Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
SUE E. BELL
The United States experiences opioid addiction at epidemic levels. In 2012, the National Institute of Drug Abuse reported that 23.1 million Americans were in need of addiction treatment services, although only 2.5 million were enrolled in treatment. Following an amendment to the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-310), advanced practice nurses were qualified as providers who could bridge the healthcare gap in treatment access. The purpose of this project was to determine the interest of advanced practice nurses in (a) prescribing buprenorphine and (b) establishing guidelines that would allow them to do so. This quantitative project used a 10-question Internet-based survey with a convenience sample of 95 nurses (recruited online) who were currently practicing in advanced nursing roles. Social media platforms, including Facebook, were used to recruit participants. The survey included questions about expanding the scope of practice in addiction treatment and establishing guidelines that would allow nursing knowledge and expertise to be used in outpatient opiate addiction treatment. Critical social theory and Kingdon's theory of policy analysis were applied to support the project. The Survey Monkey data analysis tool was used to generate descriptive statistics, which demonstrated respondents' support for an expanded scope of practice. If the recommendations of this project are adopted by national legislation, increased accessibility to addiction treatment services will save millions of dollars in justice system, healthcare system, employment, and societal costs. Nursing policy advocates nationally can apply these results to support efforts to expand scope of practice to include prescribing buprenorphine.