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NO STIGMA Nursing | UMass Dartmouth

No Stigma: Building pathways to equitable care

About NO STIGMA Nursing

Building Pathways to Equitable Care

The NO STIGMA Nursing team is a dedicated team of nurse scientists committed to transforming nursing education by addressing and reducing the stigma associated with caring for individuals from marginalized communities and patients with chronic illnesses. Led by Dr. Mary McCurry, the NO STIGMA Nursing Team includes Associate Professors Jennifer Viveiros and Monika Schuler, and Assistant Professors Mirinda Tyo and Shannon Avery-Desmarais.  Team members have expertise in nursing education, including simulation development and instruction, and as nurse practitioners in the care of patients with substance use disorder, caregiver burden and end-of-life care. Together, we aim to develop and implement educational simulations that equip nursing students and other health care professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to provide non-judgmental, evidence-based care. Our vision is to foster a culture of understanding and compassion where every patient is treated with dignity and respect. Through our collaborative efforts, we aim to cultivate a healthcare community that upholds the principles of empathy and inclusivity in the treatment of all patients.

Addressing Stigma Associated with Opioid Use Disorder

In 2022, the NO STIGMA Nursing Team was awarded a $595,485 grant from the Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE) to develop an evidence-based toolkit of high-fidelity simulations for undergraduate, masters, and doctoral nursing students to address stigma towards populations with opioid use disorder. The educational interventions were designed to increase awareness among future nurses and nurse practitioners about opioid use disorders as a chronic illness. By fostering empathy, these interventions seek to eliminate barriers to treatment and improve outcomes for patients with opioid use disorders.

The NO STIGMA team has developed six evidence-based, high-fidelity simulations to address stigma when caring for patients with opioid use disorders.  The simulations were shown to result in statistically significant improvement in reducing stigma in baccalaureate, masters, and Doctor of Nursing Students. The NO STIMGA Nursing team has also developed a Simulation Tool Kit that houses the simulation content, including a detailed narrative of each simulation in a standardized format, detailed scripts including appropriate prompts for both the educator and student, debriefing guides, and training videos.

The NO STIGMA Nursing team continues to foster dissemination of the results of the NO STIGMA Simulation Project. We are honored to have presented our work regionally, nationally, and internationally with the hope of contributing to the advancement of evidence-based education to improve the quality of care for individuals with opioid use disorder and their families. Our initial work has been published in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship, while additional papers are under review. Publications from members of our team can be found in several high impact, peer-reviewed journals including Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Substance Use and Misuse, American Journal of Nursing, and Journal of Addiction Nursing.

The NO STIGMA Nursing team would like to acknowledge the funding received from FORE. FORE is a national, private, grantmaking foundation focused solely on inspiring and accelerating action to end the nation's opioid epidemic. We share their vision and are thankful for their support.

UMass Dartmouth Team Award Amount: $591,485.00
Project Duration: February 2022 – November 2024

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