Ask the Experts: Expanding the PMH RN Role/Psycho-Oncology Interventions

Last month at the APNA 32nd Annual Conference, nine posters were selected for recognition by a panel of psychiatric-mental health nurses. We spoke with poster award recipients Susan Orme, MS, RN, Teresa Setnar, MSN, RN, CPN, and Beth Corcoran, MSN, CRNP, PMHNP-BC about their work, their experience presenting, and more.


Susan Orme, MS, RN and Teresa Setnar, MSN, RN, CPN
Raising the Roof: Rebuilding the Role of the PMH Nurse to New Heights in the Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic
1st Place Practice Poster

Susan Orme, MS, RN Teresa Setnar, MSN, RN, CPN
Susan Orme, MS, RN and Teresa Setnar, MSN, RN, CPN

Q: What can you tell us about your poster and what drew you to this topic?

A: The poster represents collaborative work being done in the Outpatient Psychiatry clinics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH). While the NCH Outpatient Psychiatry clinics have rapidly expanded, the role of the RN was not a significant part of the growing clinic infrastructure. With the implementation of a new scheduling model in fall of 2017, the Outpatient Psychiatry clinics have experienced a dramatic increase in the number of patients the prescribing providers are seeing on a daily basis. This increased workload provided an opportunity for our nursing staff to have more involvement in direct patient care and ultimately, performing work that is aligned with their nursing scope of practice. The project represents our goal to expand the role of nursing in our outpatient psychiatry clinics by promoting nursing practice to the full extent of their education and training and work to provide 1:1 nursing support to our prescribing providers.

 

Q: What is one key takeaway from your poster that you hope will support other nurses?

A: One of the things that we often hear from nurses is that they are discouraged from pursuing PMH nursing by classmates, preceptors, and sometimes even faculty while they are in school. Hearing this over the years has created a desire to not only fight the stigma of mental health, but also what our own perception of PMH nursing is within our own community. Psychiatric-mental health nursing is as much of a specialty as any other nursing specialty, and that is worth advocating. Our nurses are working toward becoming full partners with physicians and other health care professionals in our Outpatient Psychiatry clinics. With the increasing demands for outpatient psychiatric services and access to care initiatives, the PMH-RN role is becoming more instrumental in providing high quality care for our patients and families. RNs focus on direct patient care, using interdisciplinary collaboration and care coordination.

 

Q: What was your presentation experience at the Annual Conference?

A: Our poster presentation provided us an opportunity to talk to many professionals about the role of the PMHN. We were able to speak with so many nurses with varying degrees of experience and knowledge, who are passionate about the practice of PMH nursing. This unique staffing model seemed to spark the interest of many other like-minded nurses who were able to appreciate our struggle in being accurately defined and adequately recognized by the mental health care partners that we work with. It was extremely validating and inspiring!
 


 

Beth Corcoran, MSN, CRNP, PMHNP-BC
Impact of Mental Health Interventions in Patients Diagnosed with Both Breast Cancer and a Depressive And/or Anxiety Disorder Utilizing the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale
1st Place Student Poster

Beth Corcoran
 

Q: What can you tell us about your poster and what drew you to this topic?

A: My poster was my Doctor of Nursing Practice Scholarly Project. In transitioning jobs during my program, I noted in my new position we were completing initial outpatient psychiatric evaluations utilizing the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. However, we were not using this information for anything further outside of identifying areas of significant depression and/or anxiety. Wanting to see if our mental health interventions were beneficial for our cancer patients and looking for areas of improvement, we decided adding a follow up survey would help collect some of this information. What I thought was a simple project turned into gathering statistically significant data and identifying further areas of research in the psycho-oncology population.

 

Q: What is one key takeaway from your poster that you hope will support other nurses?

A: One key takeaway from my poster, outside of the overwhelming data supporting psychosocial interventions, was the support I received internally from my employer. From the statistician I worked with to the nursing department to the oncology department and finally to my own medicine department, I was able to ask questions and receive assistance. I was so appreciative of the time and effort others put forth into my scholarly project to make it as successful as it was. I encourage other nurses to consider looking internally at projects they could contribute to.

 

Q: What was your presentation experience at the Annual Conference?

A: I had a really great experience at the Annual Conference! I was lucky enough to be a Janssen Scholar in 2014 and being able to reconnect with fellow nurses as well as gain further ideas from peers was reinvigorating for me. It also gave me additional confidence to pursue further research from the reception I received at the conference. I think this is one of the best assets of being in an organization like APNA.
 



If you would like to submit an abstract for a poster presentation at the APNA 33rd Annual Conference, the Call for Abstracts will open in January. Check www.apna.org/AnnualConference for updates.

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