Washington, DC, April 30, 2019 —
Determined to reverse the alarming trend of opioid abuse that has devastated individuals, families, and communities across the nation, the prestigious National Academy of Medicine (NAM) has recruited more than 100 network organizations, including the National League of Nursing, with the reach and resources to aid in the battle. The NLN is proud to announce its participation in this important and timely NAM initiative: Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic.
The growing opioid crisis has been on the NLN radar for some time. A commitment statement approved by the League’s Board of Governors last fall pledged to transform nursing education to better prepare current and future nursing students to make a meaningful and sustainable impact on the opioid overdose epidemic, and support efforts to prevent substance abuse disorders. This commitment aligns with the NLN mission to promote excellence in nursing education to build a strong, diverse, inclusive, and culturally sensitive nursing workforce to advance the health of the nation and the global community.
“Despite the many actions put into place by a variety of health care organizations and professionals, opioid misuse, dependence, and overdoses have continued to rise,” said NLN President G. Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN, FAAN, professor and associate vice chancellor/chief diversity officer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Nurses must have established authority given by virtue of their scope of practice to educate patients, families and caregivers on the most effective and safest uses of prescription pain medication.”
Added NLN CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN, “The National League for Nursing has been active in combating substance use disorders and is therefore honored to join the National Academy of Medicine and the assembled NAM Collaborative partners to continue the quest for evidence-based and innovative solutions to alleviate the nation’s opioid crisis.”
In its dedication to fight the scourge of substance abuse, the NLN has had a visible and vocal role in activities that:
- Promote access to holistic health care of patients and caregivers through the enhancement of substance use disorder services by local community health centers, neighborhood clinics, and nurse-managed health clinics
- Remove barriers and support policies for nurses to practice to the full extent of their education and preparation to treat substance use disorders
- Educate the public and the health workforce to eliminate any stigmas associated with substance use disorder, pain, and treatment of these conditions
- Support substance use disorder policies that recognize the dynamic and diverse needs of individuals, families, and communities across the nation
- Support maximizing funding for education of health care professionals who commit to practice in rural and underserved areas where the drug overdose death rate exceeds the national average
- Support research of evidence-based approaches to prevent and treat substance abuse disorders and improve recovery outcomes for those affected, and
- Develop NLN initiatives to improve the quality of care for vulnerable populations, tailored to the unique needs of learners, faculty, and administrators as well as sharing this knowledge with our partners in the educational and health care arenas
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, comprising nursing education programs across the spectrum of higher education and health care organizations. Learn more at NLN.org
The Hearst Foundations support nonprofit organizations working in culture, education, health, and social service in the United States. The charitable goals of the foundations reflect the philanthropic interests of William Randolph Hearst, with a focus on ensuring that people of all backgrounds have the opportunity to build healthy, productive, and inspiring lives.
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