Substance Use Disorders: A Curriculum Response

Marian L. Farrell, PhD, PMH-NP, BC, PMH-CNS, BC, CRNP


Online J Issues Nurs. 2020;25(1) 

In This Article


The number of individuals experiencing SUD requires a response in terms to create nursing educational opportunities to strengthen the workforce. Nurse educators need to optimize the current attention on the opioid crisis as an opportunity to strengthen nursing curricula in the areas of SUD. Fink (2013) encourages educators to recognize the need for learning-centered approaches. He defined learning in terms of change, noting that, "[f]or learning to occur, there has to be some kind of change in the learner. No change, no learning. And significant learning requires that there be some kind of lasting change that is important in terms of the learner's life" (p.34). His integrated approach with the taxonomy of learning was designed to be interactive, not hierarchical. Each type of learning informs other areas of learning, creating a synergistic effect. Utilizing the Psychiatric Mental Health Substance Abuse Essential Competencies Taskforce of the American Academy of Nursing Psychiatric Mental Health Substance Abuse Expert Panel (2012) and Fink's (2013) approach provides a curricular model to inform change in this important area of nursing curriculum.