June 4, 2020
Denise Foster PhD, MSN, RN, CNE
Dr. Denise A. Foster, PhD, MSN, RN, CNE has practiced professional nursing for over 35 years. Beginning at the bedside in orthopedic and critical care, she transitioned to home health, where she began to recognize the benefits of medical cannabis when the HIV/AIDS epidemic swept the nation in the 1980s. Recognizing that the use of medical cannabis helped patients with pain, appetite, and mood, Dr. Foster became an advocate for its use as a therapeutic treatment. In the decades since working in home health, Dr. Foster has worked in the field of higher education, providing nursing instruction to students in associate, baccalaureate, RN-to-BSN, and graduate nursing programs.
As a holistic practitioner, Dr. Foster’s research interests include the benefits and use of mindfulness practice to help students, nurses, and patients achieve their optimal level of well-being. Dr. Foster believes that the use of medical cannabis is one of several complementary therapies that could potentially assist many chronically and acutely ill patients to achieve optimal health in mind, body, and spirit. Recently, she ventured into the entrepreneurial world of retail hemp, and in Spring 2020 will be opening a Hemp Haven store in Chesapeake, Virginia, where she will offer hand-selected CBD and hemp products while providing coaching and education regarding the benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids to her community.
Dr. Foster currently lives in Virginia and teaches in the university setting for several national and international colleges of nursing. She remains clinically active in home health and hospice practice where she advocates medicinal cannabis to patients who might benefit from its use. Through her medicinal cannabis research and consultation business, Empirical Cannabis, Dr. Foster provides medicinal cannabis education, research, and consultation to patients, families, and health care practitioners as well as her community. From her research and in-depth knowledge related to cannabis as medicine, Dr. Foster contributed to Wolters Kluwer Health Publishers first medical cannabis textbook for nurses, Cannabis: A Handbook for Nurses, 1st Edition, writing “Chapter 2: The Human Endocannabinoid System (ECS): Physiology,” set to be published late 2020. Dr. Foster authored the first course, Endocannabinoid System and Pharmacology, for a 3-course Medical Cannabis Certificate for Health Care Workers at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York, which is the nation’s first accredited academic medical cannabis instruction.
Dr. Foster recently served on the Board of Directors of the American Cannabis Nurses Association and is a strong advocate for all nurses and nursing students, in every setting and state, to become educated about medicinal cannabis as well as empowering, educating, and advocating for patient access, including safe and appropriate use. She also served as ACNA Secretary and chaired the ACNA Education and Research Committee and the Social Media and Communications Committee. Because the use of medical marijuana is a recent addition to the field of health care, Dr. Foster is also committed to developing, conducting, and disseminating research that will assist the nursing profession in understanding nursing roles and responsibilities associated with the usage of this therapeutic medicinal plant.
- Cannabis Industry during Coronavirus Pandemic
- Possible interactions of cannabis with other drugs
- Negative action of high THC on fertility
- How the American Cannabis Nurses Association has developed over time
- Why isn’t the Endo-Cannabinoid taught in medical and nursing schools?
- The power of the cannabis plant