Nursing is a profession known for its adaptability and ever-evolving scope of practice. Now, there's a fresh avenue that beckons: the blossoming world of medical cannabis. Many nurses have asked me how to get started in the field of Medical Cannabis. The truth is, is that this is sadly, yet excitingly, a new field so things are not so straightforward regarding becoming a cannabis nurse per se, but the need is there and I believe we will start to see more and more nurses coming to the green side. Let's take a look at where to begin this journey, shall we?
1. Get Educated: Before anything else, arm yourself with knowledge. There are online courses and workshops dedicated to medical cannabis. Understand the science, the laws, and the therapeutic applications. I nerded out when I started. There is so much valuable information out there and is continuing to grow so dive in! Organizations like the American Cannabis Nurses Association offer valuable training.
2. Seek Specialized Certifications: Certifications can give you a significant edge in the medical world. They can showcase your expertise and dedication to prospective employers or patients. Look for recognized programs that delve deep into cannabis care.
3. Join Cannabis Clinics: Several clinics are dedicated solely to medical cannabis. These clinics often require nursing staff who understand both patient care and the specifics of cannabis treatment. It's an excellent place to gain hands-on experience.
4. Collaborate with Dispensaries: Dispensaries often seek medical professionals to bridge the gap between therapeutic recommendations and product selection. Your nursing background can be invaluable in helping patients understand what products are best suited for their needs.
5. Engage in Research: If you're academically inclined, the world of cannabis research is ripe for exploration. Partner with institutions or organizations conducting clinical trials or patient studies. We have so much work to do in this space.
6. Advocate and Educate: Offer seminars, webinars, or workshops. With your unique skill set, you can help educate not just patients but also fellow healthcare professionals on the medical benefits and considerations of cannabis. You have the credentials already. Educate yourself and then share that with the world. Or your community... you get the idea.
7. Telehealth Opportunities: Digital healthcare is booming. Offer online consultations, especially if you reside in a location where in-person resources are scarce. It can be a flexible way to provide care and build a reputation. Again, you can do this on your own. Start your own consulting business. People want and need more information and guidance around medical cannabis.
8. Network: Join professional organizations in the cannabis space. Attend conferences, seminars, and workshops. Networking can open doors to job opportunities, partnerships, and collaborative projects.
9. Policy and Advisory Roles: Your medical background can be instrumental in shaping the guidelines and standards in the cannabis industry. Work with regulatory bodies or advocacy groups.
10. Entrepreneurial Ventures: If you've got the entrepreneurial spirit, consider starting your own venture. This could be a cannabis-centric nursing consultancy, an educational platform, or even a product line.
11. Stay Updated: The cannabis industry is rapidly evolving. Regularly update your knowledge, be it about new research findings, changing regulations, or emerging therapeutic applications.
12. Share Your Journey: Start a blog, YouTube channel, or podcast. Sharing your experiences and learnings can position you as a thought leader in the field and help others on a similar path. HELLO!
The medical cannabis industry offers a tapestry of opportunities for nurses. With passion, knowledge, and dedication, you can carve a niche for yourself in this exciting and rewarding field. Remember, as a nurse, you have a unique blend of clinical expertise and compassionate care, making you an invaluable asset to the world of medical cannabis. Don't be afraid to step out and blaze a path for yourself. We are in the infancy stages meaning we are the ones creating this path for those who follow.
I put together a list of some online platforms and organizations that were known to offer medical cannabis education. However, the landscape of online education and cannabis regulations changes frequently, so it's always a good idea to search for yourself and verify current offerings.
Here are some platforms and organizations to consider:
The Medical Cannabis Institute: This platform provides science-based content for healthcare professionals about medical cannabis.
Healer: Founded by Dr. Dustin Sulak, Healer offers courses focusing on the medical benefits of cannabis and its potential therapeutic applications.
UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative: While primarily a research entity, they do offer educational content about their findings, which can be valuable for those looking for evidence-based information.
Green Flower Media: They offer a range of courses, from basics about cannabis to more advanced topics, including some designed for healthcare professionals.
Cannabis Training University (CTU): CTU is one of the older platforms offering a broad spectrum of courses on cannabis, including its medical applications.
American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA): While primarily an organization for networking and advocacy, ACNA also offers educational resources and courses for nurses.
Oaksterdam University: Based in Oakland, California, it's one of the first institutions dedicated to cannabis education. They offer both on-site and online courses.
Medical Marijuana 411: This platform offers courses primarily focused on the medical aspects of cannabis, which can be beneficial for healthcare providers.
Remember, as the cannabis industry grows and evolves, new educational platforms emerge, and existing ones may update their offerings. When considering any course or institution, check for reviews, verify their credentials, look for endorsements from recognized industry professionals, and ensure their content aligns with current research and best practices.