Educational Program Highlights

Each day was packed full of educational sessions, symposia, interactive panels, and more. Attendees had the opportunity to earn up to 27 contact hours on site and are able to earn CE for those sessions they did not attend via session recordings in the eLearning Center. Topics covered included practice, seclusion and restraint, medication effectiveness, recovery, communication assessment, undergraduate and graduate education, military mental health, child and adolescent practice, inpatient risk reduction...and more.

Wednesday: Pre-Conference  |  Understanding Sleep and Antidepressants: Lessons from Research Literature and Clinical Practice
"This presentation made me...reconsider what I've thought about sleep as it relates to mental illness. The new research is exciting and motivating. As an employee at the VA it was especially helpful to have a presenter who deals with some of the same issues I see in practice."

Opening Program  |  President's Address
"This Session has changed the way I think about PMH nursing and nursing overall. It has increased my self efficacy and makes me feel more empowered as a nurse as well as credible to speak to and inform other new nurses about who we are and what we do."

Thursday Keynote: Tom Rath  |  Strengths, Leadership, & Wellbeing: How Small Choices Make a Big Difference
"I loved how [he] talked about focusing on our strengths, as well as our subordinate's strengths. I think it really will help to make the milieu better and will move people from actively disengaged to engaged! I found it interesting that wounds heal faster when a patient is in a good environment! That is a great point to use when working in a difficult environment."

Attendees received a free copy of Rath's latest book, Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes.

Thursday |  Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: An Update on Research and Practice
“I loved how you showed us what the nurse will do during EMDR. I didn't realize it could be used for other things and I appreciate you giving us a brief picture as to where this procedure was going. I am very excited to hear how well it has been working for patients.”

Friday Keynote: Suzanne Gordon  |  Team Intelligence in Action: The Key to Nursing Voice and Patient Safety
"I needed this session so much. I am new NP in a physician-centered institution who has been marginalized since beginning my practice. I was beginning to lose sight of what I have to offer within my nursing background. I have mustered the courage to speak up for myself and my profession on a few occasions but then my anxiety goes sky high after (for being "that person"). Thank you APNA and Suzanne Gordon for giving me exactly what I needed."

Friday Symposium Luncheon  |  From Misdiagnosis to Treatment Failures: Nursing Strategies to Mitigate the Burden of Bipolar Depression
"The heartfelt sharing of the speaker's lived experience with his bipolar diagnosis, the insight into the client's life and heart, the lack of choices and the desire to live a "normal" life - This truly brought the pain of this diagnosis to my heart. This is the only session where you could have heard a pin drop in the room. Eric incredible speaker."

Friday |  Boy: TDTM Girl: CD9 - Decoding the Dangers of Teen Sexting
"Many of our adolescent patients utilize sexting; understanding the legal implications is very helpful to increase the patients' awareness of potential consequences of this behavior."

Poster Presentations
"The poster presentations were very well done. The variety of topics and interest areas was great. It was a great way to gain a great deal of information and meet many practitioners in a short amount of time."

You can now view posters uploaded by this year's poster presenters online in the Annual Conference Poster Gallery.

Saturday APNF Presentation  |  Living the History of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing through the Eyes of Shirley Smoyak
“Upon completion of the Program on Saturday, I left feeling so exhilarated and excited (again) about Psychiatric Nursing - Shirley Smoyak was delightful and as always, inspiring!”

As a part of the APNF’s “Dime a Day” campaign, those who donate $36.50 to the Foundation will receive a DVD copy of this film and an APNF Donor Pin. View a Clip of the Video

Saturday |  An Introduction to the Neurobiology of Autism Spectrum Disorder
“Dr. Earle gave an excellent presentation-explaining theory and then practice. I learned about theories that were new to me. And I appreciated how he allotted enough time for questions.”


Comments from Attendees About the Overall Conference

“The sessions always have new information and gems that stand out for me. Eric Arauz was an invaluable part of the sessions in which he spoke. Also, for me, it was my first time speaking and that made a huge difference in terms of how I met people and interacted with them.”

“I was impressed with the effort that psych nurses are making to effect change at all levels.”

“The Recovery to Practice Facilitator (pre-conference)is very helpful to me and the speech of Tom Rath the Keynote speaker is very moving and makes me want to become a better leader in my unit.”

“This was my first conference so I experienced multiple valuable ‘nuggets’ of information. But I'd say hearing from fellow PMHNPs provide examples of how they are currently practicing using EBP was most valuable.”

“Bringing nursing down to the patient level. Assisting nurses to understand the importance of our profession & how we need to educate the public in what nurses do. Do away with medical terminology & use language that the patients will understand.”

“The child and adolescent tracks were great. I got exposure to many different new ideas and models, as well as gaining exposure to researchers and clinicians in the area of study.”

“The incorporation of trauma informed care and the recovery model into our practice as a way of reducing seclusion and restraint.”

“The diversity of sessions. I am in 2 roles currently, 1 as a staff educator and 1 as a staff nurse, & found sessions applicable to both roles.”


The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.