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Nurses Leading the Way in Medical Cannabis: A Step Forward in Healthcare

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In recent years, there has been a notable shift in the landscape of healthcare, particularly in the United States, where nurses are increasingly taking charge in advocating for the therapeutic potential of cannabis. Alongside other healthcare professionals such as physicians, pharmacists, social workers, and nutritionists, nurses have emerged as trailblazers in legitimizing cannabis within the medical field.

One significant milestone in this journey is the recent recognition of cannabis nursing as a specialty by the American Nurses Association. This acknowledgment marks a pivotal step forward in acknowledging the role of nurses in incorporating cannabis into patient care practices. As frontline healthcare providers, nurses are uniquely positioned to address patients' needs and concerns regarding cannabis use, providing valuable education and guidance.

For nurse practitioners, particularly in states like Maryland, where scope of practice regulations allow for diagnosis, treatment, and prescription authority, the integration of cannabis into patient care has become increasingly feasible. Organizations such as the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners have also voiced support for nurse practitioners to educate themselves about cannabis as medicine and engage in discussions with patients, families, and communities.

Maryland stands out as a beacon of progress in cannabis education within academia, with the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy pioneering the nation's first medical cannabis master's science and therapeutics program. Spearheaded by esteemed figures like Dr. Natalie Eddington, former dean of the school, this program represents a groundbreaking initiative to explore cannabis's medicinal properties within the pharmacy realm. Endorsed by Maryland's state attorney, the program signifies a concerted effort to bridge the gap between traditional pharmaceutical practices and emerging cannabis therapies.

The involvement of nurses in championing medical cannabis reflects a broader trend towards holistic and patient-centered care. By embracing cannabis as a legitimate treatment modality, nurses are empowering patients with alternative options for managing their health conditions. Moreover, their advocacy efforts contribute to reducing the stigma surrounding cannabis use, paving the way for greater acceptance and integration within mainstream healthcare.

As nurses continue to lead the charge in advocating for medical cannabis, the future of healthcare holds promise for more inclusive and comprehensive approaches to patient care. Through collaboration, education, and advocacy, nurses are reshaping the landscape of medicine, one step at a time.

 

Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.