President's Report

It is my pleasure to serve as president of APNA and to present my report that covers the period October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010. During the past year, we have continued to enjoy a member growth. As noted in the Secretary’s Report APNA membership is now nearly 7000 active members. The Treasurer’s Report illustrates our continued financial growth and stability. After having five years of losses in operations, we are posting a second successive year with positive results from operations. The Treasurer’s Report contains a complete set of financial statements.

I have organized this report to highlight the activities of APNA around the various groups or audiences with whom we interact. These are members, nursing organizations, non-nursing organizations or agencies that impact PMHN and our patients and finally a group for which all of our efforts are ultimately geared to serve, consumers.

With regard to our members, the essence of an association is it ability to involve its membership and provide a forum for the exchange of information. Our philosophy is that APNA should be an “organization of professionals” not simply a “professional organization”. With the introduction of the Member Bridge program we are providing such a forum. Member Bridge enables our members to network and communicate freely on all matters of importance to them. The Secretary’s Report contains more information on Member Bridge and other communication methods including our website which are utilized by APNA.

APNA’s greatest strength is its members. The chapter system provides an opportunity for APNA members to connect at the local level. There has been renewed interest in our chapter system. Our system now has 35 individual chapters representing 41 of the 50 states. We’re working with several states to increase this number with the goal of providing every member access to a Chapter. The APNA website has information on each of our individual chapters, which you can access at We extend our appreciation to each of the chapter presidents and their governing boards for their leadership at the local level and for helping to advance PMHN through their grass roots efforts and programs. Board Member-at-large, Gail Stern of Pennsylvania, serves as liaison for the Chapters.

APNA Institutes, Councils, and Task Forces are actively carrying out work on behalf of psychiatric-mental health nursing. We’re pleased that we have added several new councils. The first is actually a revitalized council, the RN-PMH, with co-chairs Jolie Gordon-Browar of California and Jim Shearer of Wyoming. The second is the Child-Adolescent Council that is chaired by Sue Odegarden of Minnesota and will hold its first meeting at the Annual Conference. The third new council is the Administrative Council, which is under the leadership of its co-chairs, Anne Kelly of Minnesota and Avni Cirpili of Tennessee.

APNA convened a special Task Force co-chaired by Mary Ann Boyd of Indiana and Georgia Stevens of Washington, DC to submit a proposal in response to the SAMHSA RFP for the Recovery to Practice initiative. APNA received the award for nursing, while separate contracts were awarded to psychiatry, psychology, social work, and consumer peer specialists.

Overall, there has been a renewed interest in all of the councils and task forces. A complete report of their activities can be found in Appendix A.

Our primary purpose for existing is education and science. Our two largest educational activities, the Annual Conference and the Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute , have both enjoyed record attendance.

The 2010 CPI program had record attendance with over 300 PMH nurses present. The Program Committee, composed of Georgia Stevens (Chair), Mary Ann Boyd, Julie Carbray, Kim Cox, and Barbara Warren, developed an exceptional program that was rated in the excellent category by the vast majority of attendees.

We are very grateful to last year’s conference co-chairs Janet Grossman and Preston Fitzgerald who helped make the event in Charleston, SC an enormous success. We also acknowledge the chair of the Scholarly Review Committee, Edna Hamera. This year’s conference promises to be well attended and our conference chair, Kathy Brotzge, along with her committee has a special event planned for the Friday networking event. The Scholarly Review Committee under the leadership of its chair, Nancy Hanrahan, has worked hard to review a record number of abstract submissions for pre-conference, concurrent, and poster sessions. Appendix B provides more details regarding the conference program and CPI programs.

We are pleased that APNA was successful in its application for funding to continue the APNA Janssen Student Scholarship program. Once again 15 undergraduate and 15 graduate students will receive scholarships to attend the conference. We appreciate the efforts of the Awards & Recognition Committee, chaired by Niki Gjere, who reviewed over 155 applications for the 30 slots.

The Annual Conference and CPI are examples of traditional educational programs. We recognize that budgetary constraints limit the ability of many of our members to attend on-site activities. We are introducing at this year’s conference the Key CD program which enables all attendees to have access to sessions that they were unable to attend while at the conference. Later in the year many of the Annual Conference sessions will be made available to all members through the Online Center for Continuing Education (OCCE). The CPI sessions currently available and offer a great source of contact hours without the need to take time off from work and incur travel expenses. You can learn more at

We are pleased that APNA has been able to successfully obtain funding to provide a new series of Counseling Points. In conjunction with Delaware Media Group, Issue 1 in a series of 3 on the topic of Tobacco Dependence has been delivered in print and online to every APNA member. Congratulations to Daryl Sharp and Susan Blaakman who co-authored the series which carries 1 contact hour per issue at no cost to members.

