Prescribing Controlled Drugs: Critical Issues and Common Pitfalls for Advanced Practice Nurses

The Center for Professional Health at Vanderbilt provides professional development courses for healthcare professionals using lectures, interactive discussions, and experiential exercises. Our course on proper prescribing of controlled prescription drugs began in 1998. Nurse practitioners, physician assistants and dentists have attended our current prescribing course. The curriculum has focused primarily on physicians and their educational needs. We are pleased to offer a new prescribing course designed specifically for nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

Proper Prescribing of Controlled Drugs for advanced nurse practitioners and physician assistants was developed to address the prescribing practices of nurse practitioners and physician assistants. This new course is guided by the current curriculum offered to physicians. The course will focus on nurse practitioners and physician assistants in their roles as prescribers in relation to different state regulatory rules that govern them. The course will provide current information on proper prescribing of controlled prescription drugs, identification of the drug seeking patient, diagnosis of substance abuse using SBIRT (screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment) and strategies to avoid risky prescribing behaviors.

Course Dates:

June 14-16, 2017


Location: The course will be held at the Vanderbilt University Center for Professional Health, Â Nashville, Tennessee.

Course Goals:

  • Provide nurse practitioners new skills in substance abuse identification and proper prescribing practices.
  • Discover personal strengths and vulnerabilities related to professional practices.

Course Learning Objectives:

After participating in this CME activity, you should be able to describe and discuss:

  • 1) Strategies for following proper prescribing practices of controlled substances in your practice
  • 2) Information on your state's prescription drug monitoring program
  • 3) Strategies for identifying substance abuse disorders using SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment) in your practice
  • 4) Strategies to avoid risky prescribing of controlled substances
  • 5) Approaches to identifying and managing the drug-seeking patient
  • 6) Identify and build on personal strengths
  • 7) Identify and address personal vulnerabilities

Target Audience:

Advanced Practice Nurses and other healthcare providers from the US who prescribe controlled substances.

Course Faculty:

Charlene M. Dewey, MD, MEd

William H. Swiggart, MS

R. Chancellor Allen, APN, LMSW, PMHMP-BC

Alex Fisher, J.D.

Elizabeth Morse, APRN

Ginger Manley, MSN, APRN, PMHCNS-BC

Caroline Post Cone, MSN, APRN, BC


Vanderbilt University School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians and other health-care professionals

Credit Designation:

  • Vanderbilt University School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 24 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM.
  • Participants should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The Center for Professional Health

1107 Oxford House

Nashville, TN 37232-4300

Phone: 615.936.0678

Fax: 615.936.0676



Faculty Disclosure: It is the policy of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine to require disclosure of financial relationships from individuals in a position to control the content of a CME activity; to identify and resolve conflicts of interest related to those relationships; and to make disclosure information available to the audience prior to the CME activity. Presenters are required to disclose discussions of unlabeled/unapproved uses of drugs or devices during their presentations.

All course directors, planners, and speakers indicated no financial relationships to disclose.