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PRN Success Stories

As part of the Board’s commitment to assisting Nurses in their recovery, the Board partners with Southworth Associates to guide nurses through their path of recovery. Below are testimonies from Idaho nurses returning to practice.

Having been a nurse for nearly 20 years, I realized I was unable to cope with life on life’s terms and developed a deadly addiction. Long story short, I quickly became addicted to prescribed opioids and used them as a crutch in my daily life – putting many others at risk. I am forever grateful for the PRN program Idaho’s BON offers. I can honestly say that without the ability to move through this program, I am not sure where I would be now. The PRN program offered me recovery and the ability to save my license.

This is not an easy process but nothing in life is truly ever easy. I worked hard for my license and work hard for my recovery to maintain that license. The program gave me the confidence, encouragement and support needed to navigate my way back. Now that I have successfully completed the PRN program, I work hard to support and encourage others who may have slipped into addiction to reach out for the help they require. I would suggest anyone struggling to reach out for help through this program.

I have been a nurse In the NICU for over 20 years. I have flown with air Idaho for over 9 years caring for the most fragile tiny humans. I have dreamed of being a NICU nurse all of my life. I got this dream and would have lost all that I worked so hard to achieve if it was not for the PRN program. I had become an alcoholic. Long story short I had drank like most people but with time I had crossed the line and starting using alcohol as a daily coping mechanism. My drinking was out of control. I lived for my next drink.

Trying to do a 12 hour shift without alcohol had become impossible so I drank before work. I had lost all thinking of what mistakes I could make being under the influence. I had lost my spiritual, emotional, and physical way of life, alcohol was going to take it all. I was able through a lot of hard work and support of the PRN program find my way back to the person I used to be before alcohol. I was able to keep my nursing license and be a part of the PRN program. I truly cannot imagine where I would be without the support and help of the PRN program. The PRN offered me a way to keep my license and the ability to recover from my alcohol use. The PRN program is not easy, but with hard work and the willingness you too can start a journey to a healthy way of life. I will always be an alcoholic. I have to face what I am. It is hard to look at yourself every day in the mirror and take responsibility for what I am.

I have learned my past does not define me. What I do, my past mistakes, has made me the person that I am. The program gave me the support, encouragement, and the confidence to find my way back. I will always be grateful for Idaho’s Board of Nursing PRN program. I have met the most amazing people who I call my friends now. I would like to encourage anyone struggling with an addition to reach out to the program. This program saved my license and my life. I started my recover in 2013 I only wish I would have gotten help sooner. Thank you again for all you did for me.


It happened so fast… I did things that were unthinkable. I didn’t intend for it to happen.

I had been in practice for 14 years, enjoying success with my career and family life. I absolutely loved everything about being a nurse and a CRNA. I knew of some people in my career field that had fallen into addiction. I think I figured that I had been doing this long enough that it wasn’t something I needed to worry about.

I had surgery in April, and I sure did love the pain pills. They made me feel happy, energetic, in control, relaxed, and at ease. I quickly escalated to taking them more than prescribed. I was able to get refills, and soon, I was getting pills from other people, buying them “on the street”, etc. I went back to work in May, and I by this time didn’t want to live life without narcotics. One day I had no pills on me and taking medications from work was the absolute most logical solution to this problem, in my mind. In the blink of an eye, I was taking medications from work, taking medications at work, and doing all the lying and stealing necessary to keep the process up.

By August, I was using opiates multiple times a day and couldn’t even function without it. I was not eating. I was not socializing at all. I just wanted to stay home. I was lying to my family and my coworkers. My marriage was in serious trouble, and I wasn’t paying as much attention to my kids as they needed. I would do anything imaginable to keep using. I had already tried for quite a while to stop… saying to myself “today, I’m not going to do it.” … Only to break that promise to myself in all of five minutes. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t control this thing, and it was really scaring me. I just knew that I would lose my job if I said a WORD to anyone. I didn’t want to face any of this. Things at work were closing in on me. it was getting harder to hide things and keep up with narcotic counts. I felt such incredible shame for what I had been doing and taking advantage of my precious career like this.

There was a physician at my workplace whom I knew was in a recovery program. I was so low, and on this day, I found the courage to go and find him. I told him everything, for some reason. I think it was because I thought he may not judge me. I cried and cried. He knew about the Idaho Program for Recovering Nurses and put me in touch with them that very day. He didn’t judge me, nor did any of the other people along this path. I started the process of recovery that day in that doctor’s office.

The PRN gave me support, and a road map back to sanity and a road map back to healthy practice of my career. The five years of monitoring were tough- lots of things to do and requirements to meet. I met other nurses in recovery at support group meetings, saw a counselor, became a member of my local recovery community, got a sponsor, and did random drug testing. It was a challenge, but it kept me safe. I don’t think I could have gotten better on my own. I was able to go back to work soon after joining the PRN. There are many recovery-friendly workplaces for nurses. The PRN wanted me to succeed… this is why it’s there: To protect the public safety and also to support re-entry of nurses into the workplace.

I’m forever grateful for sobriety and the PRN, and for being able to practice my craft again. I was never a bad person. Substance Use Disorder is rampant in medical professionals. I have a disease, of addiction… not a moral failing. Because of the PRN and Sobriety, I am a better nurse, a better wife and mom, and I get chances to help others find recovery.
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