Draft Scope & Standards

Every five years, the Scope and Standards of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing undergoes a review and revision. This document and its periodic review is how psychiatric-mental health nursing is able to be designated a nursing specialty by the American Nurses Association.

In 2011, APNA and the International Society of Psychiatric–Mental Health Nurses (ISPN) appointed a joint task force to review and revise of the Scope and Standards. The task force members represent psychiatric–mental health nursing clinical administrators, staff nurses, nursing faculty, and psychiatric advanced practice nurses working in psychiatric facilities and the community. This taskforce convened in July 2011 to conduct an analysis of the existing document and begin crafting sections incorporating the results of the analysis.

Development of Psychiatric–Mental Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice includes a two-stage field review process:

  1. Review and feedback from the boards of APNA and ISPN
  2. Posting of the draft for public comment on the organizations' website

Public Comment: The public comment period is now closed. Nursing specialty organizations, state boards of nursing, schools of nursing, faculty groups, and state nurses associations were asked to submit feedback. All of these groups were encouraged to disseminate notice of the postings to all of their members and other stakeholders. The feedback was carefully reviewed and integrated as appropriate. The period to submit feedback ended January 26, 2013.

  1. Review the DRAFT Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice
  2. Submit Feedback:




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.