American Nurses Association Officially Recognizes Marijuana Nursing as a Specialty Nursing Practice

The American Nurses Association (ANA), representing the interests of the nation’s more than 5 million nurses, announces the formal recognition of marijuana nursing as a nursing specialty.

According to a press release, marijuana nursing is now identified by the American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA) as a specialty nursing practice focused on the care of health care consumers seeking education and guidance in the therapeutic use of cannabis.

“ANA is pleased to officially recognize cannabis nursing practice as a nursing specialty,” said ANA President Jennifer Mensik Kennedy, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “This recognition highlights the essential role and special contribution of cannabis nurses to the health care system and promotes enhanced integration of cannabis therapies for health care consumers across diverse health care settings.”

ACNA’s mission is to “advance excellence in cannabis nursing practice through advocacy, collaboration, education, research, and policy development.” These efforts “support the ACNA vision to improve health care outcomes by empowering pathways for cannabis education and competency through wisdom, compassion, integrity, and social justice principles.”

“We are deeply gratified by the groundbreaking establishment of cannabis nursing as an ANA-recognized nursing specialty. Nurses are the largest group of health professionals, providing an opportunity to change the health care paradigm and include diverse wellness modalities beyond traditional Western medicine. Cannabis nursing requires specialized knowledge and competencies to navigate care and address the stigma associated with medical cannabis use to support a healthy society. We seek to create lasting, transformative change that enriches both specialized and general nursing practices, ultimately serving the well-being of patients nationwide,” said ACNA President Rachel Parmelee MSN, RN, CNE, AHN-BC.

The press release states that “ACNA is committed not only to pioneering the cannabis nursing field, but also to contributing to the broader landscape of nursing practice and patient care. ANA is the sole reviewing body of specialty nursing scope of practice and standards of practice, requests for specialty recognition, and affirmation of focused practice competencies.”

In addition, the ANA “supports the urgency of clinical research to inform patients and providers on the efficacy of marijuana and related cannabinoids. In an official position, ANA addresses the roles and responsibilities of nurses related to the use of cannabinoids for health care and recognizes the potential for cannabinoids to be used in disease treatment and symptom management.”

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