Being a registered nurse (RN) does not guarantee immunity from substance use disorders (SUDs) or mental illness. In fact, most people suffering from an SUD, treatable brain disease or mental illness may not even recognize they have a problem.
According to the Journal of Nursing Regulation, an estimated 10 to 20 percent of nurses are chemically dependent (Journal of Nursing Regulation, Vol. 2, July 2011). Healthcare professionals, including RNs, may be particularly susceptible to substance abuse due to job stresses and access to controlled substances. Mental illness, such as major depression, may also affect an RN’s ability to practice safely.
The California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) offers the Intervention Program as a voluntary, alternative-to-discipline (ADP), rehabilitation program for RNs afflicted with an SUD or mental illness.
They often are the last to admit they need help.
To learn more about BRN’s Intervention Program–watch the video now.
BRN and DCA would like to thank the parties below for participating in the making of this video:
- BRN staff and enforcement unit
- DCA’s Communications Division–Office of Public Affairs and Printing, Design & Editing
- The three CA licensed nurse participants
- Sutter Health Systems
This is long overdue. I am pleased to see the licensing board recognizes there are no barriers when it come to substance abuse and mental health issues. It is a really good thing we are educating the naive employees and employers about this very real systemic problem. It needs to be dealt with urgently for the protection of self and others. Years ago I noted the issues and spoke with a CNO about saving money and bringing nurses back to work on lite duty by creating admissions positions to expedite the disgraceful admission times from ER. We did a cost analysis and it saved the County oodles of money. The only issue was staffers working with this individual were not privileged to their diversion program and potentially could leave a narcotic at the bedside during a code or other lax moment which is considered a no no. The reality is that it happens and there are ramifications on both ends. Yes follow the guidelines and the law but many do not. Nepotism is still alive and well.
Also care facilitators were trained with real time corrections to improve patient safety and these workers returned faster than others.
Thank you for the opportunity for anyone to view your site with a video.