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  • Nursing
  • Advanced Practice Nursing
Hours: 2 Contact Hours
Author(s): Laura G. Leahy, DrNP, APRN, PMH-CNS/FNP, BC
Peer Reviewer(s): Barbara D. Fulcher, RN, CNS, PMH, NP-BC
Item#: N1736
Contents: 1 Course Book (36 pages)
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Recognizing and Reporting Impairment in the Workplace for Florida Nurses

Price $22.95
Item # N1736
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: November 17, 2016

Expiration Date: November 30, 2019


Despite the continual increase in rates of substance abuse across the country, nurses and other health professionals rarely report themselves for treatment of drug or alcohol abuse, even when it impairs their ability to practice. Florida, among other states, has mandated continuing educational credits on recognizing impairment in the workplace for nurses to maintain their licensure. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the state of Florida employed over 213,000 registered nurses (including advanced practice nurses) and licensed practical nurses. With this in mind, Florida’s population is at risk for having over 2,000 impaired nursing professionals in the workforce, yet there is currently a lack of knowledge regarding the identification of, reporting requirements for, and treatment options available to impaired professionals working in the healthcare arena.

As healthcare professionals, nurses are responsible for identifying the signs and symptoms of impaired practice. They are responsible for documenting and reporting impaired practice and for providing treatment opportunities to assist impaired professionals in their recovery as well as their safe return to practice. This course is designed especially for registered nurses, licensed practical/vocational nurses, and advanced practice nurses and will meet the mandated continuing education requirement set forth by the Florida Board of Nursing to provide education related to recognizing impairment in the workforce. Completing this course will provide nurses with the information needed, specific to the state of Florida, to promote and provide safe practice, facilitate interventions, and protect the public if faced with impairment of a colleague or self. 


Florida Nurses: This fulfills your 2-hour impairment in the workplace requirement.


Course Objectives

  • Identify the signs of impairment in the workplace.
  • Describe employer initiatives to promote safety and provide assistance to impaired practitioners.
  • List the steps to make a report or referral of an impaired colleague.
  • Summarize the mandatory reporting law for the state of Florida.
  • Describe treatment programs for impaired practitioners in the state of Florida, including the role of impaired practitioner consultants and alternative-to-discipline programs.
  • Identify the components of a comprehensive impairment treatment program.


Laura G. Leahy, DrNP, APRN, PMH-CNS/FNP, BC, is an honors graduate of Duke University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Drexel University, where she received her doctoral degree focusing on premenstrual symptom exacerbation in women with psychiatric comorbidities. Dr. Leahy is certified as a child/adolescent and adult family psychiatric advanced practice nurse, specializing in individual, couples, and family therapy as well as  psychopharmacology and pharmacogenetics. She also maintains specialization as a master clinician in psychopharmacology through the Neuroscience Education Institute. In addition to being a prominent clinician and educator, Dr. Leahy has been an invited lecturer for countless local, regional, and national conferences. She has published Manual of Clinical Psychopharmacology for Nurses (2013), the first nurse-edited and nurse-authored text published through American Psychiatric Publishing, the publisher for the American Psychiatric Association, and Pocket Psych Drugs: Point-of-Care Clinical Guide (2010), as well as numerous nursing textbook chapters and journal articles.


Barbara D. Fulcher, RN, CNS, PMH, NP-BC, has over 40 years of professional nursing experience. Her early career was spent in medical and cardiac surgical intensive care unit settings. She continued her education by obtaining a second BS in psychology, a master’s in psychiatric nursing, and certification as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Her psychiatric experience has included working at the Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA, on an affective disorders unit and as a clinical supervisor of the residential treatment center. In the community, Ms. Fulcher was the psychiatric team manager in a certified home health agency based in Beverly, MA, that serviced 33 cities and towns in Essex County, MA. In that role she led her staff of nurses and social workers in successfully decreasing rehospitalizations for the vulnerable target population. Returning to Roanoke, VA, in 2000, Ms. Fulcher directed the start-up of a mental health clinic in Rocky Mount, VA, an extension of Carilion Clinic Medical Center, providing care and services to a rural population. During the years after 2000, Ms. Fulcher practiced as a psychiatric CNS psychotherapist. Currently, she is employed as a psychiatric nurse practitioner by Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare in Roanoke, VA. Her primary practice focuses on performing supportive assessments and medication management for indigent patients and those with chronic mental illness.

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.