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APNA Competency Based Training for Suicide Prevention: PMH Nurse Generalists

Become a card-carrying APNA Suicide Prevention Provider!

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Learn to systematically apply the first suicide prevention competencies developed for psychiatric-mental health nurse generalists to your practice! This live* interactive training, presented by a facilitator with expertise in suicide prevention, will increase your confidence and competence in the nursing skills of suicide assessment, management and prevention. Get evidence-based nursing knowledge and best practices from this content developed to improve the knowledge, attitudes, skills and critical thinking of psychiatric-mental health nurses caring for persons at risk for suicide.

Target Audience: Generalist nurses who care for persons with mental health disorders in an inpatient setting.

Nursing Continuing Professional Development (Continuing Education)

Participants who complete all of the training requirements will be able to earn 7.0 contact hours. See the Nursing Continuing Professional Development page for more information.

Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Discuss the phenomenology of suicide.
  2. Describe risk and protective factors related to suicide.
  3. Demonstrate self-awareness of emotional reactions, attitudes, and beliefs related to previous experiences with suicide.
  4. Perform a suicide risk assessment.
  5. Develop a collaborative safety plan with the patient/family.
  6. Perform an environmental safety assessment.

Program Overview

Participants who register and complete all requirements of the full training (see below) receive:

  • 7.0 Continuing Nursing Professional Development Contact Hours: 1 Certificate for 7.0 contact hours
  • Participant Workbook: Includes notes, worksheets, a glossary, and more.
  • Suicide Prevention Provider Card: Serves as proof of successful completion of the training and passing of skills assessment. Valid for 3 years.

Training Schedule

  • Introductions
  • Phenomenon of Suicide (Competency 1)
    • Epidemiology
    • Terminology
  • Legal & Ethical Issues (Competencies 8 & 9)
    • Legal duty
    • Ethical decision making
  • Self-awareness (Competency 2)
  • Break
  • Comprehensive Assessment (Competencies 3, 4 & 5)
    • Therapeutic Relationship
    • Mental health assessment including mental status exam
    • Risk formulation
    • Documentation
  • Class Activity — Assess and document level of risk
  • Video 1:  Exemplar of a focused assessment
  • Lunch Break
  • Class Activity – Perform and Document Focused Assessment
  • Plan of care (Competency 6)
  • Video 2:  Developing a safety plan & discussion
  • Class Activity – Developing a safety plan
  • Break
  • Video 3: Updating the safety plan at discharge discussion
  • Environmental Management (Competency 7)
    • Environmental hazards
    • Environmental interventions
  • Review & Wrap Up
Required Post-Training
  • Post-Training Self-Assessment
  • Overall Evaluation
  • NCPD Certificate

If you are interested in learning about training opportunities near you, or bringing a training to your organization, please contact

A note about safety: APNA recommends strict compliance with state/local and national recommendations, including the Centers for Disease Control, for safety and distancing measures for in-person events, which may include 6 ft of separation between participants and/or wearing masks. Please contact the facility where your training is being held for specific requirements, or your state department of health for local guidance. National guidance can be found here.

For more information on how to register for these workshops, please contact APNA at or 855-863-APNA (2762).

Please email for information about bringing a training to your area or institution

APNA reserves the right to make program changes as necessary, and the right to cancel trainings if minimum enrollment has not been met, or events occur beyond the reasonable control of APNA.