Diane Allen, MN, RN-BC, NEA-BC
2015 Award for Excellence in Leadership – RN - See more at: http://www.apna.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageID=5785#sthash.XdNVCezL.dpuf
Diane Allen, MN, RN-BC, NEA-BC
2015 Award for Excellence in Leadership – RN - See more at: http://www.apna.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageID=5785#sthash.XdNVCezL.dpuf

Jill BormannJill Bormann, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN
2017 Award for Excellence in Research

 

During the peak of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Jill Bormann volunteered within her community to teach a program of self-empowerment and stress management for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Jim Kane, who volunteered alongside Jill and who nominated her for the APNA Award for Excellence in Research, recounts the experience. “I recall Jill saying back then, ‘I want to make this my life’s work. I want to show how powerful these tools can be to help others,’” he said. “Naturally, I tried to reign in Jill’s lofty aspirations. However, her work of developing a comprehensive program that teaches repetition of a mantram…has helped countless veterans with PTSD, healthcare workers suffering compassion fatigue, individuals coping with major illnesses, and mainstream society just dealing with daily stress living in this millennium.” What began as a labor of love has become a comprehensive body of work on mantram repetition, and it is for this work that Jill Bormann is the recipient of the 2017 APNA Award for Excellence in Research.

At a Glance
Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Passion:
Mantram Repetition

Words of Wisdom to Future Nurses:
“Practice good self-care daily. Learn good mental health coping skills for yourself first.”

Psych Nursing Light Bulb Moment:
“My PMH Nursing Instructor started our first psych nursing class with the statement: ‘It's OK to feel’…That was a totally radical concept to me. I wanted to know more and wanted to become a PMH nursing instructor like her!”

When Jill was a student, advice from her first psychiatric-mental health nursing instructor helped her find her passion – and understand the foundational role mental health plays in wellness. “My PMH Nursing Instructor started our first psych nursing class with the statement: ‘It's OK to feel,’” she said. “She explained that ‘all feelings are okay.’ That was a totally radical concept to me. I wanted to know more and wanted to become a PMH nursing instructor like her!” After becoming a psychiatric-mental health nurse, Jill found her way to the University of San Diego and the VA San Diego Healthcare System, where she works as Clinical Professor and Research Nurse Scientist, respectively.

While her choice to become a psychiatric-mental health nurse was a deliberate one, Jill’s path to research was more happenstance. “I never intended to be a researcher,” she says. “I learned about mantram to deal with my own anxiety and uncertainties. It was simple, powerful, practical…Thus, I wanted to share it with everyone.” Jill first learned of mantram repetition while working with Eknath Easwaran, a spiritual teacher from the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation. She observed the value of sitting meditation for adults living with HIV/AIDS, but recognized that sitting meditation was not feasible for many patients. With these patients, Jill observed the effectiveness of mantram repetition, the silent repetition of a sacred word or phrase to focus the mind or provide comfort. These observations were the roots of what would become her Mantram Repetition Program (MRP). “[Dr. Bormann’s] Mantram Repetition Program has had a significant impact on various mental health populations. It is a whole health mindful strategy for wellbeing,” says Luc R. Pelletier, one of Jill’s nominators. “The MRP truly represents a nursing perspective and ‘whole-health’ approach to care—not only focused on the mind and body, but it encourages integrating one’s spiritual beliefs.”

Since 2000, Jill has received over $3 million in funding for MRP research and program evaluation and has published in numerous peer reviewed journals, including Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy and Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. She has examined the effects of mantram repetition on insomnia in homeless women, veterans with chronic illness and PTSD, and family caregivers for veterans with dementia. Jill has even researched its impact on healthcare employees at risk of compassion fatigue and burnout, a project that reflects her value of self-care. “[My advice is] practice good self-care daily,” she says. “Learn good mental health coping skills for yourself first.”

Reflecting on Jill’s body of work, Kane says, “Achievements fail to capture [Jill’s] poise, humility, grace, and compassion…I am proud to call her a colleague and friend, representing the best of research that supports the vital work of psychiatric nurses everywhere.” Jill’s work truly speaks to mental health as the starting point for whole body wellness, and we look forward to celebrating her achievements at the APNA 31st Annual Conference, which centers on the theme Whole Health Begins with Mental Health.

AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC NURSES ASSOCIATION and APNA-Logoare registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as trademarks of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.
The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is accredited with distinction as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.