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Welcome to TPAPN
Welcome to TPAPN
 

Texas Peer Assistance Program for Nurses (TPAPN)

A Program of the Texas Nurses Foundation/Association | In Cooperation with the Texas Board of Nursing
8501 N. MoPac Expy., Ste. 400, Austin, TX 78759 | Phone: 512.467.7027, Fax: 512.467.2620, Email: tpapn@texasnurses.org

TPAPN REFERRAL FORM TPAPN VOLUNTEER ADVOCATE APPLICATION


TPAPN's Purpose

TPAPN promotes, facilitates, and supports recovery* from behavioral health (substance use and mental health) conditions to help nurses (APRNs, RNs, and LVNs) of Texas maintain, and/or regain, safe nursing practice by providing:

  • Individualized comprehensive case management services (guidance, support, and monitoring) to:
    • Facilitate participants’ recovery from behavioral health (substance use and mental health) conditions
    • Facilitate the maintenance and demonstration of sobriety and mental fitness
    • Continue to provide case management services for some participants whose cases have been closed to the Texas Board of Nursing
  • Support of volunteer nurse recovery Advocates to appropriate TPAPN participants
  • Education about TPAPN, initiating participation, and about participation requirements
 
TPAPN is a voluntary program funded by nurses’ licensure fees though the Texas Board of Nursing.

*The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines recovery as “A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.” (https://blog.samhsa.gov/2012/03/23/defintion-of-recovery-updated)

 


 

Reporting of nurses who are impaired or suspected of being impaired is required

 

Reporting may facilitate nurses getting help sooner than they might have otherwise. Reporting also helps protect the public. The Texas Nursing Practice Act (www.bon.texas.gov) requires nurses who are impaired, or suspected of being impaired, by chemical dependency or diminished mental capacity to be reported. If the impaired nurse is believed to have committed a Nursing Practice Act violation the nurse must be reported to the BON; otherwise the nurse must be reported to either TPAPN, to a nursing peer review committee (if available), or to the BON. Concurrent reporting to both TPAPN and the BON, and self-reporting are encouraged. A TPAPN Referral Form can be found here. BON Complaint Forms can be found here.

Initiating TPAPN Participation

Participation in TPAPN is initiated using a TPAPN Referral Form and/or a BON Complaint Form. Referrals are received from three sources: 1) Oneself (self-referral), 2) a 3rd-Party (employer, healthcare provider, coworker etc.), and/or 3) the BON. All 3rd-Party referrals are reviewed with the BON. A TPAPN Referral Form can be found here. BON Complaint Forms can be found here.

TPAPN accepts BON Complaint Forms. Referral sources are kept confidential. Anonymous referrals are not accepted. TPAPN can be reached Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. at 512.467.7027 or by email at tpapn@texasnurses.org.

Enrolling in TPAPN (Becoming a participant)

Nurses referred, or Ordered by the BON, to TPAPN, if eligible, are offered the opportunity to participate. Participation is voluntary and potentially an alternative to BON discipline. Eligibility is based on a number of factors including but not limited to the number of previous participations, the referral reason and details, direction from the BON, etc. Eligible nurses are sent an initial letter with basic enrollment instructions including the instruction to call their assigned Case Manager within ten days of the date of the initial letter. The enrollment process, definitive track placement, and detailed individualized participation requirements are determined, in most cases, after the completion a comprehensive behavioral health (substance use and mental health) evolution by a TPAPN approved evaluator. TPAPN Case Managers help potential participants identify an appropriate evaluator. Additionally, diagnostic toxicology testing (drug tests) may also be required as part of the evaluation process.

Enrollment Time Limits

Nurses referred by third-parties (employer, healthcare provider, coworker, etc.) have 30 days from the date of the enrollment letter to enroll. Nurses Ordered by the BON have 90 days to enroll.

In most cases once the time limit has been reached and the referred nurse has not completed the TPAPN enrolled process, their cases is referred to the BON. Nurses who receive License Suspension Orders from the BON have their licenses suspended until they complete the TPAPN enrollment process, and they have an indefinite time period to complete the process.

TPAPN Participation Requirements

TPAPN-specific participation requirements are determined by a participant’s case manager in collaboration with the participant’s provider(s)/evaluator(s), treatment provider(s), employer, the BON, etc. TPAPN participation requirements are individualized and based on, and/or adjusted per, a number of factors including but not limited to referral details, participant’s evaluation(s), diagnosis and diagnostic severity, the need for nursing practice monitoring, BON direction, TPAPN participation adherence, recovery progress, etc.

