Help for Nurses with Substance Abuse
ANA recognizes that a nurse’s duty of compassion and caring extends to themselves and their colleagues as well as to their patients. Nurses who are challenged with substance abuse problems not only pose a potential threat to those for whom they care; they have neglected above all to care for themselves.
At ANA, we care about nurses. That’s why we’ve developed the Impaired Nurse Resource Center; an online repository of information aimed at helping suffering nurses get help.
Additionally, we strongly support the peer assistance programs offered by most — but not all — of the state boards of nursing. These programs offer comprehensive monitoring and support services to reasonably assure the safe rehabilitation and return of the nurse to her or his professional community. To determine whether your state has adopted the “alternative to discipline” model, check with your specific state's Board of Nursing.
ANA Official Position Statements Regarding Substance Abuse
Where to Start
- State Nurses Associations – Many state nurses associations have their own peer assistance program in place. If not, call and ask for a referral to confidential counseling.
- State Boards of Nursing – These are the most important regulatory body overseeing nursing practice. Many, but not all, state boards participate in “alternative to discipline” programs for impaired nurses.