Impaired nurses Abstract




Substanceabuse has become rampant in all occupations including nursing. Whennurses become impaired, they are not in a position deliver safe andthe appropriate medical care as it is expected of them. With theknowledge of an impaired nurse in my place of work, I have certainobligations to the institution I work for. Failure to fulfill myobligations could implicate my license as much as the impaired nursesimplicate their licenses. This paper discusses my obligations to theorganization I work for and the implications I face for remainingsilent on the matter. The paper also discusses the implications onthe license of an impaired nurse.

Obligationsto report a known case of an impaired nurse.

Innursing, it is ethical to understand what is right and pay attentionto duties and obligations of nurses. (Susan, 2013). I have anobligation to disclose the information about an impaired nurse to themanagement. Disclosing this information will ensure that thenecessary measures are taken to protect patients from unsafepractices of the impaired nurse.

Myobligations to the institution I work for.

Beingon the ground, and with the knowledge of an impaired nurse, I havethe obligations to help our hospital safeguard the safety of itspatients.

PlacesI can refer an impaired nurse to

Thenursing association recognizes the challenge of impaired nurses. As aresult, a rehabilitation center to help mitigate the challenge wasset up. I would advise the impaired nurse to visit the rehabilitationcenter so that she may get the necessary counseling and treatment.

Theimplications for an impaired nurse’s license.

Ina case where the impaired nurse responds positively to arehabilitation program, the nursing board and the employer mayconsider allowing the nurse to continue practicing nursing (Nickitas,2014). However, there are extreme cases where even afterrehabilitation, the nurse cannot undertake the duties effectively,forcing the nursing board to revoke their license altogether. Someinstitutions, however, may revoke the license immediately afterproving that a nurse is impaired (Eleanor, 1994).

Potentialrisks to my license.

Mandatoryreporting of an impaired nurse is required from a nurse whounderstands the implications of the continued practice of such anurse on the safety of the patients (Eleanor, 1994). I may face arevocation of my license for remaining silent on the matter.


Thenursing code obligates me to report a known or suspected case of animpaired nurse. My obligation arises from my responsibility tosafeguard the welfare of the patients. Such an impaired nurse faces arevocation of their license. My failure to fulfill my obligationscould result in revocation of my license. I can refer the nurse to arehabilitation center to help them get the appropriate treatment.


Eleanor,S. (1994). Impaired Nursing Practice: Ethical, Legal, and PolicyPerspectives. Bioethics.2(1),1-24.

Nickitas,D. (2014). Policyand Politics for Nurses and other professionals (2ndEd.). Burlington, Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Susan,W. (2013). Essentialsof Nursing Law and Ethics. (2ndEd.). Burlington, Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Learning.