Cory Doolittle: Impaired Nurse Simulation

Submitter Information

Author: Maria del Carmen Molle, MSN, RN-BC
Title: Assistant Professor-Nursing
Institution: Raritan Valley Community College
Coauthors: Professor Heather Heithoff, MN, RN

Competency Category(s)
Evidence-Based Practice, Patient-Centered Care, Safety, Teamwork and Collaboration

Learner Level(s)
Pre-Licensure ADN/Diploma, Pre-Licensure BSN, RN to BSN

Learner Setting(s)
Classroom, Skills or Simulation Laboratories

Strategy Type
General Strategy

Learning Objectives

The nursing student will:
– demonstrate sensitive patient-centered care to an impaired nurse.
– apply the clinical judgment model to implement appropriate nursing interventions to a substance-impaired nurse (patient safety, patient-centered care)
– apply evidence-based practice in the assessment of the substance impaired nurse (evidenced-based practice).
– demonstrate professional behaviors while prioritizing and managing nursing care to a substance-impaired nurse while collaborating with multiple nursing specialist(s) (Patient-centered care, teamwork, and collaboration, safety).
– demonstrates standardized nursing practice and use of technology that supports patient safety and quality patient-centered care (Evidenced-based practice, teamwork & collaboration, safety).
– demonstrate effective communication with team members to assist the patient achieve health care goals (Teamwork & collaboration).

Strategy Overview

The Cory Doolittle: Impaired Nurse Simulation, provides nursing faculty and students the opportunity to participate in a clinical judgment activity in order to provide the appropriate care for an impaired patient while collaborating with interprofessional team members.

The Impaired Nurse Simulation can be used for graduating ADN or BSN nursing students. The students are expected to apply all levels of clinical judgment model but more specifically all the steps in level 3 when providing care to a substance-impaired nurse. This activity has been designed to facilitate the clinical judgment process when assessing patients with substance abuse disease processes and providing the appropriate required patient-centered care.

Submitted Materials


Additional Materials

Cory Doolittle: Impaired Nurse Simulation and Debriefing Tools.

Barlett, D. (2019). Drug Diversion Training.
Chmil, J.V. (2016). Prebriefing in Simulation-Based Learning Experiences. Nurse Educator- Teaching Strategies. Vol.41, 64-65. http://dx.doi:10.1097/NNE.0000000000000217
Cutara, K.P (2015). Prebriefing in Nursing Simulation: A Concept Analysis. Clinical Simulation in Nursing. (2015). 11, 335-340.
Dusaj, T.K. (2014). Five Fast Fixes: Debriefing. INASCL.
Gardner, R. (2013). Introduction to Debriefing. SciVerse Science Direct. 37(2013) 166-174.
Halter, M.J. (2018). Varcarolis’ FOUNDATIONS of PSYCHIATRIC-MENTAL HEALTH NURSING: A Clinical Approach. Elsevier.
Lestander, O., Lehto, N. and Engstrom, A. (2016). Nursing students’ perceptions of learning after high fidelity simulation: Effects of a Three-step Post-simulation Reflection Model. Nurse Education Today. 40(2016) 219-234.
NCSBN (2014). NCSBN Guidelines for Alternative Programs and Discipline Monitoring Programs. Substance Use Disorder Guidelines.
NCSBN (2020). NCSBN Clinical Judgement Model.
NCSBN (2020): NCSBN State Boards of Nursing.
New Jersey Board of Nursing Laws (2020).
Plus/Delta Template Example:
RAMP of N.J. (2019). RAMP, Recovery and Monitoring Program.,,

Evaluation Description

Pre-briefing Time: 1 hour
All students will engage in an open discussion regarding medication diversion specifically by the nurse in varied healthcare settings and current national substance abuse situations with participation in a pre- and post-test. The students are randomly assigned nursing roles: Cory: impaired nurse, Avery: Cory’s partner, Surgical Nurse, ED nurse preceptor, ED nurse preceptee, Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurse and 4 nursing student observers for a total of 10 potential student participants.

Expected Simulation Run Time: 20 minutes
Debriefing Time: 40 minutes