Substance Abuse Nurse, Substance Abuse Nursing Schools, Training, Education, Jobs, and Careers

What is a Substance Abuse Nurse?
Nursing school may not do substance abuse nurses justice. This specialty nurse may receive telephone calls at all times of the day or night from their patients begging for their support because they just cannot seem to make it without their drugs.

Statistics today reveal that one out of every ten Americans actively abuses a substance. It is also known that one out of every four people knows someone close to them who is currently experiencing problems with drugs or alcohol.

If you want to be a nurse that works in substance abuse, you must have a warm heart, a creative approach and you must have a great deal of empathy for your patients and their particular situations. This kind of nursing is considered one of the most rewarding careers in the entire nursing field.

A nurse in the substance abuse field must also use a lot of creativity. One of the things she or he could do is to organize a support program for all of the family members of the person that’s addicted to alcohol or drugs. She can also facilitate a weekly counseling and education program to offer support.

The substance abuse nurse will help her patients find a ray of hope when life has seemed so dark for such a long time. These nurses are diligent workers trying to find successful treatments that will enhance education regarding addictions by serving on task forces and community boards. This kind of nurse has to be compassionate so that she can personalize every treatment by getting to really know her patients.

How to Become a Substance Abuse Nurse:
If you want to have a career in substance abuse nursing, you will first have to become a licensed registered nurse. However, let's start at the very beginning. You must first graduate from an accredited high school or have your GED. Then you must take the ACT or SAT test in order to enter an accredited nursing school. You may first attend a two-year nursing program to get associate degree in nursing or 4 years to receive your Bachelor of Science degree or BSN. In school, you will study such subjects as:

• Anatomy
• Physiology
• Chemistry
• Biology
• Pharmacology
• Patient Care
• Microbiology

After your schooling, you must then take and pass the National Council Licensing Exam or the NCLEX-RN. This enables you to be able to practice your nursing skills.

After this, you must then log approximately three years of practical nursing experience with about 4,000 hours or two years in the field of substance abuse nursing before you are able to sit for the exam to be certified as a substance abuse nurse. This exam, which is only offered twice a year, is sponsored by the organization called International Nurses Society on Addictions.

When you have successfully passed this exam, you will now be known as a Certified Addictions Registered Nurse or CARN. When you have these initials behind your BSN, you will be more competitive in today's workforce and you will make a higher salary.

You will find nurses that work in substance abuse working in hospitals, private facilities, psychiatric wards, inpatient and outpatient treatment centers and mental health facilities. Many end up working in the field of psychiatric nursing, another specialty nursing area that involves the care of patients who are mentally impaired.

Substance Abuse Nurse Salary:
Salary ranges will also vary based on your education, experience, training and location of the employer. But on a national scale, the average salary is $75,000 per year.

Substance Abuse Nursing School:
There are quite a few places on can pursue a program in substance abuse nursing. We do have a place for you. You need to visit the advanced nursing degree website. Follow this link to go there now. While there, request for the free information.

Return from Substance Abuse Nurse to Medical Assistants Schools and Careers

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.