Florida IPN – the Intervention Project for Nurses: Understanding the 5 year monitoring contract
Before you contact IPN: Contact me to discuss the process and answer your questions. While IPN is suitable for some nurses in certain situations, IPN may not be required or in your best interest.
First Time DUI: If you are arrested for a first time misdemeanor DUI and are referred to IPN do not contact IPN before speaking with me. There is case law in Florida that a first DUI is not related to the practice of nursing in most cases. Each case depends on the specific facts of your arrest. Your arrest for DUI does not trigger the 30 day reporting requirement to the Board of Nursing. Entering a plea (other than not guilty) triggers the reporting requirement to the Board. As a former criminal prosecutor and prosecutor for the Department of Health, I have experience with these cases and will prepare and submit the self-report letter.
Self-reporting to IPN: If you contact IPN, usually the first thing you will be told is that you need to refrain from practice (stop working immediately) and that you need to submit to an evaluation by an IPN approved evaluator at your expense ($1,500-$2,500). The IPN approved evaluator, who is often associated with a treatment program, frequently concludes that the nurse needs treatment and IPN monitoring. These monitoring contracts are usually 5 years in duration, requiring continuous call-ins for random drug screening, treatment at costly facilities, and re-evaluations as instructed by IPN. If your case involves alcohol, IPN requires the use of Soberlink at an additional monthly expense.
Failure to Complete 5 year IPN Monitoring Contract: Violation of the Florida Nurse Practice Act: Once you sign an agreement for monitoring with IPN, any failure to comply with the IPN requirements (re-evaluations, in-patient treatment, refraining from practice) results in closure of your IPN case. IPN then notifies the Department of Health and an investigation for a violation of the Nurse Practice Act is initiated against your license by the Department. Section 456.072(1)(hh), makes it a violation to be terminated from an impaired practitioner program.
Know the process and your options before contacting IPN.
Call me 24/7 for a free telephone consultation and candid discussion about IPN and protecting your nursing license. I represent nurses throughout Florida. As a former prosecutor for the Florida Department of Health, I have extensive training, knowledge and experience in this area of practice.
(850) 307-5665 or (800) 659-7547.