TPAPN participant requirements are modifiable and may include random drug testing (urine, hair, nail, blood). Abstinence from all abusable drugs including alcohol, in general, is a requirement for participation in TPAPN. Participants are responsible for their own expenses, which vary and may include an evaluation(s), treatment, recovery support services, mutual aid groups, drug testing, and misc. fee(s).

Participation Goals (Vary for each participant)

  • Obtain and/or maintain recovery from substance use and/or mental health conditions, and/or maintain and demonstrate sobriety and mental fitness.
  • Obtain a behavioral health evaluation or reevaluation (when applicable)
  • Obtain an initial diagnostic toxicology test (drug test)
  • Obtain, participate in, and/or complete treatment
  • Participate in, and/or utilize, recovery support services (mutual aid groups [AA, NA, Caduceus groups, etc.])
  • Obtain, maintain, and/or demonstrate sobriety and/or mental fitness
  • Complete TPAPN participation requirements including communicating regularly with TPAPN, submitting required reports, and random drug testing
  • Practice nursing safely

 

TPAPN Track Descriptions

TPAPN Track Descriptions
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Consequences of behavior inconsistent with recovery and/or non-adherence with TPAPN participation requirements

TPAPN participants demonstrating behavior inconsistent with recovery, and/or who are non-adherent with TPAPN participation requirements, may be required to, or subject to some, or all the following:

  • Obtain a new and/or updated comprehensive behavioral health (substance use and mental health) assessment/evaluation
  • Participation length adjustment (Extension or restart)
  • Track conversion to a higher level of monitoring
  • Adjustments in/to the
    • frequency and/or type of drug testing
    • type and/or amount of treatment
    • type and/or amount of recovery support utilization
    • nursing practice restrictions
  • Referral to the Texas Board of Nursing
  • Track conversion
  • Discharge from TPAPN

 

Communicating with TPAPN

TPAPN can be reached Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. at 512.467.7027 or by email at tpapn@texasnurses.org. The preferred way for participants to communicate with their TPAPN Case Manager is through TPAPN’s participant portal.

If you choose to call TPAPN, your call will be returned in the order in which it was received. All calls are returned during regular business hours (Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., except major holidays). TPAPN’s afterhours support staff can be reached for urgent TPAPN matters at 512.467.7027, ext. 6.

Drug Testing (random) Toxicology (drug) Screening, Random Drug Testing Program

Randomized toxicology screens (drug tests) are required for most TPAPN participants. Drug testing is useful to deter the inappropriate use of alcohol, mood-altering or controlled substances and/or to facilitate the maintenance, demonstration, and documentation of sobriety.

Urine drug screens (UDS) are the standard test utilized. TPAPN may require, and randomly utilizes, other types of toxicology screening including blood, hair, and nail testing. The frequency of screens varies.

 
Some participants during their last year of participation may have their testing frequency adjusted downwards. Testing frequency may also be adjusted upwards due to behavior inconsistent with a program of recovery and/or due to non-adherence with screening policies and procedures such as missing check-ins, missing tests, selecting test options incorrectly, and/or irregular toxicology results such as dilute and/or low creatinine specimens, or invalid tests.

 

TPAPN Advocates (Volunteer nurse peer support)

TPAPN Advocates are nurse volunteers that provide peer support to nurses participating in TPAPN’s Substance Use and Mental Health Programs. Advocates are an integral part of TPAPN, TPAPN’s recovery support services, and TPAPN participants’ recovery. Advocates may also serve as educational resources to employers and schools of nursing.

Advocates meet and/or speak with their assigned participants on a regular basis and communicate regularly with their assigned participants’ case managers. Advocates may, or may not, be in recovery themselves. Advocate training workshops are held regularly. TPAPN needs nurse Advocate volunteers. Please consider helping a fellow nurse by becoming a TPAPN Advocate. A TPAPN Advocate application can be found here.

TPAPN REFERRAL FORM TPAPN VOLUNTEER ADVOCATE APPLICATION

TPAPN Contact Information

Texas Peer Assistance Program for Nurses
c/o Texas Nurses Foundation/Association
8501 N. MoPac Expy., Ste. 400
Austin, TX 78759
Phone: 800-288-5528
Fax: 512-467-2620
tpapn@texasnurses.org
www.tpapn.org
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday

Texas Nurses Association

Texas Affiliate of ANA | 8501 N. MoPac Expy. Suite 400, Austin TX

800.862.2022 | 512.452.0645 | tna@texasnurses.org