Impaired Nurse

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Submitted By sh3rylanne
Words 655
Pages 3
According to the American Nurses Association, an impaired nurse is unable to meet the requirements of the code of ethics and standards of practice of the profession. This nurse has cognitive, interpersonal or psychomotor skills affected by psychiatric illness and/or drug or alcohol abuse of addiction (American Nurses Association, 2010). Not only do these nurses create a potential threat to their clients, but they have also neglected to care for themselves. A survey has been recorded about the prevalence of chemical dependency in nurses. About 2.6 million registered nurses are employed in the United States (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010). The American Nurses Association estimates that about 10% of the RN population has a drug or alcohol related problem (Dunn, 2005). Eleven percent are chemical dependent on drugs, ten percent are dependent on alcohol, and about 546,000 of the 2.6 million RNs in the United States abuse either drugs or alcohol (Dunn, 2005). And of all these registered nurses, about six percent provide patient care while impaired (Dunn, 2005). Because of this, client safety is jeopardized, and as nurses, it is a nurse’s duty to protect the patient from harm and to also become an advocate for the impaired nurse. Using a deontological standpoint, this theory supports the idea of accepting the responsibility and duty as a nurse and become an advocate for the patient as soon as possible. As a licensed professional, the primary duty is the care and safety of patients. By reporting impaired nursing practice, nurses avoid causing immediate harm to patients. Reporting is done for the benefit of others. This may prevent or remove harm or simply improve the situation for the impaired nurse, client, and others involved. The opposing view may look at this situation differently and argue that it may not be necessary to report…...

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