Nominating Committee Candidates

The principle task of the Nominating Committee is selecting a slate of candidates for the Annual APNA Election and to oversee the electoral process. Full Description


Brenda Kucirka, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, CNE
Diana McIntosh, PhD, APRN, PMHCNS-BC
Olimpia Paun, PhD, PMHCNS-BC
Kerry Peterson, PhD, DNP, PMHCNS-BC, PMHNP-BC
Carole A. Shea PhD, RN, FAAN

Brenda Kucirka, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, CNE

Brenda Kucirka

Present Position
Assistant Professor Widener University School of Nursing, Chester PA

2013    PhD - Widener University, Chester, Pennsylvania
1998     MSN - University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
1995 BSN - Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann University , Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
1981     Diploma - St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

APNA Contributions

  • 2016 - Associate Chair Scholarly Review Committee
  • 2015 - Associate Chair in training Scholarly Review Committee
  • 2009- present - Scholarly Review Committee member
  • 2009- present - Annual Conference Awards and Recognition Committee member
  • 2013 - present - APNA Pennsylvania Chapter Chair of the Education Committee
  • 2007- present - APNA, Undergraduate Education Council, member
  • I am a contributing faculty working on the Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing (PMH) Skills in Undergraduate Nursing Education: APNA UG Education Council Crosswalk Toolkit. I have co facilitated pre conference workshops on undergraduate education (simulation and the UG crosswalk toolkit). I have also presented research on student mental health and boundary issues in academia at the local and national level.
  • Volunteered at National conferences

Other Experience
I have 34 years of psychiatric mental health nursing experience across the continuum of care. I worked as a CNS, nurse educator, and staff nurse. I currently teach PMH nursing in the university setting. In addition to teaching, I provide psychotherapy to men in recovery in a local shelter and recovery program. I am a board member for Providence House Clubhouse and NAMI PA Main Line. I also volunteer at SCI Chester teaching decision making skills to incarcerated men. I am a leader in my university and community who is passionate and actively involved in addressing issues of social justice and advocacy to promote optimal levels of functioning in the community and empowering vulnerable and marginalized populations.

APNA Members Should Vote for Me Because: I am committed to serving the organization and upholding the values of the APNA. I will bring integrity and intention to promoting the mission of the organization through my work on the Nominating Committee. I will seek to identify candidates who are leaders in PMH nursing who share the mission, vision and values of APNA. I welcome the opportunity to be involved in bringing forward candidates who are leaders and those who  will engage, inspire and empower nurses at all levels of practice.

How I Can Help Fulfill APNA’s Purpose As A Scientific and Education Organization:  As an educator and researcher, I am acutely aware of the need to advance the science of nursing through research and dissemination of findings.  I will seek to identify leaders who support the purpose of APNA as an educational and scientific organization. I will work diligently to uphold APNA’s commitment to stewardship, advocacy and service to individuals, families and the community to increase awareness and services to promote mental health through education and research. 

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Diana McIntosh, PhD, APRN, PMHCNS-BC

Diana McIntosh

Present Position
Associate Professor, College of Nursing
Coordinator, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Post Master’s Certificate Program
University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
APRN with prescriptive authority, Alternative Interventions for Women Program, Central/Court Clinic, Cincinnati, Ohio


1976   BSN College of Mt. St. Joseph on the Ohio,    Department of Nursing, Mt. St. Joseph, Ohio
1978   MSN  Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
2003 PhD  Psychiatric Nursing/Research, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio

APNA Contributions

  • APNA Member for 17 years
  • Presenter at APNA National Conferences
  • Served on  APNA Scholarly Review Committee
  • Reviewer of APNA eLearning continuing education

Other Experience
I am a psychiatric mental health nurse with over 38 years of experience in a variety of roles: staff nurse, therapist, APRN, faculty, researcher, administrator, consultant and active member of professional organizations. I am currently faculty and coordinator of a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner post master’s certificate program. I have taught undergraduate and graduate level students from multiple disciplines, medicine, psychology, social work, counseling and primarily nursing. I am an advanced practice nurse with prescriptive authority and have skills in therapy and medication management. I currently practice part time at a program for women with mental illness, substance use disorder and criminal justice involvement. I have administered a program for severely mentally ill adults and one that was an access point for persons to access mental health treatment. I was Vice President of Clinical Services for a county board who funded mental health programs. I have experience in obtaining program and research grants.

