Treatment options for impaired nurses

Impairment exists on a continuum from minimal to severe. It may be barely perceptible to us, yet our colleague may be endeavoring to mask and compensate for his/her stress, chronic pain, mental or physical illness or substance use disorder (SUD).

Alternative-to-discipline (ATD) programs for impaired nurses are available in most states. The mission of these programs is to protect the public from unsafe nursing care through the voluntary cessation or restriction of practice by the impaired nurse. ATDs are confidential, therapeutic, nonpunative programs that offer the nurse a structured assessment, treatment and monitoring plan that facilitates successful rehabilitation and return-to-work.

Acceptance into an ATD program usually requires that the nurse:

Some of the services that an ATD offers the nurse include:

Acknowledgment of impairment is requried for acceptance into an Alternative to Discipline program.

Treatment program modalities

*(Florida nurse must visit and explore the Intervention Project for Nurses web site and then return to the RnCeus course)

State alternative to discipline programs run by State Boards of Nursing:

Slightly different programs for impaired nurses