The Keynote Speaker & Author

Paula Davies Scimeca, RN, MS, CARN

 Paula Davies Scimeca obtained her baccalaureate degree in nursing from Adelphi University and her graduate degree from SUNY Stony Brook. Her career has spanned over three decades, with the first ten years spent in medical, surgical and critical care nursing. She has over twenty years experience in addiction and psychiatric nursing, as well as a background in occupational health, case management and legal nurse consulting. Since 2003, her professional endeavors have been devoted to substance abuse in nursing.  Author of Unbecoming A Nurse and From Unbecoming A Nurse to Overcoming Addiction, she is often sought as the Keynote Speaker on the issue of addiction and drug abuse among nurses.  Most significantly, she underscores the uninterrupted recovery from drug addiction and alcoholism many nurses achieve.

Previous Speaking Engagements

October 26th, 2017 - "Addiction and Recovery in Nurses" at the Saskatchewan Association of Licensed Practical Nurses' (SALPN) Professional Development Day at Prairieland Park, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. 

September 27th, 2017 - "Nurses and Substance Use" at Molloy College, Rockville Center, N.Y.

September 15th, 2017 - "Best Practices for Responding to Substance Use in Health Care" at the Mississippi Hospital Association's Organization of Nurse Executives Annual Meeting in Madison, Mississippi.

October, 26th, 2016 - "Portraying Nurses Within the Palette of Substance Use Disorders" at the Northwell Behavioral Health Nursing Conference in Manhasset, N.Y.

March, 26th, 2016 - "Nurses and Mood-Altering Substance Use" at The Farley Center at Williamsburg Place in Williamsburg, Virginia.  Video of presentation available at

January, 20th, 2016 - "What Nurses Need To Know About Substance Use" at the Professional Nurses' Association of Suffolk County (PNASC) Dinner Meeting in Ronkonkoma, N.Y.

November 6th, 2015 - "Substance Use and the Nurse: Overcoming Shame and Embracing Treatment"  "Meeting the Challenges of Professional Health: Shame & Stigma" at the 7th Annual HAVEN Symposium in New Haven, Connecticut.

September 11th, 2015 - Keynote Speaker at the 12th Annual Caring Across Cultures Conference: A Culture of Addiction at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

March 26th, 2015 - "Dependency Awareness in the Workplace" at the SUN Local 75 5th Annual Professional Practice Workshop in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

October 15th, 2014 - "Diversion Impacts the User, Too" at the Dignity Health 5th Annual Medication Safety Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada.

October 8th, 2013 - Keynote Speaker at the “Addiction Un-Plugged” conference of the Association of Registered Nurses of Prince Edward Island, Canada.

October 3rd, 2013 - Keynote Speaker at the Custody & Caring 13th Biennial International Conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

September 22nd, 2013 - “Illuminating the Shadow of Substance Use Disorders in Nurses” at the  National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) Brunch and Learn at Adelphi University Alumni House in Garden City, N.Y.

November 9th, 2012 - Guest Speaker at the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) Maryland Professional Health Advisory Council (PHAC) Luncheon.

May 3rd, 2012 - Opening Keynote at the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association's (SRNA) Annual Meeting and Conference in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

December 8th, 2011 - "Advancing Professional Safety and Wellness - Awareness, Self-Assessment and Commitment" at the College of Staten Island School of Nursing, Staten Island, N.Y. 

December 7th, 2011 -  "Advancing Professional Safety and Wellness - Awareness, Self-Assessment and Commitment" at Adelphi University School of Nursing, Garden City, N.Y.

November 21st, 2011 -  "Advancing Professional Safety and Wellness – Awareness, Self-Assessment and Commitment" at Adelphi University School of Nursing, Garden City, N.Y.

November 9th, 2011"Advancing Professional Safety and Wellness – Awareness, Self-Assessment and Commitment" at NYU School of Nursing, Manhattan, N.Y. 

October 28th, 2011 -  "Substance Use Disorders, Drug Diversion and Nurses" at the Merrimack County Department of Corrections' Grand Rounds in Attitash, New Hampshire.

