New Mexico Board of Nursing Diversion Program for Chemically Dependent Nurses. The 1987 Legislature enacted Section 61-3-29-1 of the Nursing Practice Act which authorizes the Board of Nursing to create a Diversion Program to rehabilitate nurses whose competencies may be impaired because of the use and/or abuse of drugs or alcohol so that nurses can be treated and returned to or continue in the practice of nursing in a manner which will benefit the public. The intent of the program is to develop a voluntary, confidential alternative to traditional disciplinary actions which may include suspension or revocation of a nurse's license. Traditional, or formal, disciplinary actions are a matter of public record.
Chemically dependent nurses may be admitted to the Diversion Program through self-reporting and requesting admission or following the receipt of a complaint alleging use and/or abuse of alcohol or drugs. The Board may also encourage a licensee to be admitted to the program following a formal disciplinary process.
It is the Board's wish that nurses who are chemically dependent will recognize their illness and will seek treatment and admission into the Diversion Program for monitoring so that a formal action by the Board is not required. Nurses who self-report their chemical dependency will be referred directly to the Diversion Program. All Diversion Program records, are confidential and destroyed upon successful completion of the program.
The following is a diagram of the process that is followed when a complaint alleging use and/or abuse of alcohol and/or drugs if filed against a nurse.