Best area of the country to find a RN job in addictions?

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    I am looking to get into working with substance abuse patients. I did my preceptorship in a community drug-alcohol outreach program. Since then, I have worked a little in psych, and some LTC. I do not know how to make the transition from PRN LTC RN, and stay at home mom to full-time RN specializing in this area. Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you!
  2. 5 Comments so far...

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    Quote from rebk
    I am looking to get into working with substance abuse patients. I did my preceptorship in a community drug-alcohol outreach program. Since then, I have worked a little in psych, and some LTC. I do not know how to make the transition from PRN LTC RN, and stay at home mom to full-time RN specializing in this area. Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you!
    It would be to your advantage to have C.A.R.N.. aka; certification in addiction/rehab nursing I'm not sure of the website you need to go to but I'll see if I can find it and get back with you.
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    I'm back. To get your CARN certification ;www.intnsa.org/certifications. Some employers will allow you to obtain this within 6 mos etc. There is a very nice detox/rehab hospital in Brighton MI.
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    A psych background is a plus since prior addiction experience or a psych background are the requirements for most addiction positions. As far as CARN goes, you have to work for 2 years in addiction to be eligible for certification. I think the best first experience would be on a detox unit in a hospital but if you can't get that then take anything.



    ADDICTIONS NURSING CERTIFICATION EXAMINATION APPLICATION 7
    ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA – CARN
    To be determined eligible to participate in the certification examination, candidates must meet the
    following requirements:
    1. Hold a current, full, and unrestricted license as a registered nurse (RN) in the United States, its
    possessions or Canada. If licensed in more than one jurisdiction, the candidate must hold full
    and unrestricted licenses in all jurisdictions. Non-US nurses who meet the eligibility criteria
    are also invited to apply for the CARN examination, but must submit evidence of equivalent
    licensure as RN.
    2. Have a minimum of 4000 hours (two years) of nursing experience related to addictions as an RN
    in a staff, administrative, teaching, private practice, consultation, counseling, or research
    capacity within the last three (3) years.
    Last edit by Lovely_RN on Mar 10, '11
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    I know this is an old thread but FL and MA are big areas.. I live in MA and work full time at one detox and per diem at another.... and I could name 10 others in a 50 mile radius without trying. You don't need to be a C.A.R.N. to work at a detox, at least around here you don't. Of course it helps but at both my jobs there is only one nurse that is a C.A.R.N. - and myself and many others had no prior experience in the field before starting. Good luck!
    fawnsternurse likes this.
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    Again, old thread... but the test qualifications are now 2000 hours / 1 year of RN practice in a field related to addiction / 30 CEUs and no restirctions on RN license. Also, the substance abuse/addictin experience must have been within the last 3 years. I have worked on a medical detox unit for a little over a year (first job as a nurse so I haven't held an RN position for 2 years) and applied- am taking at the end of October 2012.

    I don't know the current numbers, but from what I understand, there are not a lot of certified addiction nurses in the United States. A few years ago, I believe the number was between 300 and 400 total CARNs so it seems an invaluable credential to have if you plan to have a career in this area of nursing.


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