I have been ordered to participate in the Health Professionals Services Program (HPSP) by the Board of Nursing. Am I required to comply?Nov. 23, 2021

Nurse Stressed Board of Nursing HSPS

By Priscilla Lord, Esq.

If you have a chemical use issue or other health issue that may impact your ability to practice, the short answer is yes.

If you are a licensed healthcare worker, such as a nurse, you have a health licensing board (the Minnesota Board of Nursing) which was created to protect the public's health and safety through regulation of each profession's educational, licensure, and practice standards.

These health licensing boards were created because healthcare providers work with the most vulnerable in our population and it's a matter of public safety that these providers are appropriately educated, prepared, healthy, and able to exercise good judgment.

If your health board receives a report that your practice may be unsafe, they will start an investigation. Part of their investigation will be to ask you questions about your side of the story. They will send you a Notice of Conference via US Mail. This document will outline the allegations against you to which you must respond in writing.

Subsequently, you will attend a live conference with your board's complaint review committee. You are allowed to hire an attorney to assist you in your written response and appear with you at your hearing.

If you have been confronted with allegations of substance use or medication diversion, it is likely that your board will require your participation in HPSP (Health Professionals Services Program) for you to keep your nursing license or other healthcare license.

HPSP is a monitoring program that is used by all the health care licensing boards to ensure that their licensees are safe to practice. HPSP monitors all types of mental or physical health conditions, not just substance use concerns, that may impact a licensed healthcare worker's ability to practice with reasonable skill and safety.

If you present to HPSP, they will conduct an intake assessment and draft a participation agreement containing various requirements you must meet to continue practicing as a health professional.

The following are some of the requirements that are usually found in an HPSP participation agreement:

  1. Complete abstinence from non-prescribed mood-altering substances
  2. Random urine testing several times per month
  3. Participate in an approved AA-type support group on a regular basis
  4. Attend in-patient or out-patient treatment
  5. Engage in counseling to address any issues that may impact your ability to practice
  6. Obtain timely, written quarterly reports from your treatment providers confirming compliance with recommended treatment
  7. Obtain timely written reports from a worksite monitor who can attest to your ability to practice with reasonable skill and safety

If you have concerns that you are not being treated fairly by your licensing board or your HPSP case manager, we can help. It is always best to consult with a license defense attorney before submitting anything verbally or in writing or signing any agreements with your licensing board or HPSP. Call us today for a free consultation.

Category: Professional License Defense
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