E-Learning

Opioid Prescribing Course

A deep dive into best practices for prescribing opioids. Become an expert when dealing with America's historic epidemic.


Course Description

A deep dive into best practices for prescribing opioids. Become an expert when dealing with America’s historic epidemic.

The building opioid crisis has left the American medical field desperately seeking solutions to curb the epidemic. The statistics are staggering. In 2016 alone, more than 63,000 people died from drug overdoses. Of those deaths, more than 42,000 involved prescription or illicit opioids. Overall, more than 11.5 million Americans (aged 12+) reported misusing prescription opioids in 2016. The number of deaths, combined with the number of misused prescribed opioids leads to the conclusion that opioid prescribing best practices need to be adjusted. As a result, continuing education providers for nurses, such as GTI have geared up quickly, designing courses based on the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), policymakers and clinical societies.

Opioid Prescribing for FNPs and ACNPs

For Family Nurse Practitioners and Acute Care Nurse Practitioners, it is imperative to stay current on best practices for opioid prescribing. GTI offers an e-learning course specifically designed for FNPs and ACNPs on opioid prescribing current practices. This enables you to meet your CE requirements while refreshing your prescribing methods and learning new guidelines in order to provide the best possible treatment for your patients. 

Following the CDC guidelines, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties drive new educational guidelines for nurses. GTI has tailored our opioid prescribing continuing education courses to include the latest content and guidelines so that nurses taking our courses are at the cutting edge of the field. To keep you fully informed, in addition to our existing education modules on opioids and pain management, we added awareness of the risks of addiction with pain management and Schedule 2 drugs.

Best Practices for Opioid Prescribing

With over 90 lives lost each day from overdosing on opiods, and 40% of those deaths involving prescribed medication, best practices for prescribing is crucial. There are many factors to consider when prescribing highly addictive substances. 

The CDC provides guidelines (not prescribing standards) in determining:

  • When to initiate or continue opioids for chronic pain
  • Opioid dosage, selection, duration, follow-up, and discontinuation
  • Risk assessment and addressing harms of opioid use

Best practices for prescribing opioids provided by the CDC fall into those three main categories and aim to decrease the epidemic currently occuring in the United States. The recommendations are detailed but a few highlights include:

  • Nonpharmacologic and nonopioid therapy: attempt to seek nonpharmacologic approaches before opioids are prescribed
  • Increased patient-provider communication about opioids and shared decision making
  • Frequent monitoring to evaluate the benefits and harms of continued opioid therapy 
  • Drug testing before starting, and during, opioid therapy to screen for current drug use which could result in overdose if combined with opioids and to help avoid opioid substance use disorders
  • Using the lowest dosage possible
  • Avoiding concurrent opioids and benzodiazepines
  • Providing resources for opioid use disorder (support services or evidence-based treatment such as medication-assisted opioid treatment with buprenorphine or methadone)

Opioid Prescribing E-learning Class

GTI’s focus in our nursing opiod e-learning CE class is to provide you with information about best practices in prescribing opioids, including safety and effectiveness, as well as administering and dispensing controlled substances to patients. GTI’s goal is that as a fully informed, up-to-date FNP or ACNP, you will:

  • Apply the best practices regulations of prescribing controlled substances
  • Explain prescription drug monitoring programs and how they work
  • Create a treatment plan which incorporates prescribed opioids when necessary, functional goals, assessment of addiction risk, and use of safety measures 
  • Discuss with patients their informed consent and treatment agreements
  • Set up monitoring and evaluation throughout treatment

GTI provides continuing education e-learning opioid prescribing courses to refresh your knowledge on all of these factors while also completing your CEs as required! 

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