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Substance Use Among Nurses and Nursing Students

Joint Statement by the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) and International Nurses Society on Addictions (IntNSA)

Approved: October 2016

It is the position of the Emergency Nurses Association and the International Nurses Society on Addictions that:

  1. Health care facilities provide education to nurses and other employees regarding alcohol and other drug use, and establish policies, procedures, and practices to promote safe, supportive, drug-free workplaces.
  2. Health care facilities and schools of nursing adopt alternative-to-discipline (ATD) approaches to treating nurses and nursing students with substance use disorders, with stated goals of retention, rehabilitation, and re-entry into safe, professional practice.
  3. Drug diversion, in the context of personal use, is viewed primarily as a symptom of a serious and treatable disease, and not exclusively as a crime.
  4. Nurses and nursing students are aware of the risks associated with substance use, impaired practice, and drug diversion, and have the responsibility and means to report suspected or actual concerns.

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