Program for Recovering Nurses

"To Protect the Public Safety, Health and Welfare while Assisting Nurses in their Recovery

and Return to Safe Practice"

The Program for Recovering Nurses (PRN) is for nurses with unsafe behaviors resulting from mental and emotional conditions and habitual chemical use, both of which are grounds for formal discipline. However, the Board believes that nurses who acknowledge that their practice may be impaired as a result of chemical dependence or mental conditions and who are actively engaged in recognized recovery methods and as a result do not represent a threat to the public, should be allowed to continue practicing nursing. In order to assure public safety, the Board supports monitoring of these nurses outside of the process of formal disciplinary investigation and action under provisions that assure support of recovery and prevention of relapse.

Nurses who have been (or are likely to be) charged with violating the Nursing Practice Act, but who are willing to admit to certain facts are eligible for participation in The Program for Recovering Nurses (PRN).

The Board offers two tracks to this alternative to disciplinary action program.

Track 1: - Non-Board Referral :

  • The nurse has not come to the attention of the Board for violations of the Nursing Practice Act or Rules.
  • The nurse or an agent of the nurse (employer, colleague, family member, etc.) contacts the Program for Recovering Nurses requesting assistance.
  • The nurse agrees to enter treatment for chemical addiction or mental conditions and signs a contract for monitoring by the program.
  • The nurse is compliant with all conditions of the monitoring contract.
  • Nursing practice may be resumed following approval by the Program Coordinator.
  • The nurse is released from the Program following satisfactory completion.
  • The Board of Nursing receives no information about the nurse.

Track 2: - Referral by Board of Nursing:

  • A formal complaint has been filed with the Board of Nursing or
  • The nurse has voluntarily surrendered his/her license to the Board and has admitted to a disability relating to alcohol or drug use or to emotional or mental conditions.
  • The nurse waives the right to a hearing.
  • Nursing practice must be discontinued for a time period.
  • The nurse is referred to the Program for Recovering Nurses and signs a Contract for Monitoring through the program.
  • The nurse agrees to enter treatment.
  • Nursing Practice may be resumed only after a conditional limited license is issued by the Board with requirements for continued monitoring through the program for up to five (5) years.
  • The nurse is compliant with all conditions of the monitoring contract.
  • The nurse is released from the Program following satisfactory completion.
  • There is no record of formal disciplinary action by the Board of Nursing.

For further information about this Program, contact John Southworth, Program Coordinator, the Program for Recovering Nurses - (208) 323-9555, Toll Free (800) 386-1695, cellular 1-208-891-4726 or Kathleen Pollard, Associate Director for Alternative Programs, at the Board of Nursing office (208) 334-3110; ext. 2489.

Files of participants are confidential unless there is non-compliance with requirements, which may result in Board action to formally revoke the nurse’s license to practice. Visit their web site at http://www.southworthassociates.net/ External Link.


Any link marked with a External Link leads to an external web site, not an official State of Idaho Governement site.