APNA Members Should Vote for Me Because: I am proud to be a psychiatric mental health nurse. I welcome the opportunity to help facilitate an APNA slate of candidates that members would be proud to have represent and lead them. My leadership style is an inclusive one. I believe the best leaders are guided by the voices of the ones they are privileged to lead. I have a strength in being objective and thinking of what is best for an organization and its members. If elected to the nominating committee, I would use these strengths to put forth strong candidates that would be inclusive of APNA, support APNA’s vision and facilitate professional advancement.

How I Can Help Fulfill APNA’s Purpose As A Scientific and Education Organization:  If elected to the Nominating Committee, I can help fulfill APNA’s purpose as a scientific and education organization by advocating that our slate of candidates have the abilities to advocate, collaborate, empower others, as well as be transparent, collegial, and good stewards of the organization.  I would also encourage the Committee to look for candidates who were passionate about advancing the vision and purpose of APNA.

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Olimpia Paun, PhD, PMHCNS-BC

Olimpia PaunPresent Position
Associate Professor at Rush University College of Nursing in the Department of Community, Systems, and Mental Health - Chicago, Illinois

2004-2006 Claire Fagin Postdoctoral Fellow, John A. Hartford Foundation
2000 PhD, Nursing Science, University of Illinois at Chicago
1994 MSN, Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago
1990 BSN, University of Oklahoma College of Nursing
1979 MLA, French/ Education, University of Bucharest, Romania

APNA Contributions
Member since 2010
Member, Research Council
Secretary, Illinois Chapter since 2015

Other Experience
As a psychiatric nurse for over 25 years, my focus remains on the mental health needs of older adults and their families. My inpatient and community-based clinical experiences have informed my research questions and my classroom and clinical teaching. For the past 15 years I have secured college, regional and federal funding to explore and test interventions designed to improve dementia family caregivers’ mental health outcomes. My Chronic Grief Management intervention yielded a significant reduction in the emotional burden of caregivers who placed family members with dementia in long-term care. As an educator, I am dedicated to instilling a passion for mental health nursing in our pre licensure students and to foster growth in our psychiatric mental health specialty graduate students.

APNA Members Should Vote for Me Because: APNA members should vote for me because I am honest, fair, organized, and detail oriented. In addition, I strongly believe in promoting diversity and inclusion as a way to enrich an organization’s environment. As a team member I use creative thinking to solve problems and create consensus. I would be honored to be elected.

How I Can Help Fulfill APNA’s Purpose As A Scientific and Education Organization:  As an advance practice psychiatric nurse, educator, and researcher, I am invested in the continuous growth of APNA as a professional organization that attracts psychiatric nurses at all levels of practice. In particular, I am extremely passionate about mentoring novice psychiatric nurses, so they can continue the rich tradition of our national organization. 

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Kerry Peterson, PhD, DNP, PMHCNS-BC, PMHNP-BC

Kerry PetersonPresent Position
Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS)
Option Coordinator for MSN Nursing Education and PMHNP tracks
PMHNP at the UCCS Wellness Center

2014- PhD Nursing, Johns Hopkins University
2011- DNP Shenandoah University
2007- MSN Shenandoah University
2005- BSN Shenandoah University
2003- BA Psychology, University of Colorado
Certifications: Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist (PMHCNS) and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

APNA Contributions

  • President-Elect for the APNA-Colorado Chapter (Current)
  • Secretary APNA-Colorado Chapter (2014-2016)
  • APNA Recovery to Practice Facilitator Training (2015)
  • Presenter Acute Care Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses: Preparing for Recovery Oriented Practice (2015)
  • Member of APNA Conference Interactive Panel: Change the World Through Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Research (2013)
  • American Psychiatric Nursing Foundation research grant recipient (2013, with several subsequent presentations for research dissemination)
  • APNA Janssen Student Scholar (2011)

Other Experience
I am actively involved in psychiatric-mental health nursing education (as a faculty member, preceptor, and consultant), practice (as a PMHCNS and PMHNP), and research (on prevention of violence and mental illness). I have over 10 years of experience in mental health nursing in a variety of settings including psychiatric inpatient, outpatient, residential, community, home, and campus health.

