Three additional advanced practice registered nurses – clinical nurse midwives (CNM), clinical nurse specialists (CNS), and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA) — are now eligible until Oct. 1, 2023 to apply for a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). The changes follow passage of the Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act, which passed last year.

The SUPPORT Act expands the ability of certain physicians and “qualifying other practitioners” (NP, PA, CNS, and CNM) to treat up to 100 patients in the first year* of waiver receipt if they satisfy one of the following two conditions:

  1. The physician holds a board certification in Addiction Psychiatry or Addiction Medicine by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology or American Board of Preventive Medicine; or
  2. The practitioner provides medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in a “qualified practice setting.” A qualified practice setting is a practice setting that:
  • provides professional coverage for patient medical emergencies during hours when the practitioner’s practice is closed;
  • provides access to case-management services for patients including referral and follow-up services for programs that provide, or financially support, the provision of services such as medical, behavioral, social, housing, employment, educational, or other related services;
  • uses health information technology systems such as electronic health records;
  • is registered for their State prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) where operational and in accordance with Federal and State law; and
  • accepts third-party payment for costs in providing health services, including written billing, credit, and collection policies and procedures, or Federal health benefits.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is preparing FAQs, which will be available soon. In the meantime, PCSS now includes online training for all eligible nurse prescribers here.