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Home > Author > Patricia Holloran
Patricia Holloran

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Member Since: Aug, 2005

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  Patricia Holloran

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As a nurse, I thought I was immune from drug addiction.

Background Information

At the age of 45, I found myself before the state board of nursing fighting to keep my nursing license that I had held for over 25 years, because I had developed an illness.  I was in recovery from that illness for 6 months at the time of the hearing.   If that illness was any other chronic disease than addiction, I would not have been sitting there that day.  I was an impaired nurse, no doubt about that, and the nursing board had to assure the safety of the healthcare consumer. However, if I was impaired due to my disease of diabetes, there would have been no charges levied against me.  Yet here I sat, 6 months after I was discovered to be impaired to see if I could continue to be a nurse.

During this time, I learned that in spite of 25 years of nursing, I knew nothing about the progressive, fatal disease of addiction. I was not alone in my ignorance.  Almost all of the other nurses whom I had known, and whom I met during those 6 months had the same knowledge base as I did. 

So, I wrote a book, Impaired: A Nures's Story of Addiction and Recovery, to share with the world of nurses, friends and families of nurses, student nurses, faculties of nursing; the world of recovering addicts, friends and families of addicts, and those who treat addicts; as well as anyone else, about this occupational hazard that is kept hidden from nurses, and the facilities where they work and train.



I have assisted attorneys in research for nurses facing disciplinary action before the CT Board of Nurse Examiners. This included exploring environmental and biological reasons for false positive urine toxicology reports, and system failures that may have lead to charges levied at the respondent. I guide nurses who cannot afford, or choose not to hire an attorney through the disciplinary process, and provide ongoing support to help them understand their Consent Order or Memorandum of Decision

From 1999 through 2005, I was a member of the legislative committee through the CT Nurses’ Association to establish an alternative to discipline program for nurses with mental health or addictive disorders, where I co-authored legislation submitted in the 2001-2005 Legislative Sessions. In 2005, was selected by Dr. Robert Galvin, Commissioner of the Department of Public Health, to serve on an ad hoc committee to research the feasibility of an Alternative to Discipline program; to write new legislation and introduce a bill to the Connecticut General Assembly in its 2006 session.
I was a member of a coalition involving The CT Nurses’ Association; CT Medical Association; CT Dental Association; and others to work for legislation for an Alternative to Discipline Program for Health Care Professionals who are suffering from an addictive, psychological or physical disorder.

I am the Chair of Recovering Nurse Community of Connecticut, a committee that oversees the organization of the Nurses for Nurses meetings throughout the state, and advocates for recovering nurses before the Connecticut Board of Nurse Examiners; and is the public ‘voice’ of addiction in nursing. At Nursing Board meetings, I interact with nurses that may not be aware of Nurses for Nurses and encourage them to attend our meetings. RNC2 also organizes and supports Nurses for Nurses.

In collaboration with another recovering nurse developed and provided education through multiple PowerPoint programs at Connecticut Nurses’ Association’s annual convention.
•2001 – “Why Didn’t I Know? The Reality of Addiction in Nursing” -
•2001 - Guest lecturer for the Department of Consumer Protection, Division of Drug Control, Drug Agents
•2002 – “Addiction: An Occupational Hazard for Nurses”
*2003 – “Let’s Do Lunch: I Want to Tell You My Story”

*2001- present Guest lecturer for various levels of nursing education (LPN-Masters programs) addressing over 2,200 students, hospital managers, EAP personnel and hospital staff utilizing the above mentioned PowerPoint presentations.

*2006 –Partnered with Dede Dwyer to develop “The Impaired Nurse: Why Didn’t I Know?...and Now That I Know, What Do I Do?” a PowerPoint presentation combining intervention with the 2001 and 2002 presentations mentioned above. Approved for awarding 5.0 contact hours for nurses.

I have written or contributed articles:
•2001 “Connecticut Nursing News” on ‘Nurses and Addiction’
•2007 “Reality RN” ‘How a Nurse Becomes an Addict’
•2009 “Endonurse” ‘Nurses and Drug Addiction: A Painful Connection’
•2009 contributed to article in RN magazine April edition about nurses and addictions

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