Washington, DC, October 24, 2018 —
The National League for Nursing applauds Congress for their bipartisan and bicameral efforts in the passage of HR 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act.
According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 116 people die every day from opioid-related drug overdoses. Nurses often serve as primary care providers for vulnerable populations and are critical agents in treating these patients. They provide pain management, which helps reduce patients' reliance on opiates. Nurses also educate patients, families, and caregivers on how to assess and manage pain symptoms as well as how to safely use opioids.
NLN President G. Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN, FAAN stated "As you know, opioid misuse, dependence, and overdoses are on the rise in our local communities despite the many actions put in place to try to curb this crisis. The League strongly believes this bipartisan legislation will help to alleviate the opioid crisis in our communities by ensuring patients have increased access to these life-saving treatments. This legislation brings compassion to the issue which is vitally needed."
The League is especially pleased HR 6 includes the provision allowing for more flexibility with respect to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorders (Section 3201). Specifically, section 3201 will permanently allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants and provide a five-year authorization for clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse-midwives to prescribe MATs.
"This provision will enable advanced practice nurses, often sole providers of care in rural and medically underserved areas that struggle to recruit and retain health professionals, to become critical agents of change in treating patients with substance use disorders” added NLN CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN. Dr. Malone further added "We appreciate Congress' bipartisan and bicameral efforts to pass this important legislation and appreciate your continued support of America’s nurses in the fight to curb the opioid epidemic."
About the National League for Nursing
Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The NLN offers professional development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 40,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members. NLN members represent nursing education programs across the spectrum of higher education, and health care organizations and agencies. Events | News Release Archive | NLN Press | NLN Vision Series (Position Statements)
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