Shannon McClendon, 301-628-5391
Joan Hurwitz, 301-628-5020
SILVER SPRING, MD – The American Nurses Association (ANA) commends the U.S. Senate for passing the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act and the Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act (H.R. 6)as part of a compromise opioid legislation package negotiated between the U.S. House and Senate. This is a step in the right direction to combat the national opioid crisis and recognizes nurses’ critical role in solving this public health issue.
ANA extends its gratitude to Chairmen Lamar Alexander (R-TN) Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Greg Walden (R-OR), Ranking Members Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Rand Paul (R-KY), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Susan Collins (R-ME), and Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) Annie Kuster (D-NH), Harold Rogers (R-KY), Katherine Clark (D-MA), and Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and John Sarbanes (D-MD),for their commitment to this legislation and pressing epidemic.
ANA is glad that section 3201 in SUPPORT enables nurse practitioners and physician assistants to prescribe buprenorphine permanently once they obtain a waiver required by any provider to prescribe medication-assisted treatment (MAT). It expands this MAT prescribing authority for five years to the other advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) specialties: certified nurse-midwives, clinical nurse specialists and certified registered nurse anesthetists. Section 7071 offers student loan repayment of up to $250,000 to individuals that pursue substance use disorder treatment professions where the drug overdose death rate is higher than the national average.
Representing the frontlines of health care in every setting, nurses witness first-hand the heart-wrenching devastation from the opioid crisis on individuals, families and communities across the nation. It is imperative that nurses be able to practice to the full extent of their clinical training and education. Particularly in rural communities or medically underserved areas where patients battling addiction rely on nurses to provide quality care and timely lifesaving treatment. Our nation’s ability to combat the opioid crisis depends heavily on having a strong nursing workforce and health care experts at the ready to provide timely care.
ANA recognizes that the opioid addiction is one of the most significant issues the U.S. health system faces today. To help improve the situation nationwide, ANA has outlined the nurses’ role in the opioid crisis, published an issue brief, and provided resources on ineffective pain management.
ANA urges President Trump to sign the legislation into law.
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The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's 4 million registered nurses. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit www.nursingworld.org.