Drug And Alcohol Testing For Nurses


If you have questions about drug or alcohol testing, or have been contacted by the nursing board, call to schedule a free legal consultation with a nurses attorney, (512) 829-5619. Note that the free consultation is ONLY for professional licensing matters.

If you’ve faced disciplinary action from the Texas Board of Nursing (BON), as one of the terms of your Board Order, you may be required to undergo random or scheduled drug or alcohol screenings with RecoveryTek (the contractor the nursing board has chosen).

Testing For Alcohol
When you’re required to submit to periodic random drug screenings, the Board Order may require you to completely abstain from alcohol. RecoveryTek’s alcohol test is more sensitive than tests that the nursing board has used in the past. The alcohol test can detect smaller amounts of alcohol in your system, as well as alcohol consumption that occurred further in the past. In fact, the alcohol test is so sensitive, that it can pick up products such as Nyquil, vanilla extract, hand sanitizers with alcohol, mouthwashes, cough medications, “non-alcoholic” beverages, and other products. It’s important that you refrain from using any of these types of products before your alcohol testing, because a positive screen – regardless of the source – can lead to discipline from the nursing board.

Testing For Drugs
A Board Order also may prohibit nurses from using the controlled substances Nubain, Stadol, Dalgan, Ultram, and other synthetic opiates, unless you have a prescription and it’s for a legitimate purpose. If you do get a prescription, you may need to notify the nursing board and have your healthcare provider submit a written report.

If you’re required to submit to drug screens, you’ll need to check with RecoveryTek every day to see whether you’ve been selected to be tested and will need to submit a sample.

In general, this is the frequency of drug testing that’s required by the BON:

  • at least once a week during the first 3-month period
  • at least twice a month during the next 3-month period
  • at least once a month during the next 6-month period

Note that this is only a general rule of thumb, and that you’ll be required to submit drug screens according to the terms of your specific Board Order.

Nurses Attorney For Substance Abuse
We help nurses with substance abuse issues (drugs and alcohol) defend their licenses. If the board has notified you of an allegation or is investigating you, we can help you through the entire nursing license defense process, including negotiating the terms of your disciplinary sanctions (Board Orders). We can also assist with nursing license reinstatement.

For more information about drug testing, alcohol testing, or substance abuse issues, or to schedule a free consultation with a nurses attorney, please call (512) 829-5619. Note that the free consultation is ONLY for professional licensing matters.

Please note: Kevin Keaney earned his BSN from the University of Texas at Austin and worked as a nurse for four years before becoming an attorney. A member of the American Association of Nurse Attorneys (TAANA), Kevin now has more than 30 years experience as an attorney. Our law office is in the Austin area, and we represent nurses from all across Texas, including: Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, Amarillo, and Lubbock.