According to data offered by a national psychological magazine, around one out of every 10 American nurses suffers from a substance abuse disorder or struggles with addiction. This is apparently close to the average statistic of everyday men and women outside of the nursing profession as well, but Pennsylvanians would be right to think that addiction in the nursing field could pose dangers to patients' health. If a nurse is found to be using illegal drugs they could lose their license, but for some getting help may be a way to protect their livelihood and their needed nursing licensures.
There are many reasons that nurses may struggle with substance abuse. One is that they are simply close to strong drugs each and every day that they go to work. While assisting patients or dispensing medications, they may be tempted to take some drugs to help ease their own pains and issues.
Nurses deal with many high-stress, emotional cases and can find that their psychological strength is weakened day after day. They may wish to dull the pain of losing patients, witnessing suffering and other emotional challenges and easily accessible drugs may be the answer to achieving these goals
However, taking an addicted nurse's license and leaving them with no means of supporting themselves may not be an effective way of dealing with substance abuse problems in this profession. In some cases, nurses may be able to enter drug diversion programs to help kick their addictions and return themselves to clean living. When they do they may be able to re-enter the nursing field to help the patients they care for and support.