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An Impaired Nurse….A License at Risk

Laurie R. Elston, BSN, JD
1 Hour 11 Minutes
Nov 30, 2017
PESI, Inc.
Product Code:
Media Type:
DVD - Also available: Digital Seminar


Treating addiction is no small feat… but what do you do when the person struggling with substance abuse is your colleague, or worse - YOURSELF?

Experienced nurse attorney Laurie Elston, RN, BSN, JD, has represented nurses in Board of Nursing cases and will provide answers to critical questions like:

  • What should you do if you suspect another nurse is abusing or diverting drugs?
  • Do you know the signs to look for?
  • Do you know your reporting responsibilities?
  • Are you required to report it to your board of nursing? Your employer?

And if you are the one 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?

This career – AND LIFE – saving course will thoroughly explain your responsibilities when the impaired nurse is a colleague. Along with ways to seek treatment and protect your license, if you happen to be the one with a substance abuse problem.

A person battling addiction can’t wait another minute to get the help they deserve! Get started today! 


* Credit Note - ****

Save time and money off other submission methods – purchase & take the CE test online for $12.99. Additional processing fees apply for other submission methods (i.e. mail, fax, etc.). Please contact our Customer Service at 1-800-844-8260 for more details.  Listed below are the continuing education credit(s) currently available for this non-interactive self-study package. Please note, your state licensing board dictates whether self-study is an acceptable form of continuing education. Please refer to your state rules and regulations. If your profession is not listed, please contact your licensing board to determine your continuing education requirements and check for reciprocal approval. For other credit inquiries not specified below, please contact or 800-844-8260 before completion.

Certificates of Successful Completion are available for email, download and/or printing from your online account immediately following the successful completion of the post-test/evaluation.

**Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of your profession. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your profession's standards.  For Planning Committee disclosures, please statement above.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.

Nurses - California Nurses

PESI, Inc. is a provider approved by the California Board of  Registered Nursing, Provider #: 17118 for 1.0 self-study contact hours. 

** You will need to provide your license number to PESI. PESI must have this number on file in order for your hours to be valid.

Nurses - Florida Nurses

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider by the Florida Board of  Nursing. Provider #: FBN2858. These materials qualify for 1.0 self-study contact hours.

CE Broker

Nurses - Iowa Nurses

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider by the Iowa Board of Nursing. Provider #: 346. Nurses successfully completing these self-study materials will earn 1.1 self-study contact hours. Please email with your license number, include the title, speaker name and date. PESI must have this number on file in order for your hours to be valid.

Other Professions

This self-study activity qualifies for 1.0 continuing education clock hours as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your activity advertisement and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.



Laurie R. Elston, BSN, JD's Profile

Laurie R. Elston, BSN, JD Related seminars and products

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:

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.

Additional Info

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


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  • 6 to 8% of nurses practice with impaired professional judgement
  • Controlled substances vs. alcohol abuse
  • Compulsive behavior
  • Risk factors for substance abuse problems in nursing
  • Consequences of drug addiction
  • Drug diversion programs and interventions
  • Early identification
  • Signs of impending relapse
  • Alternatives to nursing license discipline
  • Peer assistance treatment programs
  • Reporting a nurse colleague
  • Grounds for action against a nurse’s license



  1. Explain your responsibility if you suspect another nurse is abusing or diverting drugs.
  2. Determine programs that offer protection from licensing charges by the Board of Nursing.
  3. Choose whether impaired colleague concerns should be reported to your Board of Nursing and/or employer.

Target Audience



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