The College of New Rochelle School of Nursing and Healthcare Professions and Westchester County Department of Health Collaborate to Combat Opioid Overdoses

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The College of New Rochelle (CNR) today announced that forty members of the School of Nursing & Healthcare Professions Class of 2017 were trained in the administration of Nalaxone (Narcan™) to help fight the epidemic of opioid and heroin overdoses. 

The CNR faculty and Student Nurses Association proudly partnered with the Westchester County Department of Health who provided the free community program. Students were trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of an opioid or heroin overdose, learned how to administer Nalaxone (Narcan™) and received certification for two years for successfully completing the training.

When administered properly, the nasal spray Narcan restores breathing that has been dangerously slowed by an overdose of opioid drugs such as heroin. Each nursing student who was trained is now certified for two years to administer Narcan in New York State and also received a free kit with a needleless syringe and two nasal spray doses of Naloxone, courtesy of the Westchester County.

“Prescription drug and opioid abuse is a growing crisis in our nation,” says H. Michael Dreher, Ph.D., the Elizabeth Bell LeVaca dean of the CNR School of Nursing & Healthcare Professions. 

Last spring, over 190 other colleges and universities in the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) pledged to teach the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain to their advanced practice registered nursing students as part of efforts to combat prescription drug and opioid abuse.

“CNR has now taken a lead to ensure that undergraduate nursing students have the opportunity to be trained to provide life-saving help to prevent opioid overdose deaths,” said Adrienne Wald, EdD, assistant professor of nursing and interim coordinator of community health education programs at CNR, who worked with Myrantz Assade, senior nursing student and Student Nurses Association president, to arrange this critical training opportunity so CNR students will be ready to serve their communities. 

“With County Executive Rob Astorino’s leadership, the Westchester County Health Department has shared this training with more than 2,000 police officers, residents, pharmacists, medical students and now future nurses,” said Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD. “I am confident these future nurses will share what they’ve learned about opioid addiction with their patients and with fellow healthcare providers. I trust that College of New Rochelle students will use this tool to help save lives and to recognize, treat and prevent future addiction.”

The Narcan training complements the CPR/ BLS certification senior nursing students are already required to hold, and it is hoped that eventually other CNR nursing students will be certified in Narcan administration. Additional training sessions at The College of New Rochelle will be planned in the spring. For more information contact Dr. Adrienne Wald at 914-654-5219.