NCSBN Publishes National Nursing Guidelines for Medical Marijuana
Director, Marketing & Communications
CHICAGO – NCSBN has published a comprehensive literature review and evidence-based national nursing guidelines for medical marijuana as a special supplement to its July 2018 edition of the Journal of Nursing Regulation.
Currently, 31 jurisdictions (including the District of Columbia), Guam, Puerto Rico and all provinces/territories of Canada, have passed legislation legalizing medical cannabis. The use of either medical or recreational cannabis raises evolving public health, nursing practice, science, legal, educational, ethical, and social issues. There is a contradiction between the federal law classifying cannabis as a Schedule I Controlled Substance and various states legalizing its use medically, recreationally or both.
The federal classification, not only prevents prescribing of Schedule I Controlled Substances, but also prohibits open and unlimited research on cannabis. As a result, research on the efficacy of cannabis for treatment of certain medical conditions is limited and lacking. Specifically, the research has not definitively specified indications, dosage, adverse effects, and long-term effects of cannabis. Without evidence that is scientifically rigorous, statistically reportable and based on patient populations, nurses face challenges when providing care to patients taking medical marijuana.
“To address the lack of guidelines for nurses when caring for individuals utilizing cannabis, the NCSBN Board of Directors (BOD) appointed members to a special committee to study this issue,” commented NCSBN BOD President Katherine Thomas, MN, RN, FAAN, executive director, Texas Board of Nursing. “In order to create the requested guidelines and recommendations for education and care, the committee worked for two years reviewing relevant statistics, current legislation, scientific literature, and clinical research on cannabis as a therapeutic agent.”
The specific guidelines the committee produced address: nursing care of the patient using medical marijuana; medical marijuana education in prelicensure nursing programs; medical marijuana education in APRN nursing programs; and APRNs certifying a medical marijuana qualifying condition.
The NCSBN National Nursing Guidelines for Medical Marijuana supplement, Journal of Nursing Regulation, Volume 9, Issue 2, S5, is available at www.journalofnursingregulation.com.
NCSBN marks its 40th anniversary milestone in 2018 with the inspiring theme of “Regulatory Excellence Surging Toward the Future.” Founded March 15, 1978, as an independent not-for-profit organization, NCSBN was initially created to lessen the burdens of state governments and bring together boards of nursing (BONs) to act and counsel together on matters of common interest. It has evolved into one of the leading voices of regulation across the world.
NCSBN’s membership is comprised of the BONs in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and four U.S. territories — American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands. There are also 30 associate members that are either nursing regulatory bodies or empowered regulatory authorities from other countries or territories.
NCSBN Member Boards protect the public by ensuring that safe and competent nursing care is provided by licensed nurses. These BONs regulate more than 4.8 million licensed nurses.
Mission: NCSBN provides education, service and research through collaborative leadership to promote evidence-based regulatory excellence for patient safety and public protection.
The statements and opinions expressed are those of NCSBN and not the individual member state or territorial boards of nursing.