Recognizing Impairment in the Workplace: The Florida Requirement

Course #31112 - $15 -


Impairment can place everyone in a workplace at risk of injury. First and foremost is the risk to patients, who trust healthcare professionals to provide safe, reliable, and effective care. This course presents information on recognizing the signs and symptoms of emotional-, mental health-, and substance-related workplace impairment. Strategies for intervention and reporting (e.g., how and to whom impairment should be reported) are also outlined, particularly within the context of the Florida Nurse Practice Act. Treatment of impairment, including treatment programs, employer initiatives for impaired nurses, and returning to work, will be discussed. In the state of Florida, the Intervention Project for Nurses (IPN) is the Department of Health's contracted program to address nurse impairment; this program will be discussed in detail.

Education Category: Management
Release Date: 11/01/2022
Expiration Date: 10/31/2025

Table of Contents


This course is designed for nurses in Florida who may intervene to prevent or identify impairment in the workplace.

Accreditations & Approvals

In support of improving patient care, TRC Healthcare/NetCE is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team. NetCE is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). NetCE complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognized internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices. As a result of this accreditation, NetCE is authorized to issue the IACET CEU.

Designations of Credit

NetCE designates this continuing education activity for 2 ANCC contact hour(s). NetCE designates this continuing education activity for 2.4 hours for Alabama nurses. NetCE is authorized by IACET to offer 0.2 CEU(s) for this program. AACN Synergy CERP Category B.

Individual State Nursing Approvals

In addition to states that accept ANCC, NetCE is approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by: Alabama, Provider #ABNP0353, (valid through July 29, 2025); Arkansas, Provider #50-2405; California, BRN Provider #CEP9784; California, LVN Provider #V10662; California, PT Provider #V10842; District of Columbia, Provider #50-2405; Florida, Provider #50-2405; Georgia, Provider #50-2405; Kentucky, Provider #7-0054 through 12/31/2025; South Carolina, Provider #50-2405; West Virginia RN and APRN, Provider #50-2405.

Special Approvals

This course fulfills the Florida requirement for 2 hours of education on Recognizing Impairment in the Workplace.

Course Objective

The purpose of this course is to provide nurses with an appreciation of the impact of impairment on the provision of nursing care and on patient health as well as the skills to identify and report instances of workplace impairment.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Outline the epidemiology and scope of impairment in the healthcare workplace.
  2. Discuss unique risk factors for substance abuse in nurses.
  3. Identify the signs of impairment in the nursing workplace.
  4. Analyze the process and legal obligations involved in reporting an instance of impairment in the workplace.
  5. Describe the treatment programs available for nurses who have been impaired in the workplace.


Nancy Campbell, RN, BSN, PHN, received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from California State University, Bakersfield in 1987. She has nursing experience in a variety of clinical settings, including medical/surgical, community health, and preschool health. She was a nurse case manager for a community program supporting teen parents and a public health nurse focusing on communicable disease management. Her primary focus and passion is on direct patient care and patient education. She is presently employed as a registered nurse for the Head Start program in Tulare County, California.

Faculty Disclosure

Contributing faculty, Nancy Campbell, RN, BSN, PHN, has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Division Planner

Jane C. Norman, RN, MSN, CNE, PhD

Division Planner Disclosure

The division planner has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Director of Development and Academic Affairs

Sarah Campbell

Director Disclosure Statement

The Director of Development and Academic Affairs has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

About the Sponsor

The purpose of NetCE is to provide challenging curricula to assist healthcare professionals to raise their levels of expertise while fulfilling their continuing education requirements, thereby improving the quality of healthcare.

Our contributing faculty members have taken care to ensure that the information and recommendations are accurate and compatible with the standards generally accepted at the time of publication. The publisher disclaims any liability, loss or damage incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents. Participants are cautioned about the potential risk of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into practice.

Disclosure Statement

It is the policy of NetCE not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

Technical Requirements

Supported browsers for Windows include Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 and up, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 and up, Opera 9.0 and up, and Google Chrome. Supported browsers for Macintosh include Safari, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 and up, Opera 9.0 and up, and Google Chrome. Other operating systems and browsers that include complete implementations of ECMAScript edition 3 and CSS 2.0 may work, but are not supported. Supported browsers must utilize the TLS encryption protocol v1.1 or v1.2 in order to connect to pages that require a secured HTTPS connection. TLS v1.0 is not supported.

Implicit Bias in Health Care

The role of implicit biases on healthcare outcomes has become a concern, as there is some evidence that implicit biases contribute to health disparities, professionals' attitudes toward and interactions with patients, quality of care, diagnoses, and treatment decisions. This may produce differences in help-seeking, diagnoses, and ultimately treatments and interventions. Implicit biases may also unwittingly produce professional behaviors, attitudes, and interactions that reduce patients' trust and comfort with their provider, leading to earlier termination of visits and/or reduced adherence and follow-up. Disadvantaged groups are marginalized in the healthcare system and vulnerable on multiple levels; health professionals' implicit biases can further exacerbate these existing disadvantages.

Interventions or strategies designed to reduce implicit bias may be categorized as change-based or control-based. Change-based interventions focus on reducing or changing cognitive associations underlying implicit biases. These interventions might include challenging stereotypes. Conversely, control-based interventions involve reducing the effects of the implicit bias on the individual's behaviors. These strategies include increasing awareness of biased thoughts and responses. The two types of interventions are not mutually exclusive and may be used synergistically.