IntNSA/PCSS Webinar: Opioid Use Disorder in the Nursing Profession

The International Nurses Society on Addictions announces the following webinar:

Opioid Use Disorder in the Nursing Profession


Friday, April 15
12noon – 1:00 pm ET
(Duration: 1 hour)


Sign up online at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAsd-ChqD8jEtOOSYufW47wsvF1dYVuuTpy

The American Nurses Association estimates that six to eight percent of nurses use alcohol or drugs to an extent that is sufficient to impair professional performance. Others estimate that nurses generally misuse drugs and alcohol at nearly the same rate (10 to 15 percent) as the rest of the population. By raising awareness and decreasing stigma, we can identify and help those struggling to find the help they need to practice safely. It is an issue that requires a multifaceted approach to realize it’s scope, to detect opioid use disorder (OUD) early, and to help those with OUD before they cause irreparable harm to themselves and others. This presentation aims to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with OUD in nurses. Current statistics on OUD in nurses will be reviewed. Our personal stories of OUD and recovery will be shared while reviewing how to recognize a coworker who may be suffering from an OUD. Examples of alternative to discipline programs will be discussed including the programs completed by the presenters.


  1. Understand the scope of opioid use disorder in the nursing profession.
  2. Identify risk factors in nurses for development of OUDs.
  3. Develop the ability to recognize a coworker with OUD and refer them to helpful resources.


This presentation was developed for substance use disorder project directors, managers, and facilitators. This presentation is also appropriate for providers and/or providers-in-training from diverse healthcare professions including physicians, nurses, physician assistants and pharmacists.


Kristin Waite-Labott, RN, BSN, CARN
Kristin Waite-Labott has been a RN since 1991. After losing much to alcohol and opioid use disorders, she found recovery in 2005. She now works as Head Nurse Coach with Veritus, a virtual treatment program for nurses with substance use and mental health disorders, founded WisPAN (Wisconsin Peer Alliance for Nurses) a non-profit organization providing peer support for nurses with substance use issues, is an emergency room nurse, and has published a book, “An Unlikely Addict”, about her story of recovery. She is committed to making a difference. You can learn more on her websites, www.unlikelyaddict.com and wipeeralliance.org.

April Lynn Lenzmeier, RN, DNP
April is a Registered Nurse for over 15 years with a background in CV, critical care, and hospice case management as well as nurse manager roles in ICU, vascular access, and inpatient dialysis departments. April will be graduating from the University of Minnesota this spring with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree specializing in Health Innovations and Leadership. April’s DNP project was to improve the quality of nurses suffering from Substance Use Disorders and has been convening online meetings for nurses around the globe for over three years. April is in long-term recovery and shares the passion of publicly speaking about her recovery journey in an attempt to connect to other people and help them be the best version of themselves. April is a member of IntNSA and serves on the committee for the Nursing Peer Support Network of Minnesota.

Rachel Shuster, BSN, RN, CARN, CAAP
Rachel is a Certified Addictions Registered Nurse (CARN) and a Certified Allied Addiction Professional (CAAP). After earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Waynesburg University in 2012, she began her nursing career as a critical care nurse and taught nursing part-time as a clinical instructor before she transitioned to her current specialty of addictions nursing. Rachel has worked in a variety of settings including as the charge nurse of an outpatient office-based addiction treatment clinic and as the site nurse of a residential treatment program for young-adults. She now works as an Addiction Specialist for Highmark Wholecare. Rachel is a person in long-term recovery from a substance use disorder and enjoys speaking publicly about her experience and journey as a healthcare professional in recovery. She was selected as an honorable mention for Pittsburgh Magazine’s 2019 Excellence in Nursing Awards due to her work in the field and in her community as an addictions nurse and advocate and was awarded a 2021 Pittsburgh Recovery Award as a Recovery Pathway Supporter. Rachel is a member of various professional organizations including the International Nursing Society on Addictions (IntNSA) and has previously served on the Board of Directors as the 2019-2021 Secretary. Her interests include substance use, addiction, recovery, stigma/discrimination, harm reduction, opioid use disorder pharmacotherapy, naloxone, toxicology, health professionals in recovery, and chronic viral hepatitis C treatment.


This course has been approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, provider #CEP16785, for a maximum of 1.00 Nursing Contact Hour. The licensee must retain this document for a period of four (4) years after the course concludes.

Funding for this initiative was made possible (in part) by grant no. 1H79TI081968 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.



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