Impairment defined

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 conditions.

State law is dynamic, and it is essential for the individual nurse to regularly review her/his Nurse Practice Act and Board of Nursing administrative rules. Here are some examples:

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



American Nurses Association (2015). Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements. Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Association.