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How Does GNA-PAP Work in Georgia

How does the Nurse Peer Assistance Program work in Georgia?

For over 40 years, concerned nurses have volunteered their time to help other nurses with substance use disorder. Volunteer nurses lead weekly peer-support groups, ensure compliance with mandatory quarterly reporting requirements, monitor random drug screens, and most importantly, offer hope, guidance, and compassion to nurses who are in recovery and living and working sober.

   

Georgia Board of Nursing Authority

The Georgia Board of Nursing (GBON) recognizes that nurses may require a substance abuse recovery program due to the result of alcohol, drugs, narcotics or other mood altering substance.

In order to fulfill its purpose of protecting the public, the Board is granted the authority by law to discipline the license of the recovering nurse. The Board also has authority to condition the penalty based upon the nurse's entry into and completion of a definitive alcohol and drug treatment program. Based upon documentation provided by treatment rehabilitation advocates, the Board considers probation, as opposed to revocation of the nurse's license. Probation carries with the Board imposed measures for monitoring the work performance and continued recovery of the nurse. The Board's progressive policy regarding the recovering nurse does not preclude its regulatory responsibilities; therefore, the Board continues to expect timely reporting of any apparent problems that could become a danger to the public.

 

GNA-pap Leadership

The leadership for GNA-PAP comes from the GNA Board of Directors and the CEO of GNA.

Volunteer group facilitators of GNA-PAP report to the GNA-PAP state committee and the GNA-PAP chairperson. The chairperson is responsible for coordinating quarterly meetings of the facilitators, arranging facilitator training; assisting with coordination of educational activities for local Chapters; providing reports to the leadership of GNA; and assisting nurse facilitators with issues or problems relating to their group activities. Members of the state GNA-PAP committee act as lead advocates in their districts and mentor new facilitators as they begin new peer support groups.

 

GNA-PAP Facilitators

"We are all nurses, helping other nurses."

 

All of our peer-support groups are led by volunteer nurses called "facilitators”. The volunteer nurse facilitators conduct peer support groups throughout the state of Georgia. The facilitators have been trained by the GNA-PAP program and have access to the most current community resources.

 

As volunteers, nurse facilitators focus the peer-support groups conversations on issues related to living and working sober The roles of the volunteer facilitators are to conduct weekly peer support group meetings, complete required quarterly reports to the Georgia Board of Nursing, assist employers with educational information on substance use disorder and the nursing profession, and support nurses in their goal of treatment/rehabilitation program and their maintenance of a sustainable recovery program. The Nurse Facilitator is not in the role of a licensed professional therapist; therefore, the peer support groups are focused on sharing each other's experiences, strengths, and hopes for a sustainable, stable recovery.

 

Peer Support Group Membership

The peer support groups meet on a weekly basis. Attendance is expected to be a 100% level of participation. The peer-support group membership is dependent on three guiding principles;

1. Confidentiality and anonymity of all group members.

2. Abstinence from all substance use chemicals for the duration of group membership.

3. Wiliness to participate in meetings that embrace a traditional 12-Step meeting format.

   

Once a nurse joins our a support group, he/she receive a detailed package of information called "Participant Package.”

 

As a basic overview of group membership, nurses will be held responsible to:

 

a. Adhere to group guidelines and expectations;

b. Maintain confidentiality of group membership;

c. Pay monthly financial costs associated with random drug screenings;

d. Pay the nominal monthly financial costs associated with membership in the peer-support groups;

e. Complete Quarterly Reporting and Drug Screens. Once a nurse joins the GNA-PAP program, he/she will be accountable for the completion of all quarterly reporting documents required by the Board of Nursing. Literature cites the strongest intervention for healthcare professions to maintain their sobriety is the use of random drug screening. GNA-PAP and Affinity have collaborated to provide this intervention for the nurses. Affinity's software makes accessing information about the nurse's drug screens easy, convenient and current. Affinity has a relationship with an extensive network of outpatient laboratory sites that nurses may access when notified  of a random drug screen. The outpatient lab sites are listed in Affinity for the state of Georgia, and also nation-wide.

                 

For help and assistance through the GNA PEER ASSISTANCE Program, call 1-800-462-9627 or 404-325-8807

 

Staffed by volunteer GNA-PAP facilitators, the GNA-PAP Hotline is a number to call for any questions about an individual's sobriety, an employee's sobriety, or community resources available to assist nurses who seek treatment, rehabilitation, and sustained recovery.

 

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Atlanta, GA., 30329-2655

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