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Denise Foster, PhD, MSN, RN, CNE

ACNA Secretary

Dr. Denise Foster, PhD, MSN, RN, CNE, has practiced professional nursing for over 30 years. Beginning at the bedside in orthopedic and critical care, she transitioned to home health, where she began to recognize the benefits of medical marijuana when the HIV/AIDS epidemic swept the nation in the 1980s. Recognizing that the use of medical marijuana helped patients with their pain, appetite, and mood, Dr. Foster became a proponent of 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 degree nursing programs. As a holistic practitioner, Dr. Foster’s research interest includes 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 marijuana 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.

Dr. Foster currently lives in Virginia and teaches in the university setting. She remains clinically active in home health practice where she recommends medicinal cannabis to patients who might benefit from its use.  She also provides medicinal cannabis education, research, and consultation to patients, families, and health care practitioners. Dr. Foster is committed to serve ACNA as a strong advocate for all nurses and nursing students, in every location, to become educated about medical marijuana as well as advocating for patients to have opportunities to utilize it for its unique medicinal benefits. Because the use of medical marijuana is such a recent addition to field of health care, Dr. Foster is also committed to developing, conducting, and disseminating research that will assist the nursing profession in understanding their roles and responsibilities associated with the usage of this therapeutic medicinal plant. She currently serves as Secretary and Regional Director of ACNA.  Dr. Foster chairs the ACNA Education and Research Committee and the Social Media and Communications Committee.


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