Education & Provider Unit Report

APNA Provider Unit

American Psychiatric Nurses Association was awarded Accreditation with Distinction, the highest recognition awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Accreditation Program. Organizations accredited with distinction have completed a review without any progress report requirement. The web directory of accredited organizations will reflect this special designation.


Chapter Conferences: Completed 9 chapter conferences January – September 30, 2015, offering a total of 48.5 contact hours. One additional APNA chapter is actively planning to co-provide an educational activity with APNA in October, 2015

Member Activity

Active groups include: Education Council: Continuing Education Committee and the provider unit:

  • Suicide workgroup –Pre Conference “Competency Based Training –Suicide Prevention to be held October 28, 2015
  • Critical Care/ Med Surg Suicide Competency Steering Committee meeting bimonthly
  • Education Council-UG Crosswalk workgroup-developing components of the tool kit

APNA Program Developments

Recovery to Practice
  • 2 Organizations and 6 Chapters have leased the RTP program for the next 6 months.
  • Two RTP Facilitator Trainings were held in 2015, March and August.
  • 23 New RTP facilitators  trained

APNA Transition to Practice (ATP)
  • Live July 1, 2015
  • 21 persons completed the program.

Comments from Module 1 evaluations:
Please describe the changes you plan to make:

  • Be more aware of the physical changes going on with the patient with a possible connection to the psychiatric medications and their interactions and possible side-effects.
  • I found the spectrum of depressive disorders fascinating and very well presented. I plan on using this spectrum, not necessarily as a diagnostic tool (because it could easily be used as such), but as a better understand where in the spectrum my patients are at with their illness.
  • Better understanding of the different classifications of antidepressants and their uses and side effects.
  • Change the way I do assessments and be more aware of the effects and side effects of medication.
  • Pay more attention to the medication, and combination of medications my patients take.
  • Monitor patients more closely for side effects to antipsychotic medications
  • I've always believed in person centered care. These training modules reminded me that the patient is the most knowledgeable and is the expert in their illness. I plan on exploring the concepts of motivational interviewing and CBT to make it more prevalent in the way I interact with patients and provide care to patients. Good work APNA with these training modules
  • Communication skills with my patients, side effects of the medications to watch and how to keep boundaries with my patients.
  • Personalized plan of care based on increased knowledge regarding nursing interventions r/t medications (tolerating side effects, providing more informed med education)
  • More vigilant monitoring of my patients for medication side effects and effectiveness
  • Monitor patient's medication and potential side effects more closely. Also, provider a deeper education to patients.
  • Understanding side effects and able to better educate patients about side effects
  • Monitor side effects
  • I am more cognizant of side effects of meds discussed in the module
  • AS I teach nurses I will emphasize the hope that we need to have for the clients recovery and the respect that they deserve as we work with them to find drugs that they respond to with the least amount of side effects.
  • I can give my nursing students current information about mental health.
  • Just to use best practice when it comes to psychotic patients such as do not invade personal space, let them pace if they want to, etc.
  • Pay attention to all aspect of care of the patient with mental illness
  • Inquire regarding possible barriers to medication adherence.
  • Again spending more time out on the unit interacting patients.
  • I will be more aware of lower level needs being met.
  • I will be more vigilant of my patients state and comfort zones
  • I will educate my peers
  • I plan to incorporation the best practice strategies this douse highlighted
  • I plan to be more mindful in observing my clients for s/s of medication side effects, adverse reactions, and if the medication is having the desired outcome.
  • Modeling best practice
  • Consider environmental milieu as therapeutic and not just practical.
  • I will become more assertive in having our pharmacists be more engaging in educating our nurses.
  • This will help me to better understand and explain medications to my patients.
  • The presentation already made it much easier for me to remember that each patient has a unique story that they bring as a human to the hospital along with their diagnosis. I can be so much more patient with when I remember that everyone's goal is recovery.
  • Counsel clients on SSRIs not to suddenly discontinue meds, but to discuss tapering down with provider.
  • Application of new material
  • Be more vigilant when assessing side effects for our clients on psychotropics
  • I will be more attentive to blood levels of certain medications.  I will monitor more closely for EPS and TD.  I will review therapeutic interventions specific to diagnoses.
  • I will become more systematic and thorough at assessing clients before and after medicating, making sure to know what to look for each type of medication. I also want to listen to my intuition when interacting with clients.
  • Closer evaluation of patient's medication regimens on admission.
  • Be more aware of possible side effects
  • I plan on looking more into alternative activities for identifying and managing depression and anxiety (meditation, guided imagery, etc.) with my patients. I also want to look more into medications, dosages, half-lifes, etc.
  • Utilize information from the program.
  • As s nurse educator I will be teaching about the best practice outcomes, incorporate the nursing research, and stress the importance of monitoring side effects of medications.
  • I feel I am better prepared to safely administer medication to patients with psychiatric disorders, am better educated regarding side effects and their management, and better prepared to provide teaching to my patients.
  • I have already started spending more time with my patients and engaging them in conversation so I can know them better as opposed to having a clipboard and asking assessment questions.
  • Take more time to explain the actions and benefits of prescribed medications to my patients.
  • Better care of my patients.
  • I plan to focus more of my practice on educating patients about medications

