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Nursing Groups Commit to Fighting Opioid Misuse

By HealthLeaders Media News  
   May 31, 2016

Nursing organizations are uniting in a national effort to enhance education on opioid prescription and administration practices.

Seventy eight people die each day from an opioid overdose, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and half of opioid overdose deaths involve prescription opioids. 

In an effort to address this issue, the following nursing organizations have committed to educating nursing faculty, students, and clinicians, across the advanced practice registered nurse education continuum, regarding the CDC’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain:

  • The American Association of Colleges of Nursing
  • The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
  • The American Association of Nurse Practitioners
  • The American College of Nurse-Midwives
  • The American Nurses Association
  • The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties

"Our joint commitment reaffirms AANP's dedication to promoting evidence-based standards for opioid abuse prevention and education, while recognizing the need for patients suffering from chronic and acute pain to access essential pain care," said AANP President Cindy Cooke, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP, president of AANP, in a news release announcing the commitment.

AANP will provide continuing education. In addition, 191 schools of nursing with APRN programs have pledged to educate their APRN students on the CDC’s guidelines as a way to enhance existing education on managing pain through pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions.

"Academic nursing is committed to protecting the public's health by taking decisive action to address the nation's opioid epidemic," said Deborah Trautman, PhD, RN, FAAN, president and chief executive officer of AACN, in a news release.

"I applaud my colleagues in the nursing community who have made it a priority to prepare the next generation of APRNs on best practices for prescribing opioids."

The CDC guidelines focus on three main areas:

  1. Determining when to initiate or continue opioids for chronic pain
  2. Opioid selection, dosage, duration, follow-up, and discontinuation
  3. Assessing risk and addressing harms of opioid use

The announcement of the educational initiative took place on April 25 at a White House event Champions of Change for Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery event in Washington, D.C., which recognized those people and organizations taking steps to address the opioid epidemic.

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