What We Do

The Tennessee Professional Assistance Program (TNPAP) provides advocacy to various health professional boards for those who may be in violation of their practice acts as they maintain active participation in monitoring.  Funding for this assistance comes from various health-related boards in conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Health.

TNPAP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency dedicated to quality, accessible prevention and intervention services in workplaces and communities, focused on substance use, behavioral, psychological and other related issues. Funding for this assistance comes from grant awards from various boards.


The mission of the Tennessee Professional Assistance Program is to facilitate a safe return to practice of healthcare professionals with an identified substance use issues, mental or physical health issue, or related incident.

TNPAP presently is partnered with the following licensing boards:

  • Board of Nursing
    October 1, 1993
  • Board of Occupational Therapy
    October 1, 1998
  • Board of Physical Therapy
    October 1, 1998
  • Emergency Medical Services Board
    July 1, 2005
  • Medical Laboratory Board
    July 1, 1999
  • Board of Massage Licensure
    June 1, 2015

Additionally, TNPAP also serves colleges and universities with students enrolled in health care educational programs.

  • Confidential consultations
  • Assess incoming referrals to determine appropriate action
  • Provide education to healthcare students, professional associations and other organizations through access to e-learning
  • Facilitate evaluations and/or treatment
  • Establish monitoring upon treatment discharge
  • Provide advocacy for compliant participants with employer and TN Department of Health (licensure board)
  • Perform day-to-day case management on all actively monitored participants
  • Ensure public safety and welfare by reporting participants who are unwilling or unable to maintain compliance with monitoring to the TN Department of Health



Education courses available through Affinity e-Health Spectrum 360 (SPECTRUM)

 SPECTRUM Quick Start Associate Users Guide

SPECTRUM provides an easy-to-use platform for the distribution and sharing of important program documentation and courses.

Click here to go to the SPECTRUM site to register.


Anyone can refer to TNPAP; most referrals come from employers, co-workers, board orders, and the individuals themselves.

Employers should report any practice violation concerns as well as any behavioral/psychological issues.

See the following regulations:
LPN regulations
RN regulations

A self-referral is when the individual contacts TNPAP prior to being confronted or requested to do so by an employer, co-worker, treatment facility, friend, or family member.

A board-referral is when an individual is referred to TNPAP as a result of a pending or ratified board order indicating that a practice act violation has occurred.

Common reasons to refer include incompetent, unethical or illegal practice of any healthcare provider.
Other reasons to report include:

  • Legal issues
  • Crime
  • Behavioral issues

Monitoring agreement requirements are determined on an individual basis.
The monitoring agreement usually includes, but may not be limited to the following:

  • Attendance at support group and 12-step meetings
  • Toxicology screening (approximately 20-24 per year)
  • Refrain from the use of mood-altering drugs including alcohol
  • Timely submission of reports
  • Narcotic and other controlled substances restriction, if deemed appropriate
  • Obtaining a 12-step sponsor

Yes.  You must refrain from practicing as a healthcare provider until it is determined that you are safe to practice. This will be determined by TNPAP.

The length of time is very individualized and largely depends on how quickly you obtain an evaluation and adhere to the recommendations, if any.

Yes. However, you are encouraged to notify your employer first. Your case manager will provide you with workplace restrictions.

No. Individuals who are participating in another state’s alternative-to-discipline program and are not yet licensed in Tennessee are not eligible to participate. In these circumstances, permission to participate in TNPAP is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Considerations may include permission from the out-of-state licensure board, the TN licensure board and a copy of the TN license at the time the request to transfer is made.

There is no cost paid to TNPAP for TNPAP services when the individual has an active TN license. However, the cost of the TNPAP-approved evaluation, recommendations, neuropsychological testing, medical evaluations, pain management assessments, etc. is the responsibility of the participant. Anticipate up to $3,000 per year for costs of drug screenings and facilitated support group requirements. (Individual requirements vary on a case-by-case basis.)

The first step is to submit a Request for TNPAP Services form.  Click here

That is a decision between the physician, the employer, and TNPAP policies. However, the practitioner cannot practice if the substance potentially impairs their ability to provide safe care to the public.

Medication assisted treatment:

      Practice is allowed while using Vivitrol (naltrexone)

  • If there is a Verification of Prescribed Medication report on file in the TNPAP office and the Medical Review Officer (MRO) determines legitimate use, the screen will be considered negative.
  • If there is no Verification of Prescribed Medication report on file in the TNPAP offices and/or the MRO determines illegitimate use, the screen will be considered positive.

TNPAP is an abstinence-based program, meaning, refraining from the use of any mood-altering substances, including alcohol.

The majority of participants do successfully complete the program. To do so, they must adhere to all the stipulations contained in a signed monitoring agreement and demonstrate a change in lifestyle that supports continuing recovery. Participants who violate their agreement and are unable or unwilling to become compliant are reported to the Tennessee Department of Health, Office of Investigations and are subject to possible disciplinary action against the license.