January 2017 President's Message

APNA News: The Psychiatric Nursing Voice  |  January 2017 Members' Corner Edition
 

Shift the Paradigm: Share Your Expertise

Kris A. McLoughlin, DNP, APRN, PMH-CNS, BC, CADC-II, FAAN

 

Dear Colleagues,

Last year we asked our attendees what they found most valuable at the APNA Annual Conference. What was one of the top responses? The sheer diversity of topics covered by the sessions and poster presentations. I think this speaks to how well we understand that there are many threads of knowledge on which we must have a grasp in order to help our clients move towards whole health. Starting of course, with mental health.

The APNA Annual Conference is one of the largest conferences with a program that strives to be inclusive of the whole spectrum of psychiatric-mental health nursing. This means that we need content that covers the many and complex aspects of the holistic care nurses provide. Just as we broaden our treatment approaches to address the whole person, the APNA Annual Conference strives to provide a broad range of education to address the whole body of psychiatric-mental health nursing.

A few questions to help you brainstorm for your abstract submission:

How can we shift the paradigm forward to embrace the concept that whole health begins with mental health?

What evidence from the research supports this concept and how can it be translated into practice?

What interventions, policies, or models of care promote the whole health of our clients?

What strategies of self-care can be used to support our own health?

That’s what makes the Call for Abstracts such an important part of the process. Through an open call for abstracts we ensure that content is generated by psychiatric-mental health nurses out in the field. The subsequent peer review of the abstracts by the APNA Scholarly Review Committee ensures that the program is selected by expert psychiatric-mental health nurses. Of course, this process works best only if nurses from diverse backgrounds and with diverse skill sets submit abstracts!

APNA opened the call for abstracts earlier this month, and I wanted to take this opportunity to encourage every one of you to submit an abstract. There is a lot of strong evidence out there that shows the relationship among mental illness, mental health and physical health outcomes. Psychiatric-mental health nurses occupy an important space on the health care team, bridging the gap between mental and physical health, and highlighting the art (caring for) and science (using evidence and research) of nursing. The call for abstracts offers an opportunity to link and further articulate those concepts.

You can find comprehensive information about abstract submissions, including a great submitter toolkit, at www.apna.org/CallforAbstracts. You can also browse the review criteria for tips on putting together your abstract.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with a few questions to help get you started brainstorming on your submission: How can we shift the paradigm forward to embrace the concept that whole health begins with mental health? What evidence from the research supports this concept and how can it be translated into practice? What interventions, policies, or models of care promote the whole health of our clients? What strategies of self-care can be used to support our own whole health? We need your perspective.

 

Kris A. McLoughlin, DNP, APRN, PMH-CNS, BC, CADC-II, FAAN
APNA President

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