Case Result: IPN Averted for Travel Nurse Who Had THC in Her System Before Working in Florida

Professional:
Nurse

Primary issue:
Client is a travel nurse and had been traveling through, and working in, Massachusetts for a period of time before moving to Florida. The nurse’s pre-employment drug screening returned positive for THC. The nurse told counsel about having consumed THC while in Massachusetts, where marijuana is legal, and this had occurred several weeks prior. THC can remain in a person system for several days even weeks, and there is no evidence of impairment based solely on a THC-positive drug test. Nonetheless, the nurse was referred to IPN on the basis of this positive screening. The nurse refused enrollment and a Florida Department of Health (DOH) investigation ensued.

Argument:
Our Florida regulatory and healthcare licensing attorneys contended that impairment cannot be proven based on the above scenario, in addition to arguing that the positive screening should be re-evaluated, and that the nurse cannot be held responsible for something that occurred in another state where marijuana is legal. The DOH did not want to dismiss the case and instead decided to press formal charges. The nurse received an administrative complaint for testing positive but not for impairment.

Result:
After several negotiations, our lawyers were able to convince DOH prosecutors that a penalty of referral to IPN would not be appropriate. Instead, we worked out a settlement that would include a reprimand on the nurse’s license, continuing education classes, and investigative costs (for which we also were able to extend the repayment).

Areas of Law:
Healthcare Licensing
Professional Licensing Defense
Substance Abuse & Impaired Practitioners

Disclaimer:
This information is a sample of our past results. Prospective clients may not obtain the same or similar results. Every case is different and each case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits. The circumstances of your case may differ from the results provided. The information provided has not been reviewed or approved by the State Bar.

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Case Lawyers

Sara A. Bazzigaluppi

Attorney

Florida Healthcare License Defense

Sarasota Office
6841 Energy Court
Sarasota, FL 34240
Phone: (941) 893-3449

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