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

Six candidates for three seats:

Vanessa Barlow Vanessa Barlow, MBA, BSN, RN

Present Position

Charge Nurse Supervisor
Children’s of Alabama, Birmingham, AL

  • 2007 MBA Healthcare Administration University of Phoenix – Phoenix, AZ
  • 1992 BSN Troy University – Montgomery,  AL
  • 1983 AND Troy University – Montgomery, AL
APNA Contributions
  • APNA member since 2005
  • APNA Alabama Chapter Charter Member
  • APNA Alabama Chapter Board Member serving as Secretary 2005 – Present (When reactivated, I was elected to the same office)
  • Assisted with revitalization of the APNA Alabama Chapter
Other Experience
  • 44 years in healthcare with 36 of those being an RN and the last 22 years being in psychiatry. 
  • Coordinator/planner and CE provider for the Annual Mental Health Awareness Conference hosted by the inpatient child/adolescent psychiatry department at Children’s of Alabama for the past 5 years.
  • Nurse Excellence Nominee at Children’s of Alabama 2017 and 2018.
  • National Outreach Services Manager of Maria Regina Foundation – healthcare missionary work in the Alabama Black Belt counties and in Abor, Nigeria.
  • Advisory Board Member Concordia College of Alabama 2016 – 2018
  • Active member of Sigma Theta Tau honor society (Chi Alpha Chapter) – Charter member
  • Active member of ANA (past delegate)
  • Active member of the Alabama State Nurses Association (ASNA) – Vice President 2005 – 2009
  • ASNA District 3 – Vice President 2014 – 2018
  • Charter Member Central Alabama Society Pediatric Nurses (CA-SPN)
  • Active charter member of Sigma Eta Chapter of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. serving as recording secretary 2014-2018
  • SE Regional recording Secretary for Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. 2016 – 2018

APNA Members Should Vote for Me Because:  I have a true passion for the practice of psychiatric nursing and commitment to reduction of stigma associated with mental illness. It is my desire to play an active role in the identification of future leaders that will continue the promotion of mental health without stigma and advocate vigorously for the rights and fair treatment of the population we serve. I believe this to be in line with the purpose of APNA “providing leadership to promote psychiatric-mental health nurses, improve mental health care for culturally diverse individuals and shape health policy for the delivery of mental health services” by having a seat at the table.

How I Can Help Fulfill APNA’s Purpose As A Scientific and Education Organization:  I am an active participant in quality improvement as it relates to child/adolescent psychiatry and am always seeking best practices in order to assure quality care delivery. The most recent effort is related to restraint/seclusion reduction/elimination through the use of a de-escalation team (hands off) that is activated prior to the rapid response team (hands on). I participate in research studies as they relate to psychiatry and believe that through this participation I would have relevant input to the organization and would assist in dissemination of the evidence of best practices as it relates to the mentally ill clients we serve. I would be willing to speak/present both locally and regionally in order to promote understanding and expand community knowledge.



Mary JohnsonMary Johnson, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC FAAN

Present Position
Professor, Assistant Dean, Director of Specialty Education , Rush University College of Nursing, Chicago, IL

1997  PhD  Loyola University Chicago
1984  MS   University of Illinois Chicago, Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
1973  BSN  Loyola University Chicago

APNA Contributions
  • 1999 - 2002  Member of the Seclusion and Restraint Task Force
  • 2001 – 2002  Member of the Staffing Inpatient Units Task Force
  • 2001 – 2005  Elected APNA Board of Directors: Secretary and Director of the Division of Communication
  • 2004  Appointed Board representative on the Nominating Committee
  • 2004 – 2010  Member of the Scholarly Review Committee
  • 2006 -  2007  Chair of the Scholarly Review Committee
  • 2007 – 2010  Elected to APNA Board of Directors: President-elect, President and Immediate Past President
  • 2010 – 2014  Reviewer for Janssen Scholarship for APNA
  • 2011  Guest Co-editor for Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (JAPNA)
  • 2013  Member of the Awards Committee for APNA
  • 2014 – 2016  Chair of the Scholarly Review Committee
  • 2017 to present  Member of Editorial Board for JAPNA
Other Experience
  • Over 40 years of experience in psychiatric nursing
  • My clinical experience has been on inpatient child, adolescent or adult units
  • Conducted research related to reducing the use of restraint and seclusion and increasing safety on inpatient units
  • Served on the scholarly review committee for the European Congress on Violence in Psychiatry
  • Member of the European Violence in Psychiatry Research Group
  • Member of Sigma Theta Tau
  • Member of ANA
  • Member of Midwest Nursing Research Society
  • Judge and Chair of the Evidence Based Practice Award committee for Sigma Theta Tau
  • Presented at many conferences, including the APNA annual meeting
  • Elected as a Board of Director—Trilogy Behavioral Health in Chicago
  • Elected as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing

