The Last State to Grant Nurse Practitioners DEA Licensure: An Education Improvement Initiative on the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

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Abstract

Nurse practitioners (NPs) now have prescriptive authority for controlled substances in all 50 states in the United States. Florida, the last state to grant NPs DEA licensure, has been wrought with prescription diversion practices for a number of years as pill mills, doctor shopping, and overprescribing proliferated. Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) help curb drug diversion activity and play a key role in reducing the abuse of controlled substances. The primary objective of this education improvement initiative was to increase knowledge of actively licensed NPs in the state of Florida regarding the state’s PDMP. The main themes included the drug abuse problem, description and progression of the PDMP, and how to use the Florida PDMP. Upon approval from the institutional review board, this education improvement initiative gauged NP knowledge of the PDMP and main themes before and after an educational PowerPoint intervention. A pretest/posttest questionnaire was administered for assessment of all knowledge questions. One hundred forty-five NPs with active advanced registered NP licenses in Florida completed both the pretest and posttest questionnaires. Descriptive statistics and paired t tests were used for statistical significance testing. Knowledge of the PDMP and the main themes of the education improvement initiative significantly increased (p < .001) from pretest to posttest results. This education improvement initiative had positive effects for NPs on the knowledge of the Florida PDMP and the main themes. This indicated that Florida NPs are able to acquire greater comprehension of the PDMP by an education intervention.

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