Minnesota
2010 Award for Innovation ~ Chapter

“I want to be an advocate for those with mental health, behavioral, and chemical dependency issues,” wrote Arkady Millard, this year's recipient of the Minnesota Chapter’s Student Scholarship. “I want to create awareness of these issues that many individuals face, and break down the barriers that exist that prevent them from seeking treatment.”


Members at their Chapter Meeting

In order to encourage nursing students to enter the field of psychiatric nursing, the Minnesota Chapter recently instituted a yearly scholarship to its annual conference. The idea to provide a scholarship to nursing students committed to psychiatric nursing was initially suggested by a member of the chapter and then “adopted enthusiastically by the membership as a whole,” Chapter President Judy Sateren says. The chapter established a committee of four to develop criteria and review the candidates and got the word out by notifying the Directors of all four-year nursing programs in the state of the scholarship.


Sateren with Millard

They received a great response—twelve highly qualified candidates! The applicants each submitted an essay detailing their interest in psychiatric nursing and how attending the Minnesota Chapter’s Annual Conference would impact the applicant’s future practice. The lucky recipient chosen, Millard, was honored at the chapter’s annual conference, which she attended free of charge. Millard has since become involved in APNA at the national level as an APNA Janssen Student Scholar, a testament not only to her dedication to psychiatric nursing, but also to the efficacy of the chapter’s scholarship.

The 148 members strive to keep the chapter vibrant and dynamic. This scholarship is just one example of the chapter’s commitment to increasing the psychiatric nursing workforce—in a previous project, the chapter worked to connect psychiatric nurse mentors with current undergraduate students. “[We have] a core of highly committed members who have worked hard to keep the chapter active and meaningful,” Sateren says. Spread across the state, they use frequent conference calls, on-site meetings throughout the year, not to mention their annual conference which is “based on the educational interests and needs of the membership” to stay connected. The chapter is working on fleshing out the application process for next year, adding new criteria and rating systems. Not satisfied with offering just one scholarship, the chapter is currently upping the ante by considering awarding two annual scholarships in the future!