What Is the Career Outlook for Substance Abuse Nurses?

Thinking of getting into the field of addiction nursing? Here is the career outlook for substance abuse nurses.

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The job market in the nursing industry is booming. In fact, the number of nursing jobs increased by 9 percent over the last 5 years.

This percent increase translated to 27,000 new nursing jobs. With these new jobs in tow, the total number of nursing jobs in Canada rose to 348,000.

This is a great career because it is recession-proof. No matter how dire the nation’s economic conditions are, there is always a strong demand for nurses.

One in-demand field is substance abuse nurses. This is in direct response to the addiction crisis gripping the western hemisphere.

Read on to learn more about the career outlook for substance abuse nurses.

What Is the Career Outlook for Substance Abuse Nurses?

The opioid crisis in the western hemisphere is driving strong demand for nurses in the field of substance abuse treatment. In a 2.5-year period from January 2016 to June 2018, over 9000 Canadians lost their lives to opioids.

In addition to the alarming number of deaths, many victims are hospitalized and require care. Over the last 5 years, hospitalizations due to opioid poisonings have increased by 27 percent. These stunning statistics are the root cause of increased nursing demand.

What Does a Nurse in the Substance Abuse Field Do?

Nurses in this field are responsible for treating addiction. They help patients that are addicted to dangerous substances like opioids, drugs, or alcohol.

To defeat addiction, nurses go after the root cause. For many patients, addiction is a co-occurring disorder with other mental health issues. Therefore, nurses in this field typically have an educational background in mental health treatment.

Another responsibility that these nurses have is pain management. Addiction patients suffer from severe symptoms when experiencing drug withdrawal. In school, nurses will learn about withdrawal and how to handle it.

How to Become a Nurse in the Substance Abuse Field?

The path to becoming a substance abuse nurse is clear. The first step is becoming a Registered Nurse (RN). An increasing number of employers are requiring a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

The next step is registering with the Colleges of Nurses of Ontario (CNO). Here, the CNO administers an exam to ensure that you are qualified to practice. This is referred to as the national registration exam.

There may also be local requirements to meet from your province or territory. These requirements may require you to speak fluent English or French.

They may also verify your citizenship. If you are not a citizen, you will need authorization to work under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Wrapping It Up

Nurses in the substance abuse field play a critical and life-saving role. They care for patients that have overdosed or are experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms.

The opioid crisis is fierce in Canada and this has led to a strong demand for nurses in this field. This is a rewarding career field with a high median salary. If you enjoyed this article about career prospects for substance abuse nurses, check out our blog for other health-related tips and tricks.

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