VRP, I learned to seek self improvement through utilizing honesty, open mindedness and willingness. I gained an understanding of the multifaceted disease of addiction. I broke old, destructive habits and replaced them with new healthy coping mechanisms.

Today, I am present in all areas of my life, professionally and personally. In the span of 3 years, I went from not knowing if I would ever practice nursing again to being recognized as one of the top nurses in my region. I was able to brave most of 2020 in a covid ICU. It was only because of the skills I learned through this process that I had the mental, emotional, and spiritual capacity to endure practicing during a pandemic. I strive to help other nurses and healthcare professionals navigate through this program. While our individual stories of how we ended up here may be different, the pain that we feel at the end of the road is what binds us together and allows us to inspire each other. Personally, I am a better wife, mother, sister and friend in recovery. I have found redemption, forgiveness, and love. I have found my truest self.

-Joy M.

I just wanted to take the opportunity to send appreciation out to everyone who was involved in my recovery. As much anger, hate and resentment I felt towards the program it saved my life. It took YEARS of sobriety to realize how much y’all had my side, to only try and help me push through the urge and struggle of addiction. 

I was extremely nervous to be off the program, however financially I needed it. I am so blessed to be holding strong and excelling in my recovery! Thank you for saving my life!! 

-Kristy M.
I needed to take a minute and express my gratitude. Three years ago, I came into this program not knowing if I’d be a nurse again. I can’t find the exact words to express the desperation that I felt that morning I called PNAP. See the previous night I said a prayer to God I didn’t believe in. I told him make me better or take my life. I can’t live like this anymore. He blessed me with a precious gift and that was the gift of desperation. I knew that if I ever wanted to be a nurse again, I’d have to stay sober and I knew if I didn’t stay sober I was going to die. I stood at the turning point, I started the journey. PNAP told me I had to go to meetings, thank God. 
On a side note there are little moments in my life when I can see the Grace of God slip in and these moments are so quick that you don’t realize it until it is already past. Sending me to alcoholic anonymous was the Grace of God. If it wasn’t for PNAP I might not have ever made it to AA. Thank God I showed up 20 minutes late to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, just to get my PNAP slip signed. The meeting had already started, the speaker was already on. I don’t remember the speaker’s name that night but I do remember one thing; he spoke of another addiction much more stigmatized than alcoholism. I was 12th stepped at the meeting. See, when I walked into that meeting there was a table at the very front where all the women sit, and I walked in 20 minutes late and there was one seat open. One. Just one. Waiting… Enter the Grace of God, I sat down that night next to my soon to be sponsor. 
I need to back step a minute and tell you how I was living. I was a breath away from homelessness, no heat, no electricity, and no hot water. My fiancé had just overdosed and died. My parents didn’t speak to me. I couldn’t even look anyone in the eye. How my life has changed. It stated with PNAP and that meeting of alcoholics anonymous.
I want to fast forward to today. By working the 12 steps of AA, my life has been restored. My heart is full. I have freedom I’ve never felt before. In three years, I went from homeless to director of nursing. I dare someone to tell me this program doesn’t work. I had my first interview the other day with a PNAP nurse. I asked her what her story was and it was much like mine. My eyes filled up with tears as I heard my story. There is a piece of me in all their stories. How crazy it is that things come full circle. I remember sitting in the same spot desperately wanting to be a nurse again, and to be given a second shot. God Bless people like my supervisor, who saw something in us and was willing to give us another chance.
Today I’m a mother. I’m trusted with another human life. Three years ago, I couldn’t’ even be trusted with my own. I have two step daughters. My relationships with my parents and siblings have been restored. I have tools for living. I have a loving fiancé that I met in AA and we have a house and new cars and a beautiful son and jobs that we go to everyday, sober. We help other alcoholics constantly. We are divinely crafted to help others like us. It started with PNAP and for that, I thank you.
-Michelle T. 
While in this program, I have overcome some major health problems. I have successfully completed an RN to BSN program and obtained by bachelors’ degree. My connection with friends and family have improved. I have learned so much about myself as it relates to alcohol, addiction, and ineffective coping skills. At the beginning of this journey I was angry because I did not think that I needed this program. I can now say that I am thankful for the combination of techniques used in this monitoring program. It was pricey but well worth it, as I am in a better place.
-Maeva F.
My journey with PNAP began on May 28, 2013, after being dismissed from my RN job for diversion of narcotics. Since then I have traveled a difficult road and PNAP has been with me every step of the way. Recovery takes a lot of time and work. PNAP is there to help you. The catch? There is not one other than you. And you alone have to do the work. ALL of the work. PNAP is not designed to do the work for you but rather to help you to do it on your own. I am not sure what I would have done if PNAP was not there for me to lean on. I am two years sober and happier than I have ever been. Kathie Simpson worked very hard to help me keep my license and for that I will be forever grateful. I realize it can be difficult to follow a strict program, especially one that comes with a lot of out of pocket expenses. But if you are willing to do the work, it is worth every penny to be happy and sober. No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.
-Holly H.

I wanted to send my sincere gratitude to PNAP for your patience and commitment to not only getting me back to work, but laying the groundword for my recovery. I completed PNAP a couple years ago. I will celebrate 6 years clean on 7/5/2020. I never believed I would be able to stop using drugs, nor did I necessarily want to stop. As my anniversary nears, I’m reflecting on that night I called PNAP, 7/3/2014, to report that I had been suspended from work after being caught diverting. My priorities when I arrived at treatment were much different than they are today. I called PNAP on day 3, asking if I would still be able to go on all-inclusive vacations while I’m monitored. Today, my recovery is my priority. “Recovery must come first, or I will lose everything I have gained, including myself.” I don’t ever want to lose me again. I like the person I have become. I love recovery. I’m now working as the ADON of a treatment facility. I get to help other addicts every day. I get to give back. I also get to help other nurses get back to work. I will be forever grateful to my case manager-most importantly for her patience and trust. Thank you PNAP, for helping me to recover and get back to work. I still go on all-inclusive vacations. I actually went on two while being monitored. Today I just indulge in the all you can eat guacamole instead of the all you can drink.

-Jaclyn B.