Overall Program Evaluations Comments:
ATP Final Evaluations Jan 1 (pilot) to September 19, 2015
Please describe the changes you plan to make :

  • Put patient first in their care.  2.  Be more patient centered - ask what is important to the patient; not just what you want for them.  3.  Utilize the whole centered plan of care for my patients.  4. Do not think of the patient as their diagnosis, but focus on their strengths.  5.  Utilize reflective practices to examine our own biases and work on dealing with these issues.
  • as I mentioned before, I will be much more aware of the possibility of trauma histories in patients and the importance of screening for all - not just psych or know trauma pts
  • To understand my own culture in reference to caring for patients with mental illness and include therapy that are effective
  • To understand my own culture in reference to caring for patients with mental illness and include therapy that are effective
  • More patient contact.  Identifying triggers.  Maintain boundaries.
  • increase focus on trauma history
  • Overall better idea of how to implement different interventions with patients.
  • This course has increased my awareness of the focus on recovery and that is encouraging to me and I look forward to being a part of this focus when I am in the inpatient setting again and will definitely try to incorporate these principles in the outpatient addictions setting that I am currently in.  Also, the cultural humility section was very helpful and I have already started to incorporate these principles and encouraged them where i work.
  • I work in the field and this course has a very good refresher plus i learned new information to better myself and the patients I served.
  • Try to be a better nurse in every aspect.
  • The modules that were most influential related to cultural humility and safe environments. As an educator and supervisor, I hope to bring concepts that I have learned forward with the intent of influencing policy and procedural changes, as well as cultural changes with my inpatient program setting.

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Essential Competencies for Assessment and Management of Individuals at Risk for Suicide
  • Competency Based Trainings being delivered CPI and scheduled APNA Annual Conference as well as the first of the 5 part facilitator training.

APNA E-Series on Bipolar Disorders Across the Lifespan  
  • Issue 1 eBook available
  • Issue 2 in process;  publishing soon
  • Issue 3 in process; editing and pilot

Comments from Issue 1 Evaluations:
How will I change my practice after completing this activity?

  • I am new to psychiatric nursing and, although I have studied psychiatric disorders in the past, this course has made me see each person more as an individual, not simply their disorder. I work with people who have very few resources and their chances for recovery are slim. Though my clients have an uphill battle, I now have more tools to give them.
  • Provided more signs/symptoms of what to do with Bipolar patients in adolescent population 
  • Help reduce stigma....realize it can happen at any age
  • Being more aware of cultural considerations and comorbities.
  • Psych nursing is new to me. I will go in this experience with an open mind and a clearer understanding that these patients are not what I am used to seeing. 
  • It helped me to better understand what patient's with bipolar go through. Therefore, I will listen to the patient and have an understanding attitude towards them.
  • Learned about how to deal with bipolar disorder
  • I will be more aware of the different disorder and how to effectively provide the best quality of care to my patients.
  • I will have a better idea of how to apply this knowledge and resource in the clinical setting. 
  • I will be more observant of symptoms/identifiers that may be signs of bipolar spectrum disorders and will be very involved in assisting the patient to recover.
  • Work with consumers to allow as much choice in care as possible. I work on a locked involuntary unit. Will try to get more involvement from patient's loved ones if possible.
  • Utilize a recovery perspective when caring for clients with bipolar spectrum disorder. The diagnosis is not the person.
  • To listen attentively and empower the clients to make changes.
  • I will be more open minded to the population of people suffering from bipolar disorder. I will also be more aware of the signs and symptoms to look for.
  • I think my practice will change because I can talk to patients about their home care and their personal role/involvement in their self-care. I think this learning also makes me feel more confident to explain the lifespan of bipolar disorder to my patients.
  • Understanding the impacts and changes Bipolar disorder does to a person enables me to know how to communicate with the patient in the most effective way and work with other medical professionals and the patient in his or her care.
  • I will become more confident in speaking with other care providers about viewing a client as him or herself, rather than the illness.
  • To encourage the client to be in control of their own recovery. Too many times I hear blame towards the doctor or the meds, and as the nurse, I feel like we are encouraged to be "nice" and listen to the complaints/blame without speaking up, reminding the client that they are ultimately in control of their own recovery. 

In Development for 2016

  • What Psychiatric Nurses Need to Know About Bipolar Disorder - Co-provided case based online activity with gaming format - in process and piloting
  • APNA eLearning activity on Schizoaffective Disorder-in process
  • Live Webinar-DSM-5 and the Use of Cross-Cutting Measures in development for January, 2016
  • Autism Spectrum eLearning series-Spring 2016

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

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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.