Following reports of numerous Minnesota nurses continuing to practice despite failing to abide by the state’s substance abuse diversion requirements, State Rep. Tina Liebling has introduced legislation to require regulators to suspend noncompliant nurses.
Nurses with substance abuse or mental illness problems are required to enter the state program, officially known as the Minnesota Health Professionals Services Program.
Normally, they may continue to practice as long as they meet the program’s requirements. Those include quarterly drug screenings and meetings with treatment advisors and case managers.
Several shocking articles appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune describing nurses who continued to work while impaired. Their cases appeared to fall through cracks in the system.
Under Liebling’s bill, nurses would be immediately suspended if they failed or refused a mandatory drug test or other required treatment.
Liebling chairs the House Health and Human Services Policy Committee. The bill is H.F. 1898.