Nursing Education & Events

Washington Health Professional Services Program
Wednesday, February 09 2022, 6:00-7:30 pm, Zoom,


No one is immune from Substance Use Disorder. It can affect anyone regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, economic circumstance, or occupation. Nurses who abuse substances pose a unique challenge to the nursing profession. The behavior that results from this disease has far-reaching and negative effects, not only on the nurses themselves, but also upon the patients who depend on the nurse for safe, competent care. Early recognition, reporting and intervention are fundamental for keeping patients safe from harm and helping colleagues recover.

Substance use disorder is a chronic, progressive, not a moral weakness. About 15% of nurses may be diagnosed with substance use disorder during their careers. It’s treatable and outcomes are positive when identified and treated early.

This course was developed by the Washington Health Professional Services (WHPS) program to provide you with an awareness of the issues surrounding substance use in licensed nurses. The content provides basic information about substance use disorder (SUD) and addiction, including some common misconceptions and stereotypes. Even though there are specific, work-related risk factors that can increase a nurse’s opportunity and risk for developing SUD, there are many things that can be done to increase awareness support recovery, and retention. The WHPS program will be introduced as the Nursing Commission’s approved alternative to discipline SUD monitoring program. Participation allows nurse to protect their licenses while receiving the help they need to recover.

After completing this course, you will be able to:

•Define substance use disorder (and the overlap with other behavioral disorders)

•Explain how to identify substance abuse disorder in a nurse

•Understand regulatory reporting requirements and compare traditional board of nursing discipline with non-disciplinary approaches for a nurse with substance use disorder

•Discuss the issues related to treatment, recovery and return to practice for a nurse with substance use disorder


John Furman, PhD, MSN, COHN-S, Education and Outreach Coordinator, Washington Health Professional Services (WHPS)

Dr. Furman has worked for 42 years in healthcare, primarily in the areas of behavioral and occupational health. Work experience includes inpatient psychiatric care, inpatient substance use order treatment, community psychiatric services, developing state occupational health and safety statues, and for the last 10 years working in the WHPS program. He also holds leadership positions in the National Organization of Alternative programs, Association of Occupational Health Professions (in healthcare), and the Washington State Healthcare Safety Council.

Who Should Participate:   Registered Nurses, Nursing Students

Registration Deadline:       February 3, 2022


•Participants will receive a Zoom link invitation to the event

•The meeting will include a brief KCNA business session

•Upon evaluation submission, participants will receive a certificate of completion for 1.5 hours that meets the continuing competency requirement for license renewal in Washington State


KCNA Members & Nursing Students: No charge, Nonmembers: $20

Resources/More Information:

WHPS_Brochure (05-19-2021)-Digital