APNA Competency Based Training for Suicide Prevention

Nurses: Advocates for Hope
APNA Competency Based Training for Suicide Prevention
Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Generalist Role

Current Opportunities   |   Description   |   Continuing Education   |   Program Overview   |   Facilitator Training

Current Training Opportunities


March 7
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
Grand Rapids, MI

Facilitator: Carolyn Buzzell, BSN, RN-BC
8:00am - 3:00pm ET

Registration Deadline: February 19, 2018

Registration Details


March 9
APNA Texas Chapter
Houston, TX

Facilitators: Pamela Greene, PhD, RN and Rebecca Deisler, BSN, RN-BC
8:00am - 4:00pm CT

Registration Deadline: February 23, 2018

Registration Details


March 16
APNA Hawaii Chapter
Ewa Beach, HI

Facilitator: Cheryl Puntil, MN, APRN, PMHCNS-BC
8:00am - 4:00pm HAT

Registration Deadline: February 28, 2018

Registration Details


March 24
APNA Arizona Chapter
Phoenix, AZ

Facilitator: Rebecca Deisler, BSN, RN-BC
8:00am - 4:00pm MT

Registration Deadline: March 8, 2018

Registration Details


April 4
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
Grand Rapids, MI

Facilitator: Carolyn Buzzell, BSN, RN-BC
8:00am - 3:00pm ET

Registration Deadline: March 20, 2018

Registration Details


April 13
APNA Florida Chapter
Coral Gables, FL

Facilitator: Mariamma J Pyngolil, MSN, ARNP, PMHCNS-BC
8:30am - 5:00pm ET

Registration Deadline: March 28, 2018

Registration Details


May 2
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
Grand Rapids, MI

Facilitator: Carolyn Buzzell, BSN, RN-BC
8:00am - 3:00pm ET

Registration Deadline: April 16, 2018

Registration Details

For more information on how to register for these workshops, please contact APNA at advocatesforhope@apna.org or 855-863-APNA (2762).

Instructors who can facilitate the APNA Competency Based Training for Suicide Prevention are currently active in California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Please email advocatesforhope@apna.org for information about bringing a training to your area or institution.


Become a card-carrying APNA Suicide Prevention Provider!
Learn to systematically apply the first suicide prevention competencies developed for psychiatric-mental health nurse generalists to your practice! This live* interactive training, presented by a facilitator with expertise in suicide prevention, will increase your confidence and competence in the nursing skills of suicide assessment, management and prevention. Get evidence-based nursing knowledge and best practices from this content developed to improve the knowledge, attitudes, skills and critical thinking of psychiatric-mental health nurses caring for persons at risk for suicide.

*Includes 1.25 hours of online pre-work.

Target Audience: Generalist nurses who care for persons with mental health disorders in an inpatient setting.

Continuing Education

Participants who complete all of the training requirements will be able to earn 6.5 contact hours. See our Continuing Education page for more information.

Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe risk and protective factors related to suicide.
  2. Demonstrate self-awareness of emotional reactions, attitudes, and beliefs related to previous experiences with suicide.
  3. Perform an independent risk assessment for self-directed violence (non-suicidal and suicidal) through use of a case study example based on competency based education.
  4. Develop a collaborative safety plan with the patient/family based on competency based education.
  5. Identify environmental hazards based on the unit and personal levels.


"I thoroughly enjoyed this training and appreciate its application to my practice as a registered nurse. I truly feel that this knowledge will change/save lives."

"A great training and one that I feel is necessary and critical to patient care and collaborative treatment across professionals."

"The training has increased my ability to ask more effective questions to identify suicidal thoughts and behaviors."

"I thought this was an excellent training sessions that refreshed my previous knowledge and provided new practical skills for suicide assessment / prevention / postvention."


Program Overview

Participants who register and complete all requirements of the full training (see below) receive:

  • 6.5 Continuing Education Contact Hours: 1 CE Certificate for online pre-work (1.25 contact hours) & 1 CE Certificate for in-person training (5.25 contact hours)
  • Participant Workbook: Includes notes, worksheets, a glossary, and more.
  • Suicide Prevention Provider Card: Serves as proof of successful completion of the training and passing of skills assessment. Will need to be renewed every 3 years.
Required Online Pre-Work
1.25 hrs

Module 1 - Introduction

  • Pre-training Self- Assessment
  • Module 1 Video
  • Module 1 Post-Test
  • CE Certificate (Required to attend live training)
Live Training
10 min
10 min
Phenomenon of Suicide (Competency 1)
  • Epidemiology
  • Terminology
10 min
Legal & Ethical Issues (Competencies 8 & 9)
  • Legal duty
  • Ethical decision making
  • Documentation
25 min
Self-awareness and the Therapeutic Relationship (Competencies 2 & 3)
25 min

Comprehensive Assessment (Competency 4 & 5)

  • Mental health assessment including mental status exam
  • Risk formulation
  • Documentation
20 min
Case Study Application
20 min

Comprehensive Assessment (Competency 4 & 5) Continued

  • Video example
  • Discussion
25 min
Case Study Application Continued
50 min

Plan of Care (Competency 6)

  • Collaborative planning with client, family, inter-professional team
  • Personal safety plan
  • Interventions & Documentation
  • Discharge planning
45 min
Case Study Application
30 min

Environmental Management (Competency 7)

  • Environmental hazards
  • Environmental interventions
30 min
Updating the Safety Plan at Discharge
Discovering Discharge Needs

10 min

  • Q & A
  • Wrap up
10 min
  • On-Site Skills Assessment Exam
  • Remediation (if needed)
Required Post-Training
  • Post-Training Self-Assessment
  • Overall Evaluation
  • CE Certificate

If you are interested in learning about current or future training opportunities near you, please contact advocatesforhope@apna.org.

Facilitator Training


Email advocatesforhope@apna.org for more information about upcoming facilitator training opportunities.


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