APNA has an established record of championing the cause of reduced seclusion and restraint. The work of the Task Force on Seclusion and Restraint has been taken up by the Institute for Safe Environments which is co-chaired by Lynn Delacy and Amy Rushton of Virginia. The ISE, through its workgroup on Competency Based Training, will be presenting a 90-minute educational session on Competency Based Training for Conducting the One Hour Face to Face Assessment of a Patient in Restraints or Seclusion. Our thanks to Marlene Nadler-Moodie of California, David Sharp of Louisiana, Jan Adam of Washington, Maria Fisk of Georgia, Karen Taylor of Oklahoma, and Karen Vergano of Pennsylvania.

A cornerstone of APNA educational efforts is our journal, JAPNA. We acknowledge the excellent stewardship of our editor, Karen Stein. The journal’s circulation is growing each year. The reach of the Journal is also growing with 85% of the institutional subscriptions coming from entities outside of the USA.

APNA strives to be a unifying voice in PMHN and to do so the Association must build relationships with other groups. We work within the overall nursing profession to provide authoritative information about our specialty and its role in practice, education, research, and administration. APNA is an active member of the ANA Organizational Affiliates. This provides APNA with a seat on the ANA Congress for Nursing Practice and Economics. Liz Poster of Texas has been APNA’s representative for the past three years. As a member of the Congress Liz kept APNA informed of important activities that affect PMHN and she provided a voice for our specialty within this multispecialty body that studies and comments on issues which affect all of nursing. We thank Liz for her years of service. Mary Moller will replace Liz on the Congress and began a four year term in September 2010.  APNA continues to participate with Nursing Organizational Alliance through attendance at its meetings by the APNA President and President-Elect. NOA is a strong voice within nursing and is made up of more than 50 nursing societies. Involvement in the alliance increases APNA’s visibility in nursing. The relationships that are built through the alliance help APNA advance the views of PMHN. For example, through the alliance we have developed partnerships with the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) to address the problem of holding psychiatric patients in the emergency room.  Our NOA relations led to ANA referring the US Senate Oversight Committee on Aging to APNA for advice on the use of antipsychotics in nursing homes.  APNA members Merrie Kaas of Minnesota, Georgia Stevens of the District of Columbia, and Mary Moller met in teleconference to inform Senate staff by providing explanations and reference material.

APNA lends it voice to coalitions within nursing that seek to advance improvements for nursing in general. We worked routinely with the Nursing Community. This is a coalition of 55 nursing societies that seek to advance improvements in legislation for all health care. APNA has a particular interest in efforts to improve funding for nursing education and has lent its name in support of letters asking Congress to increase Title VIII funding. We acknowledge the efforts of Mary Haack of Maryland who monitors this activity on behalf of APNA.

APNA is an active participant in the LACE (Licensure, Accreditation, Certification and Education) process that has emerged as a result of the “Consensus Model for APRN Regulation for Licensure, Accreditation, Certification and Education”. APNA is represented at the LACE meetings by Barbara Drew of Ohio and Pat Cunningham of Tennessee. Barb and Pat along with Mary Jo Regan-Kobinski of ISPN co-chair the APNA LACE Implementation Task Force. This is a group made up of APNA and ISPN members who are studying the impact of the Consensus Model on PMHN and who will be making recommendations to the boards of APNA and ISPN. The Task Force will provide a report on the direction of their efforts to the APNA membership during the Annual Conference. The task force, with support from APNA, has been seeking input from leadership within ANCC, CCNE, NLNAC and NCSBN. These represent the certification, accreditation and licensure aspects of the model. In terms of education, we are seeking input from AACN, NACNS and NONPF. The manner in which these discussions are taking place is that APNA is taking a lead role in establishing dialogue with the organizations that have an impact on PMHN.

APNA also needs to maintain visibility with non-nursing organizations that impact our specialty. We are an active participant in the Mental Health Liaison Group. Through this group we are able to monitor and sign on to important legislation that impacts mental health. The Institute for Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA), under co-chairs Christine Tebaldi of Massachusetts and Peg Halter of Ohio, reviews information from the MHLG and recommends action for the BOD to take.

The IMHA has developed a network of members who monitor several agencies and organizations that impact PMHN. Here is a list of agencies and members who are working on our behalf to assure that APNA is aware of activities and in position to make timely comments when necessary. We are grateful for their service. The IMHA is eager to hear from any member with an interest in being an agency monitor.