APNA Members Should Vote for Me Because:  I believe that a strong organization requires strong and diverse leadership. Having served on the APNA Board for a total of seven years, I think I have a good understanding of the qualities it takes to be an effective leader and member of the APNA Board. I also know that increasing diversity and attracting emerging leaders is important for the future of the organization.

My primary leadership style is collaborative. As a member of the nominating committee, I think it is important to listen to different opinions and try to gain consensus; however, there are times when difficult decisions need to be made for the good of the whole. I believe I’ve demonstrated that I can do both—listen and make difficult decisions.

How I Can Help Fulfill APNA’s Purpose As A Scientific and Education Organization:  If elected to the nominating committee, I think my 20 years of experience as a member of APNA and my involvement in many aspects of the organization will contribute to recruiting highly qualified candidates for open positions. Recruiting active members and emerging leaders from practice, research and education will ensure that the organization achieves its mission and purpose.



Linda MaysLinda Mays, PMHNP-BC

Present Position
Interim Director, Post Masters Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program
Assistant Professor of Clinical, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL


2015: DNP, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
2013: Post Masters Certificate PMHNP-Lifespan- University of Florida
2001: MSN, Duke University, Durham, NC
1999: BSN, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL

APNA Contributions
  • 2017-present:  Member, APNA Education Council - Graduate Branch
  • 2017-2018:     Member, APNA Florida Chapter Nominating Committee
  • 2016-present:  Peer Reviewer, Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association
  • 2016:  Secretary, APNA Florida Chapter, South Florida APRN Council

Other Experience
I have faithfully served as a professional nurse for over 20 years with an emphasis on caring for and treating persons with mental illness, advocating for mental health policy and promoting mental health restoration through the resolution of psychological trauma.

  • 2017-present:  Faculty Lead, Alzheimer’s Association of South Florida
  • 2016-present:  Member, Florida Action Coalition
  • 2016-present:  Member, Tobacco Free Workplace Workgroup, Miami Dade Healthier Consortium
  • 2016-present:  Florida Nurses Foundation Grant and Scholarship Committee member 
  • 2016-present:  FNA General Scholarship Nominating Committee
  • 2013-present   Florida Nurses Association (FNA)/ANA
  • 1999-present:  Sigma member, Beta Tau Chapter

APNA Members Should Vote for Me Because: The nominating committee should be comprised of members that represent diverse backgrounds and experiences. The membership deserves a candidate who has the courage to attract, solicit, evaluate, vet, and screen prospective candidates. I believe I possess those skills.  I can navigate ethical and personal conflicts while fostering inclusion and harmony with poise.  I want to humbly serve as the unrecognized, yet significant member of your leadership team.

How I Can Help Fulfill APNA’s Purpose As A Scientific and Education Organization: If elected, I would use the wealth and depth of my experiences in mental health advocacy to further APNA’s scientific and educational purpose.  Specifically, I would build relationships with current and potential members to inspire leadership opportunities for those who wish to serve the APNA membership.   I believe APNA is the strongest, most vibrant organization of psychiatric nurses in the world.  With over 40 chapters and 11,000 members, we have the potential to impact the lives of the millions of individuals, families and communities we serve through mental health care, public policy and nursing research.  The face of our organization is wide-ranging, i.e. a graduate student looking for a preceptor, a nurse working on a psychiatric unit, an advanced practice nurse treating severely mentally ill patients, a nurse leader advocating for policy change, or a nurse scientist developing an evidence based intervention practice nurse.  My goal is to support your desire to become APNAs leaders of tomorrow so our organization can remain a unified voice for the world of psychiatric nursing.

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