APNA News: The Psychiatric Nursing Voice
Sizzling summer greetings from your Board of Directors!! I would like to take this opportunity to orient both new and old members to the inner workings ofthe APNA Board of Directors (BOD). Our 100% commitment to you as members is that your BOD and National Office staff are conducting daily business in a manner that is transparent and reflective of the needs and wishes of our membership. First and foremost, careful attention is paid to the financial status and bottom line of our organization. Members can rest assured that the APNA is weathering the challenges that the world wide economy presents all of us. In combination with our growing membership and attention to spending, APNA’s fund balance is now in the 7 digits. This enables us to fund new initiatives and expand existing programs without a need to increase dues. This is due primarily to the dedication of you as members in your commitment to sustaining your membership as well as recruiting new members. Our efforts to be as green as possible along with being frugal in all expenditures allow us to keep our dues rates level while at the same time adding additional member benefits. The new Member Bridge Program is allowing our membership to reach out to one another, ask questions, and share expertise. Our watchful eye on our financial affairs enabled us to reduce the registration fee for this year’s CPI and maintain the Annual Conference registration fees at last year’s levels. We are excited to give you the full financial report at our Annual Conference which is only 3 ½ months away!
The Board of Directors meets 3 times a year in face-to-face meetings: in October for one day at the Annual Conference, in February for two days during which the strategic plan is thoughtfully reviewed and updated, and in June for two days prior to the annual Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute. In between those meetings are monthly conference calls that are augmented with additional calls as needed. The 9 members of the board dedicate many hours to fulfilling the mission, objectives, and goals of the APNA.
A few of the highlights from the last three months:
1. Institutes, Councils, and Task Forces
• The finishing touches are being given to the development of the Child/Adolescent Council with a call to the membership soon to happen—stay tuned!
• Discussion on reactivating the Uniformed Services Council has begun—we anticipate reaching out via Member Bridge to elicit interest as well as reaching out to those members who have already identified themselves as members of the military. We anticipate that anyone interested in the needs of our active military and veterans will be welcome to join this council.
• A survey recently went out to members about current PMH involvement in integrated care settings. The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has a new emphasis on co-located care (psychiatric services provided in primary care settings and primary care services provided in psychiatric settings). The APNA feels an obligation to take leadership in this endeavor so we are prepared when asked for input at the federal level on policy matters.
• Discussion on development of ‘rapid response teams’ within each council and task force. Recently the National Office received a call at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon for participation in a conference call with the Senate Oversight Committee regarding the use of psychotropic medications in nursing homes. We were able to find a most qualified member and your APNA provided invaluable information and resources to this important government committee—stay tuned!
• The RN-PMH Council is now operational under the direction of Jolie Gordon-Browar as Chair and Jim Shearer as Co-Chair. Congratulations to you both for stepping forward and offering your time and talent.
2. Responding to Member Bridge
• Staff have been busy collating the comments coming in from Member Bridge—to date 7 priorities have been identified and shared with the appropriate councils such as the Institute for Safe Environments, the APRN Council, and the RN-PMH Council
i. DNP Programs
ii. CNS vs. NP: Role and functions
iii. Career, education, and certification advice
iv. Going Paperless—the use of electronic medical records (EMR) and using the computer during the psychiatric nurse’s interview. (This was of high importance to the board.)
v. Patient assault on peers or staff
vi. Mental health and the medical-surgical setting
vii. Alternatives to seclusion and restraint
3. International Outreach
• One of the Board Members initiated a discussion on reaching out to potential international members. We are now in the process of determining the best way to accomplish this important endeavor.
4. Strategic Plan
• Watch the All-Purpose Discussion Forum for an announcement on the revised strategic plan. Because of our involvement with the ANA and the National Quality Forum, we will be addressing Quality and Safety in the revisions.
5. Involvement with Division of Nursing of HRSA (Health Resources Services Administration)
• In June a member called our attention to a recent notification of scholarship and grant monies available to schools of nursing for the education of primary care nurse practitioners. It was noted that all specialties were named with the exception of psychiatric nurse practitioners. With information provided by the APNA central office and the diligence of members in ongoing conversations with HRSA, the Director of the Division of Nursing was able to amend the announcement and psychiatric nurse practitioners are now identified in the list of primary care providers eligible for new educational grants and scholarships.
6. LACE-Licensure, Accreditation, Certification, and Education
• This task force is diligently developing a detailed report of their work—recommendations to the board will be forthcoming. Stay tuned!