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Impaired Practitioner Programs


Impairment Programs

Section 456.076, Florida Statutes, Treatment programs for impaired practitioners, sets for the requirement for the Department of Health to designate an impaired practitioner program that will:

  • Work with the department in intervention.
  • Set requirements for evaluating and treating a professional.
  • Establish requirements for continued care of impaired practitioners by approved treatment providers.
  • Require continued monitoring by the consultant of the care provided by approved treatment providers regarding the professional under their care.
  • Uphold requirements related to the consultant’s expulsion of professionals from the program.

The Department has contracted with the Intervention Project for Nurses (IPN) for nurses and the Professionals Resource Network (PRN) for other health care practitioners to perform these statutory functions.


Intervention Project for Nurses

IPN was established in 1983 through state legislation (Ch. 456.7), and functions under a service contract with the Department of Health. IPN provides monitoring for doctoral prepared nurses, advances practice nurses, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants whose practice may be impaired due to substance abuse and/or medical or psychiatric illness. IPN assures public safety and safety to practice by requiring all nurse participants to complete formal evaluations by DOH/IPN approved physicians, successfully complete recommended treatment, provide random negative toxicology screens and have their practice monitored at the workplace by a work site monitor. In addition, IPN provides expert consultation to the Florida Board of Nursing on an on-going basis.

Linda L. Smith, ARNP, MN, CAP, CARN-AP
IPN Chief Executive Officer

John Tanner, MD
IPN Medical Director
1-800-840-2720


Professionals Resource Network

The Professionals Resource Network is a nonprofit organization that provides referral services for evaluation and treatment of impaired practitioners. Under the provisions of s. 456.076, F.S., the Department of Health contracts with PRN to coordinate the evaluation, treatment and monitoring of impaired practitioners whose ability to practice safely is questioned. The Boards rely heavily on PRN for guidance and recommendations regarding practitioners who come before the Board in disciplinary matters.

Alexis Polles, M.D.
Director
1-800-888-8776

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