Essay on The Problem Of Impaired Nursing Practice

1391 Words Nov 22nd, 2014 6 Pages
Impaired Nursing Practice
Audrey Aziz
Crystal DeBeary
Briah Lynch
Dorian Issac
Coppin State University

The problem of impaired nursing practice has and continues to be a prevalent issue in the nursing world. Impaired nursing can be defined in various ways, however most definitions include that professional judgment is impaired due to the use of drugs or alcohol (or mental illness) and thus interferes with the ability of the health professional to provide quality, safe nursing care (Hutson, 2014). The National Council of State Boards of Nursing estimates that the “prevalence of nurses suffering from addiction to drugs, alcohol, or other forms of substance abuse is 16%” (National Council of State Boards of Nursing, 2010). However, prevalence of this problem is partly due to the fact that nurses often find it difficult to talk openly about and report situations regarding impairing nursing due to stigma in the workplace and lack of funding to research the escalating problem (American Nurses Association, 2010). This paper will not only discuss impaired nursing practice and its role in day-to-day practice, but also will specifically address risk factors for substance abuse, reporting an impaired colleague, legal issues, and reentry of a recovering nurse. As a healthcare professional, many turn to nurses, as they are one of the primary caregivers for people struggling with an illness. However, many underestimate or fail to realize that some nurses, too, need…

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