Definition of impairment

The definition of "impairment" differs across professional organizations and from state to state. Some states cite only substance abuse in their definition of nurse impairment. Other states list substance abuse and mental health issues. Still others list substance abuse, mental health issues and physical condition.

State law is dynamic, it is important for the individual nurse to regularly review her/his Nurse Practice Act and Board of Nursing administrative rules.

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Fatigue is considered a form of impairment by the American Nurses Association.



Code of Ethics for Nurses With Interpretive Statements (2015). American Nurses Association. Silver Springs, Maryland.