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


Smiling attendees at the APNA 31st Annual Conference

Inspiration and Insights from the APNA Annual Conference

More than 1700 psychiatric-mental health nurses came to Phoenix, Arizona last month for the APNA 31st Annual Conference. Attendees spent 4 days learning, collaborating, and discussing the theme of Whole Health Begins With Mental Health with nurses from around the world. They left energized and ready to implement paradigm shifts that place mental health as the foundation for whole body wellness.



  • APNA President Kris McLoughlin encouraged nurses to move beyond merely being cheerleaders and instead to be champions of health. In her President's Address, she said: "Let’s do the impossible. With thought, and passion, and timing, and persistence, with championing other nurses and nursing, and by working together harnessing our force, let’s start a movement...Let’s transform the meaning of health to one that recognizes mental health as foundational for all health.” With these words, McLoughlin encouraged all present to charge ahead to redefine health, armed with the latest updates in care and a renewed sense of enthusiasm.
  • Keynote Vic Strecher explained the principles for building a life with purpose and how they could be used in the important work nurses undertake daily. "Helping a person develop a greater purpose in life can have an impact in the important things psychiatric nurses deal with everyday," he said. He celebrated the connections between nurses and those they serve: "You are not by yourself in this world. You have people around you."
  • Surprise guest Alex Wubbels, the Utah emergency room nurse who refused to draw blood from an unconscious patient, received a special award recognizing her dedication to patient advocacy. In her acceptance remarks, Wubbels stressed the importance of remembering who you are as a nurse and remaining compassionate. "Find kindness in civil discourse," she said.


InsightsSmiling woman at the APNA Annual Conference.

  • In pre-conference 1031, Understanding the Legal and Regulatory Ramifications related to RN and APRN Psychiatric Practice: Part 2, presenter Gina Reiners, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, PMHCNS-BC discussed an educational strategy to minimize malpractice and discussed two jury cases where she served as an expert witness. Attendees left with an increased understanding of the importance of thorough documentation.
  • Presenter Joseph Holshoe, PMHNP-BC provided a comprehensive overview of the management of sleep in pre-conference 1047, The Power of Zzzzs: Sleep Solutions for Psychiatric Nursing Practice. He emphasized the importance of interventions to promote healthier sleep, not just more sleep.
  • Session 2015, Tobacco Use Among Persons With Psychiatric Illnesses: Successful Interventions to Address a Hidden Epidemic, session presenter Chizimuzo T. C. Okoli, PhD, MPH, RN delved into effective strategies for reducing tobacco use in individuals with psychiatric illnesses. Attendees learned ways to address the reduced efficacy of existing cessation programs in those with mental health concerns.
  • Evelyn Norton, DNP, APRN, PMNP-BC and David Martucci, BSN, MS, MBA Candidate showed how one health system created a Crisis Stabilization Unit in session 3027, Creation and Implementation of a Crisis Stabilization Service in a Community Safety Net Hospital in Chicago, IL. Attendees learned the capacity of Crisis Stabilization Units to deliver specialized care to psychiatric patients in emergency rooms.
  • In session 4037, Spreading Recovery Oriented Care across the State: Everything’s Bigger in Texas, the effect of a grant to coordinate and disseminate recovery-oriented care across Texas was explored. Presenters Celeste Johnson, DNP, APRN, PMH CNS and Rebecca Deisler, BSN, RN, PMHN-BC discussed ways to teach recovery-oriented care to promote positive outcomes.



Evaluations: The deadline for completing your APNA 31st Annual Conference evaluations is December 1, 2017. To create your CE certificate, you must complete evaluations for all sessions you attended on site as well as the overall evaluation by this date.

Session Recordings: Attendees should have received an email on November 22nd with instructions for accessing the first set of session recordings from the conference. Be sure to check back for new sessions as they are posted. (If you did not receive this email, please contact inform@apna.org.)

Survey: Tell us what you think! Even if you weren't able to attend this year's conference, we need your feedback as we begin to plan the APNA 32nd Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Click here to take the survey.

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