APNA News: The Psychiatric Nursing Voice

A Message from the President

Mary E. Johnson, PhD, RN

July 2009

Since it sometimes seems we hear nothing but bad news, I thought I would tell you about some of the exciting happenings in our organization.

Thanks to all of you who responded to our survey asking what you wanted from and valued in APNA. We received a wide range of responses, which fell into the following categories: networking, education and advocacy.

You saw APNA as a great avenue for meeting and sharing ideas. APNA’s important role in networking confirmed our plans to continue offering traditional formats for networking (e.g., the annual conference, Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute, chapters and task forces). These findings, however, also confirmed the need to explore technology to enhance networking.

You wrote that you expected APNA to be a repository for cutting-edge information. Despite my love for face-to-face meetings, we know that time and finances prohibit some members from attending our offerings. Your survey responses confirmed the need to explore how we can use technology to enhance education, so watch for educational opportunities via the Internet as well.

APNA, you said, should be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. This year, we’ve developed an infrastructure for two important institutes, for mental health advocacy and safe environments. Both will offer APNA members an avenue to become involved in advocacy, policymaking and continuing education. I am especially excited that more than 200 APNA members have signed on to these two institutes. We will keep you apprised of their developments.

From a Board perspective, your responses were invaluable when we met in February to develop a strategic plan. The Board will meet again in June to approve it. Then, we are determined not to keep it in a dusty corner of the Web site, but to make it a driving force. Clearly, resources are limited, so decisions on where to invest members’ valuable time, energy, and finances need to be focused strategically.

Another major APNA initiative has been the APRN Consensus Workgroup. APNA has endorsed its product, The Consensus Model for APRN Regulation (also known as the Joint Dialogue Report), and a copy is posted on our Web site. This document, endorsed by more than 43 nursing organizations, outlines the vision of a model that is expected to be applied by 2015.

It is important for you to know that putting the model into practice is in pre-infancy. APNA leadership will continue to be involved in discussions; you, too, can get participate. First, if you are involved in nursing education, are an APRN or aspire to become a nursing educator or an APRN, you might want to read the Joint Dialogue Report. We have offered webinars to help members understand the model's evolution, our rationale behind decisions, the final model, and our decision to endorse the model. APNA plans to conduct at least one more webinar and to tape it for your convenience.

Secondly, some concerns about this model we already know and some we do not. We will be eliciting your views regarding barriers to carrying out this model. Finally, we expect that the Education Council will be an important vehicle for identifying and addressing issues and concerns. The Board is in the process of redefining the infrastructure for the Education Council, so once that is final, watch for opportunities to shape the realization of the Consensus Model.

From my perspective, this is an exciting time. APNA is growing, our influence is expanding, and we are engaging in activities that will influence psychiatric mental health nursing. The continuing challenge is to balance our resources with the many needs and opportunities that present themselves.

Sometimes you will feel that we got it right; at other times you may feel that we missed the boat. We always welcome your input and lively dialogues. As a Board, we are fully committed to the belief that APNA is only as good as the involvement of our diverse membership.


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