Millions of adults visit U.S. hospitals each year because of substance use and behavioral disorders (SAMHSA, 2013). While health care providers in medical-surgical, emergency, and critical care units are trained to treat acute illness, injury and disease, knowledge of behavioral disorders and other conditions related to mental health may vary greatly among individual providers. There is evidence that negative attitudes among health professionals towards patients with substance use disorders are widespread and contribute to marginalized health care for these patients (Kelleher, 2007; McCaffery et al., 2005; van Boekel, Brouwers, van Weeghel, & Garretsen, 2013). The purpose of this study was to increase the perceived competency of nurses caring for patients with behavioral and substance abuse through an educational intervention. A two-hour interactive class was developed and a quasi-experimental design comparing results from a pre-education questionnaire to a post-education questionnaire on perceived competency was conducted. Pre- and post-education data was collected from 57 nurses. Immediately following the educational intervention, there was a statistically significant increase perceived competency related to self-confidence, attitudes, communication, and knowledge of resource availability among participating nurses. Nurses working in acute care hospitals, particularly those without addiction and psychiatric services, may benefit from continuing education on this important topic.

Publication Date


Presented At:

11th Annual BHSF Research Conference

Content Type

Podium Presentation

Baptist Health South Florida Affiliations:

Regina Russell, MBA, MSN, RN-BC

Open Access

Available to all.