The Intervention Project for Nurses (IPN) is not right for everyone and you should consult an attorney that specializes in nursing license defense to determine if a monitoring agreement with IPN Florida is right for you. The untold truth is that a multi-year monitoring agreement with IPN Florida could still result in action taken against your nursing license. It can also be very expensive and difficult to maintain the often intrusive requirements that IPN Florida will place on you.
For some nurses, IPN Florida is mandatory. For others, IPN is voluntary and often suggested by an employer or the Florida Board of Nursing as a way for nurses to avoid licensing action. However, IPN Florida is not your only option. There are private treatment options. Also, our attorneys are often able to negotiate alternatives to IPN Florida or negotiate a less intrusive IPN monitoring agreement with the Florida nursing board. The key is to consult our attorneys as soon as possible, ideally before reporting the violation, to prepare your defense and negotiate options before licensing action commences and IPN Florida is made mandatory.
Nurses often contact IPN Florida because of fear that they will face formal licensing action if they do not report to IPN Florida (see here for information about formal nursing license action). Nurses should not contact IPN Florida without first discussing their options with an attorney. In some cases, we are able to help nurses avoid IPN Florida and avoid formal licensing action. We have several full-time professional licensing attorneys that work with nurses daily regarding IPN Florida and other impairment matters. Our attorneys are experienced in helping nurses resolve allegations of drug diversion, positive drug screens, DUIs and other impairment matters.
We use three factors when helping nurses decide if IPN Florida is a good option for avoiding licensing action. They are:
1) do you have an alcohol or drug addiction,
2) is this your first offense,
3) are you able to prove to the relevant board:
a) that this was an isolated situation,
b) that you are safe to practice,
c) that you would not benefit from a period of monitoring, and
d) that you do not need active supervision.
The costs of maintaining a compliant status in IPN Florida are very high and the nurse is responsible for the costs of drug tests, therapy sessions, group counseling sessions, collection fees, and visits with addiction professionals and other physicians. Participants report that they spend up to $30,000 of their own money through the course of a three-year monitoring agreement. If you are in the IPN program and leave because you can no longer afford it, your name will be reported to the Department of Health as “non-compliant”. Often this leads to formal action against the nurses license. For more information, see license suspension for non-compliance with IPN.
In most cases it may be more cost effective to hire an attorney. Our attorneys can help determine if IPN Florida is the best option, and in some cases be able to avoid the cost of IPN altogether, while allowing you to maintain your nursing license. If you and your attorney decide IPN Florida is a good option, an attorney can help negotiate a favorable agreement that is less restrictive and less expensive than standard IPN Florida agreements. Our attorneys may also be able to help you find private treatment that is less expensive and still be sufficient to help you maintain your nursing license.
We understand that the cost of an attorney may discourage some nurses from seeking legal representation, particularly if the nurses recently lost their job as a result of the impairment allegations. However, the cost of a negative licensing action is often far greater than the cost of an attorney. Not only can the immediate cost of sanctions be several thousands of dollars, but negative action on your nursing license can lead to job loss, among many other things. Additionally, our goal is to help nurses avoid the unnecessary cost of IPN monitoring agreements.
Please consult our attorneys before contacting IPN Florida. All too often we are called by Florida nurses after an IPN agreement has been signed and the nurse can no longer maintain the requirements. It becomes more difficult and expensive to attempt to reduce IPN requirements once an agreement has been signed with IPN Florida. Failure of the licensee to comply with the IPN requirements can result in suspension and revocation of their nursing license.
Chapman Law Group is passionate about the defense of nurses. Our attorneys practice nursing license defense full-time and have a depth of experience. Our team of attorneys includes a former DOH prosecutor who has years of experience prosecuting health professionals for substance abuse and other impairments. Our goal is not only to protect your nursing license, but to reduce the damage to your nursing license, career and reputation caused by the allegations. Please contact our attorneys immediately if you are considering IPN Florida or are facing impairment allegations. Our attorneys would be honored to help you protect your nursing license.