Addiction training for undergraduate nurses using screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment

Helen K. Burns, Kathryn Puskar, Michael T. Flaherty, Ann M. Mitchell, Holly Hagle, Betty Braxter, Marie Fioravanti, Heather J. Gotham, Irene Kane, Kimberly S. Talcott, Lauren Terhorst, Gail R. Woomer


Background: An academic-community partnership was created to integrate education and training on the evidence-based practice of Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) for substance use into the undergraduate nursing curriculum at a major research university. The purpose of this paper is to: 1) describe an 11-module addictions training program created through an academic-community partnership; and 2) discuss curriculum implications for other schools of nursing.

Methods: A case study presents the collaboration between a school of nursing and a nonprofit agency specializing in addictions that created substance use training materials and skill-building exercises specifically for undergraduate nurses.

Results: The 11-module addictions training curriculum component lasted 13 total hours and was incorporated into the 15-week Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing course and clinical rotations. The evidence-based addictions training model was successfully provided to 392 undergraduate nurses and 39 instructors.

Discussion: Schools of nursing and other health agencies can utilize the substance use screening and brief intervention curriculum. By raising nursing students’ awareness about the prevalence of harmful substance use, the academic-
community partnership helped to deconstruct the stereotypes and stigma associated substance use, abuse, and addiction.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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