APNA President Mary Ann NihartAPNA News: The Psychiatric Nursing Voice  |  July 2016 Members' Corner Edition

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses Leading by Example



Are you looking for some uplifting examples of psychiatric-mental health nursing leadership? Then read on! Members’ Corner is the perfect place to highlight examples of members who have done exactly what I’ve been talking about all year: unleashing our inner leaders. I am so proud of the many ways that our members, councils, and committees have demonstrated extraordinary leadership this year. Here are three prime examples:

Violence Prevention
Psychiatric-mental health nurses are at the forefront of violence prevention in our communities. So says the Violence Prevention Position Paper crafted by a task force of members (see below) and approved by the APNA Board of Directors earlier this month. During a time of turmoil and tragedy in our society, this position paper and accompanying toolkit empower us to use our unique skills to take action. Through our trusting relationships with individuals, families, and members of the community, we have the opportunity and ethical duty to:

  • Become familiar with potential risk and protective factors associated with violence and solicit specific data when assessing an individual or family seeking care.
  • Use our positions to work with individuals, families, and communities on “strategies to identify and resolve intolerable feelings in a non-violent manner, using evidence-based best practices”.
  • Serve as role models in the recognition and prevention of lateral and horizontal violence in the workplace through the use of adaptive, non-violent communication practices.

Special thanks to these members who crafted this statement and toolkit:

Diane Allen, MN, RN-BC, NEA-BC
Catherine Batscha, DNP, RN
Carrie Carretta, PhD, APN-BC, AHN-BC, FPMHNP
Carlie Frederick, APRN-PMHCNS, BC, CPNP
Kristen Lambert, PhD, MSN, RN
Ann Mitchell, PhD, RN, FAAN
Richard Ray, MS, RN, PMH-BC
Eric Arauz, MA, MLER
Nina Beaman, EdD, MSN, CNE, RN-BC (PMH)
Sattaria Dilks, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC
Kathleen Gaffney, APN, MSN, PMHCNS
Jeannine Loucks, MSN, RN-BC PMH
Michael Polacek, MSN, RN-BC
Angela Retano, PMHNP-BC, RN, MA, MSN
David Sharp, PhD, RN
Christine Tebaldi, MS, PMHNP-BC


Opioid Use Epidemic

In the midst of an opioid use epidemic in our country, what can nurses do? We are members of a profession of almost 4 million and, equipped with evidence-based knowledge, we have the potential to make a solid impact on addressing this public health crisis. A task force of APNA members (see below) is empowering all nurses with three new webinars developed for ALL nurses: RNs, PMH-RNs, and APRNs. From a science and recovery-based look at addiction, to exploring components of comprehensive opioid use prevention and treatment (both psychosocial and medication assisted), the three presentations each take a strengths-based, holistic view of how nurses can provide evidence-based care and education for opioid use disorders. APNA is now offering all three sessions for free in the APNA eLearning Center.

Special thanks to these members who crafted this continuing education:

Mary Kastner, PMHNP-BC
Susan Caverly, PhD, ARNP, BC, PLLC
Laura Leahy, DrNP, APRN, PMH-CNS/FNP, BC
Matthew Tierney, MS, ANP-BC, PMHNP-BC


Leadership Development

Face-to-face interaction has a key role in not only our practice, but also our professional development. This October 19-22 we will gather in Hartford, Connecticut to strengthen our leadership and the care we provide every day through networking and education. This year’s APNA Annual Conference program is mainly composed of presentations from our colleagues whose abstracts were selected for presentation. This means that these presenters stood up and volunteered to share their expertise – what leadership! They are living examples of this year’s theme, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing: Inspiring Leadership Every Day. Having an event where we can congregate in one place to share new ideas, learn from others’ experiences, and make connections is important to our profession’s future. It is how we sustain a professional identity that enables us to lead in advocating for our patients and our profession across the country, across settings, across disciplines.  I hope to see you there – you can register here.

Special thanks to all who will be presenting at the conference, as well as the Scholarly Review Committee, who helped to craft the conference program.


Mary Ann


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