Joining Forces Updates

  • September 2013
    • APNA is preparing to launch our facilitator training for Acute Care Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses: Preparing for Recovery Oriented Practice. More than 60 nurses (representing 26 states and VA nurses) have registered to learn to facilitate training for nurses to infuse recovery into nursing practice. The training includes trauma informed practice.
    • Suicide assessment competencies for acute care nurses are under development.
    • Formation of APNA Council to address substance use.
    • Presentations at the APNA 27th Annual Conference will include the following topics:
      • Traumatic Brain Injury - 1033: Traumatically Brain Injured (TBI) Child/Adolescent, Young Adult, Aging Person: Practicing Recovery Principles
      • PTSD and nursing interventions - 2021: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: An Update on Research and Practice
      • Impact of deployment on active duty women - 2032: Women in the Military: Mental Health Impact of Deployment
      • Practice infrastructure for non-military professionals caring for military connected individuals - 2032: Development of a Practice Infrastructure for Non-Military Mental Health Professionals Caring for Military Connected Individuals
      • Suicide assessment risk in the Emergency Department - 2026: The Development of a Standardized Suicide Risk Assessment Protocol in the Emergency Department
      • Use of messaging technology to enhance patient satisfaction in among active duty military served in an outpatient clinic - 3012: Using a Web-based Patient-Provider Messaging System to Enhance Patient Satisfaction Among Active Duty Sailors and Marines Seen in the Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic: A Pilot Study
      • Intensive outpatient behavioral health program in a military facility - 3021: Intensive Outpatient Behavioral Health Program in a Military Facility
      • Moral injury in returning vets - 3031: Moral Injury in Returning Veterans: Concept and Emerging Treatments
      • Promoting trauma informed practice - 3034: Promoting Recovery with Trauma Informed Practice
      • Recovery Model and the VA - 3041: Roadmap to Recovery along the VA Way : A Guide to Applying the Recovery Model to Nursing Practice Across the Continuum of Care
  • August 2013
    APNA sent out communications to the membership and chapters regarding the VA Mental Health Summits being held across the country.
  • September 2012
    Department of Veterans Affairs has instituted the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), a new training and education program for unemployed Veterans to upgrade their skills for in-demand jobs. Thus far, VA has approved more than 36,000 applications for VRAP. “The tremendous response illustrates how important this program is in providing Veterans the opportunity to find employment in a high-demand field,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.  The VA expects to fill all 45,000 available slots for the fiscal year 2012 phase of the program, and will continue processing new applications for the 54,000 slots available in fiscal year 2013. The program, a provision of the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, is managed by VA and the Department of Labor (DOL). It allows qualifying Veterans to receive up to 12 months of education assistance equal to the full-time Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty rate, which is currently $1,473 per month. VRAP aims to train a total of 99,000 Veterans over the next two years in more than 200 job skills that DOL has determined are the most sought-after by employers.  For more information about the DOL’s programs for Veterans, visit
  • August 2012
    It is estimated that between 10 and 20 percent of U.S. troops, or between 150,000 and 300,000 service members, suffer from mild or moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI). The James Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa, Fla. hosts one of VA’s five Polytrauma/Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation Programs and has established a research laboratory dedicated to understanding how the brain is injured. Doctors Joseph Gutmann and John Lloyd recently conducted a series of experiments using an industrial air cannon to produce blast waves of varying intensity on a mannequin wearing various types of military helmets and a football helmet. After completing numerous tests, the two VA researchers discovered that a football helmet offered the best protection against the simulated blasts that would cause TBI in a human. “The football helmet has holes in it,” said Lloyd, “which allows pressure to escape unlike military helmets. Current combat helmet technology is not based upon the current war, but previous wars.” For more information visit:
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.