Agency/Organization Focus Area Monitor/Representative
American Association of Colleges of Nursing Legislation Debi Schuhow, PMH,CNS-NP
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Policy George Smith, ARNP,GNP-BC, MSN
American College of Nurse Practitioners Legislation Patricia Jacobowitz, MS,NP
American Medical Association Legislation  Matthew Lindquist, MSN,RN,PMHNP,BC
American Nurses Association Policy Elizabeth Fife, RN,MSN,CNS,CPN
American Nurses Credentialing Center  Policy Debi Schuhow, PMH,CNS-NP
American Psychiatric Association Legislation Patricia Jacobowitz, MS,NP
Center for Disease Control  Regulation Matthew Lindquist, MSN,RN,CNS,CPN
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Regulation  Leslie Oleck, MSN,PMHCNS-BC,LMFT; Elizabeth Fife, RN,MSN,CNS,CPN
Emergency Nurses Association Policy - Nursing Org. Christine Tebaldi, MS,APRN-BC; Elizabeth Fife, RN,MSN,CNS,CPN
Food and Drug Administration  Regulation  Matthew Lindquist, MSN,RN,CNS,CPN 
Institute of Medicine  Policy   Patricia Jacobowitz, MSN,NP
International Nurses Society on Addictions  Policy - Nursing Org.  George Smith, ARNP,GNP-BC, MSN 
Joint Commission on Health Care Accreditation  Policy  Christine Tebaldi, MS,APRN-BC; Maria Romana, MS,RN,APRN-BC
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Policy Elizabeth Fife, RN,MSN,CNS, CPN 
National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Policy  Mary Moller, DNP, APRN,PMHCNS-BC,CPRP,FAAN 
National Council of State Boards of Nursing Regulation Mary Johnson,PhD,RN 
National Institute of Health (NIMH,NIDA, NIAAA) Regulation  Debie Schuhow, PMH,CNS-NP 
National Quality Forum  Policy  Maria Romana, MS,RN,APRN-BC 
Substance, Alcohol and Mental Health Services Administration  Regulation  George Smith, ARNP,GNP-BC,MSN 
National Association for NPs in Women's Health   Mary Ann Nihart, APRN-BC 
Congressional Record    Mary Ann Nihart, APRN-BC 

Through our monitoring system we became aware that psychiatric nursing was inadvertently not included in the field trail of DSM-5. APNA was able to identify the error and the APA made immediate adjustments to include PMHN. The APRN Council, under its co-chairs Leslie Oleck of Indiana and Angela Retano of New York, worked in conjunction with the IMHA to submit comments on the DSM-5.

APNA members Gail Stern and Lisa Ashton of Maryland met with Dr. Janet Woodcock, Director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, along with six other FDA staff to offer advice on medication errors.

Through our relationship with the ANA, APNA has played a key role in the Relative Update Committee for CPT codes used in the practice of PMHN. Mary Moller of Connecticut has represented APNA on this committee that meets under the aegis of the AMA. Over 1,000 APNA members to participated in the first RUC survey. A second survey will take place next spring. The results are used to guide CMS in setting the Medicare Fee Schedule.

We are all aware of the major impact that JCAHO has in our lives. Carole Farley Toombs of New York was invited to attend a special workshop on development of standards. Carole’s presence provided a voice for PMHN.

Another influential organization in mental health care is the Carter Foundation. APNA is invited to participate in the Annual Conference on Mental Health in order to offer nursing perspectives on mental health care. Last year Mary Moller attended on our behalf.

In the area of research, APNA was represented by Nancy Hanrahan at the SAMHSA Strategic Initiative on Behavioral health and by Linda Beeber of North Carolina at the National Institute of Nursing Research Roundtable and the National Institute on Mental Health Coalition for Research Progress.

The final group with whom APNA interacts is the consumers of mental health. A very exciting new element to our committee structure is the newly created Consumer Advisory Panel. This panel is an offshoot of our work with the Recovery to Practice Task Force. The panel is comprised of mental health consumers including a number of nurses who advise the APNA BOD on issues facing PMHN from the consumer point of view. The panel is chaired by Mary Moller who serves as a liaison to the APNA Board. A complete listing of members can be found in Appendix A.

We are pleased to report that we have reached out to NAMI and are working to rekindle our relationship with this strong advocate for mental health. APNA exhibited at the National NAMI meeting in July. We are grateful to Terry Shively and Jean Robbins of Virginia who attended the NAMI meeting and held an “Ask the Nurse Session”. The session was well received and the comments that were made at the APNA booth about the positive impact that nurses have had on patients and their families were wonderful.

As you can see, APNA is a busy and vibrant organization. This is a testament to the hard work of the many members who contribute generously with their time and expertise. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. It is an honor to serve as President of APNA. It is an experience that I will never forget and one that I will hold in my heart forever.

APNA Board of Directors, President

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.