A recent article that included a list of eight reasons why nurses get fired caught my attention (see: 8 Reasons Nurses Get Fired). Below is the list:
- Giving into Temptation—Abuse of Prescription Drugs
- Demand for Perfection—Making Too Many Mistakes
- Cyberspace Collides With Reality — Facebook Usage & Information
- Put On a Happy Face—Grumpy or Negative Attitude
- Obtain Proper Licensing—Failure to Renew or Receive Nursing License
- Patient Treatment—Abuse of Patients
- The Disappearing Act—Too Many Absences
- Inner Politics—Proper Handling of Management
True enough, but these are also the reasons why most people get fired. All you need to do to get such a universal list is to delete the word "prescription" from item #1 and substitute "customer" for "patient" in #6. Drug-abusing and drug-diverting physicians and nurses are the reason why there are special "medical-professional panels" offered by reference labs as part of their drug screening programs (see: "Point-of-Work" Drug Testing; A Growth Industry). Here's a quote from an article about drug abuse among nurses (see: Narcotic Use and Diversion in Nursing):
Substance abuse among nurses can range from 2% to 18%....The rate for prescription type drug misuse is 6.9%....The prevalence of chemical dependency is 6% to 8% (130 to 170,000) according to the ANA estimates....According to Burke, director of the Cincinnati Police Pharmaceutical Division, his squad arrested one health care professional every six days. 70% were nurses. He stresses that not all are caught (1998). In the state of North Carolina, there are 108,462 licensed nurses. In 2000, there were 90 nurses with drug related violations. Sixty-two nurses were enrolled in alternative treatment programs [in the state]. So the statistics show there are more nurses diverting and using than actually reported.
I suspect that nurse drug testing policies vary from hospital to hospital but usually include testing at the time of hire plus perhaps some variant of random testing (see: drug testing at hospitals).