Substance Use Disorder in Nursing

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Thoughtful nurse

Help for Nurses with Substance Use Disorder
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 use disorder not only pose a potential threat to those for whom they care; they are not caring for themselves.
At ANA, we care about nurses. That’s why we’ve developed this online repository of information aimed at helping suffering nurses get help.

Additionally, we strongly support alternative to discipline programs offered by many nurses associations, state boards of nursing, and others. 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.

ANA Policies and Resources

Where to Start

  • State Nurses Associations  – Many state nurses associations have their own peer assistance program and/or alternative to discipline program in place. If not, call and ask for a referral to confidential counseling.
  • State Boards of Nursing – These are the most important regulatory bodies overseeing nursing practice. Many, but not all, state boards participate in “alternative to discipline” programs for nurses with substance use disorder.