About this Issue: May/June 2018
Addiction to and misuse of opioids is a national public health crisis that affects not only patients, but also their families and communities and our health system as a whole. Articles in this issue offer examples of how faculty integrated content on substance use in their programs. Recognizing the need for nursing students to be competent in screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT), Knopf-Amelung et al evaluated 3 instructional methods for integrating this content in the curriculum and developing students' competencies. Students had instruction on SBIRT (via these 3 methods); they also engaged in role play and practiced with standardized patients, or completed other interactive activities. Students gained similar levels of knowledge of SBIRT and competencies regardless of the method. Teaching strategies that provided active learning, though, were most effective in changing students' attitudes about their role in screening and intervening for substance use. This article by Knopf-Amelung et al is Open Access so share it with others. Finnell et al provide a step-by-step approach to integrate substance use-related content into prelicensure and master's programs. Their approach is adaptable to all program levels and types of curricula. The authors also identify strategies to prepare faculty for this integration and share tools you can use in your own programs. Issues with substance use are not only patient problems – this is a problem among nurses and other health care professionals. Be sure to read the article by Stewart and Mueller on their modules to improve nursing students' understanding of substance use disorder among nurses. This issue has many other articles that you can use in your teaching, eg, interventions to improve students' self-care and using therapy pets to reduce students' stress. For those of you teaching in clinical settings, don't miss the article by Shafer et al who present their new (and innovative) model for clinical education. This issue marks the beginning of a new Department to share teaching strategies and ideas on integrating Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) in your programs and developing students' competencies: Altmiller shares tips for teaching medication reconciliation. This issue is packed with new ideas for your nursing program and your own teaching: read from cover to cover and share with your colleagues.
Marilyn H. Oermann, Editor-in-Chief