Rationale: Undergraduate Education Faculty Toolkit

The Undergraduate Branch of the APNA Education Council was given permission by the APNA Board of Directors to conduct a survey, in two parts. First they asked about the placement and content of psychiatric-mental health (PMH) nursing within nursing curricula. They then asked if the faculty responsible for teaching the content was credentialed/specialized in PMH nursing. The results of the two surveys ascertained current trends in PMH education and examined the integration of PMH skills within the nursing curriculum. The first part of the survey collected data from members of the Undergraduate Branch (n=105) identifying the sequence and teaching of PMH nursing content within their curriculum. The second part was a national survey of PMH curricula and faculty, as reported by the academic institutions themselves, using a stratified sampling process to gather a representative sample in each state. The summarized data provided a snap shot of the current situation.

The APNA Board of Director’s charge dovetailed nicely into the ongoing work of the Undergraduate Branch. The results of the national survey made it clear that the PMH skills expected of undergraduate nurses need to be identified and catalogued. A toolkit of PMH teaching strategies would assist all teachers, regardless of specialty preparation, to teach PMH content.  The membership at recent APNA conferences had expressed a need for a skills toolkit to accompany a “checklist” of skills for nursing students, and for there to be some form of national standardization of teaching of PMH content.  The Undergraduate Branch of the Educational Council assumed leadership for developing these resources. With the potential dilution of PMH content in nursing curriculum as identified in the national survey, APNA members were keen to highlight and preserve the PMH skills necessary for undergraduate nursing students and to provide a repository of ideas and resources for teachers on how to provide students with these skills. This project is meant to provide concrete examples and suggestions for educators, rather than a complete curriculum or a theory. It should continue as a living document, with revisions and additions periodically to keep it rich, accurate, and up to date.


Websites and YouTube video resources do not belong to APNA and are subject to change without warning. They may not continue to be available.

APNA does not endorse any specific movie or program over another. The suggested resources were selected by the faculty as useful to teaching the content, but are not an exclusive list.

The Appendices were submitted by the faculty and are available for reproduction and/or use.

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