October 1st, 2011 - Keynote Speaker "Preventing Substance Use Disorders in Nurses" at the Epsilon Mu Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Founder's Day Celebration and Induction Ceremony in Staten Island, N.Y.

September 23rd, 2011 - Guest Speaker at the Rhode Island State Nurses' Association's launch of the RISNA Substance Abuse Prevention Program in Providence, RI.

February 5th, 2011 - "Addictive Disorders in the Nursing Profession" at the 59th Annual Virginia Nursing Students Association Convention in Lynchburg, VA. 

November 17th, 2010 - "From Unbecoming a Nurse to Overcoming Addiction" at the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) 21st Annual Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

October 22nd, 2010 - Plenary Session Expert Panelist on "Making Impermeable into Semi-Permeable Barriers to Evidence-Based Chemical Dependency Practice: Progress Not Perfection!" at the International Nurses Society on Addictions conference. 

September 17th, 2010 - Keynote Speaker at the Indiana State Nurses Assistance Program (ISNAP) Fall Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

September 11th, 2010 - "Supporting Nurses in Recovery" break-out session  at the 2nd Annual Recovery Retreat Uniting Maine Recovery Communities at the University of Maine, Augusta, Maine.

September 10th, 2010 - All day workshop "From Unbecoming a Nurse to Overcoming Addiction" sponsored by the Maine Alliance for Addiction Recovery (MAAR) AdCare Educational Institute & Medical Professionals Health Program in Maine in Augusta, Maine.

April 20th, 2010 - "What Every Nurse Needs To Know About Chemical Dependency In The Profession" at Abington Hospital in Abington, PA.

April 16th, 2010 - "Addiction: Identifying & Helping A Nurse In Crisis, While Finding Alternatives To Discipline," co-sponsored by The Farley Center at Williamsburg Place and Thomas Memorial Hospital in south Charleston, W.V.

February 8th, 2010 - Guest lecture at New York University School of Nursing.

February 7th, 2010 - "Addiction in Nurses: 20/20 Vision for 2010 and Beyond" at the Sigma Theta Tau International Brunch at Molloy College in Rockville Center, N.Y. 

February 6th, 2010 - Guest lecture at Wagner College School of Nursing, Staten Island, N.Y.

November 10th, 2009 - Guest lecture Adelphi University School of Nursing Manhattan campus.

November 4th, 2009 - Guest lecture New York University School of Nursing.

October 2nd, 2009 - Expert Panelist on "Representation of the Addicted Nurse Before Your Nursing Board" at the 28th Annual Meeting and Educational Conference of The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (TAANA) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

October 1st, 2009 - "Prescription Painkillers – Pre-empting the Legal and Professional Free-Fall of Nurse Colleagues" co-presenter with Karen Halpern, RN, Esq. at the 33rd Annual International Nurses Society on Addictions (IntNSA) Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

September 25th, 2009 - Book signing at the Rhode Island Institute for Nurses and the Nursing Foundation of Rhode Island's educational forum: Breaking The Habit, in Providence, Rhode Island.

June 4th, 2009 - "Advancing Professional Safety and Wellness: Awareness, Self-Assessment and Commitment" at Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C.  

June 3rd, 2009 - "Advancing Professional Safety and Wellness: Awareness, Self-Assessment and Commitment" at Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville, N.C. 

May 27th, 2009 - "Unbecoming A Nurse" book signing at the Professional Nurses’ Association of Suffolk County (PNASC) Awards Dinner at the Stonebridge Country Club in Smithtown, N.Y. 

April 22nd, 2009 - Induction as Nurse Leader into Sigma Theta Tau International's Kappa Gamma Chapter at SUNY Stony Brook N.Y.

March 27th, 2009 - "Maintaining Nurse Safety and Wellness While Avoiding the Risk of Chemical Dependency" at the Student Nurses' Association at the State University of New York in Farmingdale, N.Y.

March 5th, 2009 - Guest speaker regarding chemical dependency in the nursing profession at East Carolina University's psychiatric nursing class in Greenville, N.C.