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About the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for academic nursing representing more than 850 schools of nursing nationwide. AACN establishes quality standards for nursing education, influences the nursing profession to improve health care, and promotes public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. 



At White House Event, AACN Announces Commitments by Nursing Schools to Combat Opioid Use Disorder

Published April 29, 2016

At White House Event, AACN Announces Commitments by Nursing Schools to Combat Opioid Use Disorder

Academic Nursing Pledges Enhanced Education for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 29, 2016 — Today, Deborah Trautman, PhD, RN, FAAN, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), will offer remarks at a White House Champions of Change for Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery event in Washington, D.C. She was asked by the Administration to recognize AACN member schools committed to addressing opioid use disorder and overdose in America. Over the past month, 191 schools of nursing with advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) programs have pledged to educate their APRN students on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. The addition of this content compliments the information APRN students currently receive on such topics as pain management and substance abuse.

Today's event will be attended by Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Sylvia Mathews Burwell, HHS Acting Deputy Secretary Dr. Mary Wakefield, Director of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, and White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarret. These leaders will highlight ten champions who have made a difference in advancing substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery. Dr. Wakefield will introduce Dr. Trautman at these proceedings. Representatives from three AACN member schools that have pledged support, including James Madison University, University of Maryland, and University of Pennsylvania, will also be in attendance at the White House.

"Academic nursing is committed to protecting the public's health by taking decisive action to address the nation's opioid epidemic," said Dr. Trautman. "I applaud my colleagues in the nursing community who have made it a priority to prepare the next generation of APRNs on best practices for prescribing opioids."

This initiative aligns with academic nursing's involvement in the Administration's efforts to reduce prescription drug and heroin abuse and overdose. Last October, AACN announced that it would work to educate students and health providers on how to combat this epidemic. Rates of opioid use disorder and overdose vary geographically across the United States, and AACN has created a factsheet to share opioid data as well as their engagement on this issue.

Additionally, AACN, along with the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the American Nurses Association, the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, are committing to a joint online educational series that will serve as a resource for practicing nurses, faculty, and students on opioid topics including: an overview of the current need to address opioid use disorder and overdose; integrating timely content into curricula; and the CDC's new prescribing guideline. Continuing education credit will be offered free of charge to participants.

To watch a live, online streaming of the Champions of Change event, visit:

Read the White House's factsheet highlighting AACN schools' commitment here: