Barriers for Prescribing Buprenorphine for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses
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Background: In response to the nation’s opioid crisis, the legislation allowed Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) to prescribe medication assisted treatment (MAT) such as buprenorphine. Current literature provides evidence regarding physician’s barriers in prescribing buprenorphine. However, there were no prior studies investigating the barriers among APRNs. APRNs are a great resource to combat the opioid epidemic by providing treatment. Therefore, it is important to understand what is holding APRNs back from prescribing buprenorphine. This study aims to identify barriers in prescribing buprenorphine for opioid use disorder (OUD) in APRNs. Theoretical Framework: Change theory was used to guide the study, understanding perception of barriers is critical to lead change in APRNs prescribing behaviors. Methods: This study used a web-based survey sent via e-mail was distributed to APRNs to collect information about barriers to prescribing MAT and stigma associated with OUD. The survey was developed by researchers and clinicians through literature review and clinical experiences. Descriptive and correlational statistics were used for data analysis. Results: Results show that APRN’s greatest barriers include knowledge to prescribing buprenorphine, access to mental health and addiction resources, and adequate support from a consultant with expertise in buprenorphine treatment. The lowest barriers included growing the practice beyond the waiver cap and allocating more office space. Conclusions & Implications: Our findings provide information regarding APRN prescribing barriers and identify factors associated with those barriers. Moving forward, appropriate strategies can be developed to overcome those barriers and provide support to APRNs to improve access to MAT.