Member-at-Large Candidates

A member at-large's duties include ensuring effective and accountable governance, providing responsible oversight of the association, demonstrating competent and accountable leadership, and ensuring leadership continuity. Full Description


Celeste M. Johnson, DNP, APRN, PMH CNS


Celeste M. JohnsonPresent Position
Vice President of Nursing, Behavioral Health, Parkland Health and Hospital System, Dallas, Texas

2014 DNP, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas; 1991 MSN, PMH CNS The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas; 1974 BSN, Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA


APNA Contributions

  • APNA member since 2008
  • Presented at the APNA Annual Conference 2009, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016 and abstract accepted for 2017
  • APNA Board of Directors Member-at-Large 2015—Present
  • APNA Texas Chapter President, 2010-2013, revitalized dormant chapter
  • APNA Texas Chapter Board, 2010-2015
  • Recovery to Practice (RTP) facilitator
  • PI and Project Director for APNA Texas Chapter RTP coordination/dissemination grant funded by the Hogg Foundation of Mental Health at UT Austin (2015-2019)
  • Past member of Recovery Council Steering Committee and Research Council Steering Committee


Other Experience

  • 40 years of experience as PMH nurse, APRN, educator, administrator, consultant, and EBP translator
  • Chair, Mental Health Node Expert Reference Group, The Joanna Briggs Institute, Adelaide, Australia 2013-present
  • Co-lead for Universal Suicide Risk Screening program in a large safety net health system; recognized nationally for this program; cited in the TJC Sentinel Event Alert; have screened greater than 1.2 million encounters
  • HHSC Texas Behavioral Health Advisory Committee 2016-2019
  • Texas Hospital Association Behavioral Health Council 2017-present
  • Dallas County Behavioral Health Leadership Team
  • Sigma Theta Tau  member
  • ANA/TNA member
  • Past president, Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nurses (ACAPN), now part of ISPN
  • Past board member, TNA District 4; finance committee TNA (2013-2015)
  • Past member, Dallas County Youth Services Advisory Board

APNA Members Should Vote for Me Because:  As a member of APNA, APNA Texas, and the psychiatric nursing community, I demonstrate leadership, service, innovation, collaboration, and advocacy for the organization, its members, and most importantly, the patients and families we serve. I would like the opportunity to continue advancing APNA purposes at a national level as a member-at-large. My experience as chair of an international, inter-professional Mental Health Expert Reference Group has provided me with a world view of mental health that I would share with the APNA board. My experiences with state policy development and coordinating an RTP dissemination grant will contribute to APNA’s mission and goals of advocacy and education.

How I Can Help Fulfill APNA’s Purpose As A Scientific and Education Organization:  If elected to the national board, I will bring my experiences with innovative, evidence-based practices; education; inter-professional collaboration; policy development, and advocacy to the table to ensure that APNA continues to effectively address its purposes of education, research, and advocacy. I also plan to share the work that APNA Texas in collaboration with APNA national, is doing with the RTP dissemination grant. This project can be a model for future state dissemination grants.

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Sara Jones, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC

Sara JonesPresent Position
Assistant Professor, Specialty Coordinator, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Program, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), College of Nursing

2013 Post-MNSc, PMHNP certification, UAMS; 2010 PhD (Nursing), UAMS; 2005 BSN, UAMS; 2003 Minor, Psychology, Kent State University


APNA Contributions

  • APNA member since 2013
  • President, APNA, Arkansas chapter: 2013-present; responsible for initiating chapter in 2013
  • Associate Chair, Annual Conference Scholarly Review committee, 2017
  • Participant, APNA Annual Strategic Planning, 2017
  • Presenter, APNA Annual Conferences, 2015-2017
  • Member: Telepsychiatry Task Force: August 2016-present; Co-author of Telemental Health: Opportunities and Obstacles, submitted for publication in JAPNA
  • JAPNA Editorial Board, 2015-present
  • Member: Child & Adolescent Council Steering Committee, APRN Council, Forensic Council


Other Experience

  • Educator: Faculty member at UAMS since 2009; Specialty Coordinator of the PMHNP program since 2013
  • Researcher: Research assistant, 2004-2010. Since receiving my PhD in 2010, I have been active in research with grant support from: the UAMS Translational Research Institute (2014, $50,00 pilot award), ISPN Foundation: Joyce Fitzpatrick Psychiatric Nursing Research Grant (2017), and Sigma Theta Tau International, small grant award (2017)
  • Practitioner: Contracted PMHNP since 2013: I currently practice part-time at a community mental health clinic. 2005-2012: RN/charge nurse at a local inpatient psychiatric hospital
  • Service: PMHNP services at the UAMS 12th Street Clinic, a free, interprofessional, student-led clinic for homeless and uninsured/underinsured individuals (2015-present)

APNA Members Should Vote for Me Because:  I have productively contributed to the mission of the APNA and development of the Arkansas chapter since 2013. I have served as president since inauguration of the chapter, facilitated 3 successful state conferences, and seen membership increase by over 50%. I have committed myself to teaching the next generation of psychiatric nurse practitioners to provide culturally competent, evidence-based care throughout the lifespan. I strive to be a voice for psychiatric nurses throughout the state and nation, and motivate my students and colleagues to do the same. Concurrently, I strive to expand my practice and service as a PMHNP, which includes serving as the only mental healthcare prescriber at the UAMS 12th Street Clinic. At the clinic, there are students from multiple disciplines, including medicine and pharmacy, that get to observe the role and leadership of a nurse practitioner. Additionally, my growing role in nursing leadership is demonstrated by being an inaugural recipient of both the 40 Under 40 (2015) and Top 100 Nurses (2017) awards in Arkansas.

How I Can Help Fulfill APNA’s Purpose As A Scientific and Education Organization:  When people ask what I do for a living, first and foremost I AM A PSYCHIATRIC NURSE because I believe that having heart of a psychiatric nurse drives all that I do. Further, I feel strongly in APNA’s current vision to establish that Whole Health Begins with Mental Health. After having the privilege to attend APNA’s Strategic Planning Meeting this year (2017), the Arkansas chapter has already planned meetings to align with this mission, including Yoga for Mental Health Professionals: A Day for Self-care. If elected as Member-at-Large, I will continue to champion evidence-based psychiatric nursing ant the mission of APNA in education, practice, research, and service in order to meet the diverse needs of all APNA members.

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