Alcoholism is a serious issue that affects many individuals, including nurses. Nurses who struggle with alcoholism may feel ashamed or afraid to seek help because they are unsure of how it may impact their nursing license.
Nurses who struggle with alcoholism may experience impaired judgment, decreased cognitive function and reduced physical abilities. These effects can lead to mistakes in patient care and compromise the safety of patients. Alcoholism can also lead to absenteeism and decreased productivity, which can negatively impact the healthcare facility and patient care.
Can seeking help affect a nursing license?
Nurses who are addicted to alcohol may be hesitant to seek help because they fear losing their nursing license. However, seeking help for alcoholism does not necessarily mean that a nursing license will be revoked. In fact, there are laws and regulations in place that protect nurses who seek treatment for alcoholism.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects individuals with disabilities, including those who struggle with addiction. This law prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to allow individuals to perform their job duties. Seeking treatment for alcoholism is considered a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.
It is important to note that if a nurse’s alcoholism has resulted in patient harm or other serious consequences, their license may be subject to disciplinary action. However, seeking help and being proactive in addressing the issue can demonstrate a commitment to patient safety and may mitigate the severity of any disciplinary action.
Seeking help for alcoholism does not necessarily mean losing a nursing license. If you’re facing this type of situation, be sure you learn about what steps you need to take to protect your license so you can continue to care for patients.