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Nurse Drug Diversion and Nursing Leader's Responsibilities: Legal, Regulatory, Ethical, Humanistic, and Practical Considerations

Tanga, Hazel Y. BSN, RN, CEN, MICN

JONA's Healthcare Law, Ethics, and Regulation: January-March 2011 - Volume 13 - Issue 1 - p 13-16
doi: 10.1097/NHL.0b013e31820bd9e6

Nurses who divert drugs pose significant threats to patient safety, but also become a liability to healthcare organizations and the nursing department where the diversion occurred. Healthcare and nursing leaders have a responsibility to ensure that security systems are in place to prevent diversion and protect patients if nursing impairment is suspected as a result of drug diversion. Nursing leaders must consider legal, regulatory, ethical, humanistic, and practical considerations in resolving this issue.

Author Affiliation: Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital of San Diego, California.

Correspondence: Hazel Y. Tanga, MSN, RN, CEN, MICN, 3351 La Jolla Village Dr, La Jolla, CA 92161 (

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.