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Substance Abuse In Nursing Essay

613 words - 3 pages


Substance Abuse in Nursing
Erika O.

Substance Abuse in Nursing
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the problem of nurses impaired by substance abuse and to explore actions that are being taken to either prevent or correct the problem once it has occurred. My reasons for choosing this topic is that I will soon be entering the nursing field and the likely hood of me working with an impaired or addicted nurse appears to be very likely; the more I know on the subject the better prepared I will be to handle the situation.
It has been estimated that roughly 10% of the nursing population has alcohol or drug abuse problems furthermore 6% has an addiction serious enough to interfere with their ability to practice (Talbert, 2009). The American Nurses Association (ANA) estimated that 6%--8% of nurses use alcohol or drugs to the extent that professional judgment is impaired. Impaired ...view middle of the document...

C. Relevancy/Significance to Nursing-20 points
Discuss how the issue is relevant to nursing and its impact on the nursing profession. Is it a central concern for the profession at this time?

D. Evolution of issue-15 points
What has been the origin of the issue? Is this a relatively recent concern for the profession? Have certain individuals been critical supporters regarding this issue?

Substance abuse in healthcare is not a new concern but it wasn’t until 1982 that the ANA officially acknowledged addiction in the nursing profession and implimented guidelines for the impaired nurse. Before to these guidelines were put into place colleagues often ignored signs of addiction because there wasn’t a looked the other way hoping the nurse would solve the problem by them self or if not, just leave. If caught, punitive action was taken. Nurses lost their licenses, their source of income (meaning no resources for rehabilitation treatment), and often went to jail.

E. Research related to the topic-20 points
What research, if any, has been done regarding this issue? What have been the results of these studies? Are these results useful for nursing practice? Identify additional research efforts needed.

F. Future Directions-10 points
Do you foresee resolution of this issue in the future? Discuss the potential benefits or risks if the issue remains unresolved. What needs to occur before the issue is resolved? Discuss the potential impact on the nursing profession in the future.

Unfortunately I don’t foresee an end to substance abuse among nurses or any other healthcare professionals.

G. Summary-10 points
State conclusions regarding the nature of the issue, its complexities, its impact on nursing, and the existing knowledge base regarding the issue. Briefly summarize how you foresee this issue impacting nursing in the future.

Talbert, J. (2009). Substance Abuse among Nurses. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing. Retrieved from
Blair, P. (2002). Report impaired practice. Nursing Management. Retrieved from

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