The employment of nurses in publicly funded substance abuse treatment programs

Hannah K. Knudsen, Amanda J. Abraham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Little is known about the organizational and environmental factors associated with the employment of nurses in substance abuse treatment programs. Using data collected from the administrators of 250 publicly funded substance abuse treatment programs, this study examined the organizational and environmental correlates of nurse employment in these settings. Negative binomial regression models indicated that the number of nurses employed by treatment programs was positively associated with government ownership, location within a healthcare setting, and the availability of detoxification services. Outpatient-only programs employed fewer nurses than programs with inpatient/residential services. Two environmental factors were associated with nurse employment. Programs that more strongly endorsed a scale of financial barriers employed significantly fewer nurses, whereas programs indicating that funding from state contracts could be used to pay for healthcare providers employed significantly more nurses. These findings suggest that organizational decisions about employing nurses may reflect both the characteristics of the program and the funding environment. Future research should continue to examine the employment of nurses in substance abuse treatment settings, particularly given the shifting environment due to the implementation of healthcare reform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-180
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Addictions Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Nursing workforce
  • Substance abuse treatment organizations
  • Treatment funding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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