APNA Members Should Vote for Me Because:  I am passionate about mental health and want to be actively involved with APNA in a leadership position so that I can advocate for people with mental illness and promote our wonderful mental health nursing profession. I believe that my education, experience, and enthusiasm make me a great candidate for the Nominating Committee so that I can help to ensure we continue to have excellent leaders on our future APNA Board of Directors. I would be honored to be a member of the APNA Nominating Committee and have the opportunity to work collaboratively with my psychiatric mental health nursing colleagues to promote best practices as well as innovative positive change in our field.

How I Can Help Fulfill APNA’s Purpose As A Scientific and Education Organization:  I can help to fulfill APNA’s purpose as a scientific and educational organization through my experience as an educator, researcher, and practitioner as well as by working collaboratively with APNA members and the APNA leadership team. I understand the importance of APNA’s mission, and I am happy to invest my time and effort to achieve the goals of our organization. 

Carole A. Shea, PhD, RN, FAAN

Carole SheaPresent Position
Adjunct Faculty, Egan School of Nursing, Fairfield University
Professor Emerita, California State University-Dominguez Hills
CNS Consultation and Education

Bergen Community College, AAS in Nursing
William Paterson University, Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Rutgers, the State University, MS in Advanced Psychiatric Nursing
Rutgers, the State University, PhD in Sociology
Allied Health Professions Fellowship, Arthritis Foundation
Certificate Program in Alcohol Studies, Institute for Alcohol Policy and Training, Boston University
Psychiatric Nursing Faculty Internship, National Institutes of Health
Certificate Program, Management for Women in Higher Education, Wellesley College

APNA Contributions

  • APNA Graduate Education Committee, Co-Chair, 2009-present
  • APNF, Founding Member and Vice President, 1999-2001
  • APNA Continuing Education Task Force, Chair, 1995-1996
  • APNA National Conference Program Committee, Chair, 1994-1995
  • JAPNA Editorial Board, Member, 1994-2009
  • APNA President-Elect, President, Past President, 1989-1993

Other Experience

  • American Academy of Nursing, Psychiatric Mental Health & Substance Abuse Expert Panel
  • Association of California Nurse Leaders, elected Board of Directors, Education Liaison Member
  • California Association of Colleges of Nursing, Treasurer, and Secretary\STTI Xi Theta Chapter, Board of Directors, Secretary
  • Chief Editor and Author of Advanced Practice Nursing in Psychiatric-Mental Health Care
  • Director, School of Nursing, California State Univ - Dominguez Hills
  • Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Bouve College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University
  • Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Graduate Director, College of Nursing, Northeastern University
  • Chair of Doctoral Program, School of Nursing, Boston University
  • Chair of Master’s Program, School of Nursing, Boston University
  • Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, Rutgers, the State University
  • Group Counselor, Human Relations Methods
  • Staff Nurse and Counselor, Msgr. Wall Social Service Center

APNA Members Should Vote for Me Because: My experience with APNA as a former President and service as Committee Chairs has been the most influential force in my professional life. Having the opportunity to serve on the APNA Board prepared me for career advancement as an educator and academic administrator. Perhaps more importantly, it provided the opportunity to meet colleagues and important leaders who shared my passion for psychiatric nursing and mental health care. I want to share this fabulous learning opportunity with other members. APNA has grown by leaps and bounds and now needs dynamic, forward-thinking leaders who are committed to working collaboratively to advance its mission and goals. As a Nominating Committee member, I am prepared to make connections with other members who will contribute their expertise to continue APNA’s strong advocacy in mental health care and policy on behalf of those we serve, our cutting-edge education programs, and our nursing specialty.

How I Can Help Fulfill APNA’s Purpose As A Scientific and Education Organization:  I share the aspirations and values of APNA, demonstrated by my continuing active membership over 25 years+. By virtue of my involvement in several nursing organizations, and employment in different areas of the country, I am in touch with many psychiatric nurses who are making important contributions to the field. My intent is to recruit them to devote their talents to APNA.

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.