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An Impaired Nurseā€¦.A License at Risk
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  • Have you ever suspected a colleague of substance abuse? Do you know the signs to look for?
  • What should you do if you suspect another nurse is abusing or diverting drugs?
  • Do you know your reporting responsibilities?
  • Are you required to report it to your board of nursing? Your employer?
  • If you are abusing drugs do you know what treatment programs are available to nurses? Do you know which programs will protect your license from the Board of Nursing?

Nurse Attorney, Laurie Elston, RN, BSN, JD, has represented nurses in Board of Nursing cases.  She will explain your responsibilities when the impaired nurse is a colleague - and ways to seek treatment and protect your license, if you happen to be the one with a substance abuse problem.

Laurie Elston, BSN, JD

Laurie Elston, BSN, JD, is a Nurse Attorney with over 20 years of experience as an attorney. She received her Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Gonzaga University, and was on Law Review. She has represented health care providers in malpractice and disciplinary cases throughout her career. She has also been a Municipal Court Judge Pro Tem. She has been licensed as an attorney in both California and Washington. Laurie maintains an active law practice: www.NursingLawCenter.com.

Prior to becoming an attorney, she obtained a BSN and worked as a registered nurse for over seven years in a large acute care medical center. During this time, she also worked as an assistant head nurse and charge nurse.

Since becoming an attorney, she has taught tort law at the University of Washington. She currently teaches Nursing Law classes across the country for groups and institutions. In addition, she teaches a Legal Nurse Consulting Training Course nationwide, and on DVD for home study. She is a frequent lecturer on medical-legal topics.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Laurie Elston maintains a private practice. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Nonfinancial: Laurie Elston is a member of the California State Bar Association; the Washington State Bar Association; and the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants.


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