A Message from the President

Marlene Nadler-Moodie, MSN, APRN, PMHCNS-BC

November 2011


Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Time is really flying by as we approach the holiday season - it seems like just yesterday that many of us were together in “the happiest place on earth.” Our conference at Disneyland® in Anaheim, California was a rousing success and it was with true delight that I had the opportunity to meet so many of you.  Nothing can compare to the electrifying and inspiring enthusiasm that is generated when over a thousand psychiatric mental health nurses gather in one place to learn from each other and celebrate our profession!

Right after our conference, ANCC sent out its notification letter and FAQ to all of the over 90,000 APRNs, among whom were those with PMH certifications. We encouraged ANCC to send these letters as soon as possible to alert APRNs to the changes that are taking place over the next two to three years to bring PMH into alignment with the APRN Consensus model.

The letters raised concerns with a few people who interpreted them to say that their credentials  were being retired. This is not true. Some certification exams are being retired but the credentials are not. Those with current APRN certificates will continue to hold their credential as long as they continue to meet the eligibility requirements for practice and continuing education for the ANCC recertification process.

There have also been some who have interpreted the change to educate all future PMH-APRNs across the lifespan to mean that they too have to return to school for a new credential. This also is not true.  APNA has been providing information about this process for some time now. The Resource Center on the APNA website offers a wealth of background and information on the matter.  Please review the APNA Position on Advanced Practice Nurses at www.apna.org/APPNPosition. The other webpage that you will find useful is at www.apna.org/CNS.  This page details APNA's commitment to CNSs. In order to continue to advance our profession, we must inform ourselves with data and resources that are accurate and comprehensive.

To help you  find all of the information that we have been providing over the years, Nick Croce posted 5 messages on Member Bridge which provide links to these resources. We hope that they will be useful to you. Look for them in the Member Bridge All-Purpose Discussion Forum; they were posted November 21st.

As for me, I’ve spent a lot of this past year gaining an understanding of the operations of our organization and the role of President. My year as President -Elect was filled with learning and being mentored by wonderful, available and enthusiastic people. I have gotten to witness firsthand the incredible people that make up our organization – you are thought-leaders, policy makers, knowledge seekers, and pursuers of excellence. Clearly our growth, successes, and accomplishments sit on the shoulders of our members; each of you has helped in some way to make a difference.

Many of you make a difference through your work with our committees, councils, and task forces. Our Annual Report is available online and those of you who attended the conference had an opportunity to hear about many of our activities. Knowing how busy most of you are, I will share just a few highlights with you, but please do take a few moments to review it in its entirety.

 Here are some fun numbers:

  • We attract about 6 new members each day.
  • The2011 Conference had the highest attendance ever at about 1,200 participants.
  • With input from many of you, individually and/or via our councils and committees, our Board approved 4 position papers this past year
  • Member Bridge discussions have boomed!
    • Between September 2010 and September 2011 we had 37,966 visits to the site.
    • There are now 230 Communities
    • The All-Purpose Discussion Forum has 6,542 subscribers

There is no doubt that we all enjoy communicating with each other - not really a surprise as communications is what psychiatric nursing is all about!

This winter holiday season, for me, is a time to both reflect back on the past year and plan for the next, perhaps some of you do the same. Looking towards the future, I am pleased to share with you our next really big task: updating our Strategic Plan. Our current plan (available on our website for your review if you have not yet done so) was developed in ’08-’09 and has served us well, so well in fact that  we were right on target and achieved all of our goals. These laid the strong foundation upon which we planned the last few years. Now we look to the future and soon we will need YOU to help us.  Over the coming months we will reach out to each of you to participate in the planning process. APNA’s strength is in our members; each of you is an integral part of who we are and wish to be.

The future for the next year feels very exciting. If you don’t know me personally, know that I love to connect with others and couldn’t feel luckier than to be in this position where I can meet and work with so many of you.   This year we will focus on fighting stigma, our theme for the coming year and the 2012 Annual Conference. I ask each of you to join me as we work towards the elimination of stigma for those we serve - and for ourselves, as we too experience stigma from both our colleagues and the public. Over the coming year I hope to hear from you about your successes in our fight.

 In closing, I want to extend my warmest wishes to you and yours for a joyful and healthy holiday season and a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.