APNA 33rd Annual Conference Recap

APNA News: The Psychiatric Nursing Voice  |  November 2019 Members' Corner Edition

A smiling group of women at the APNA Annual Conference.

Takeaways and Togetherness: the APNA 33rd Annual Conference

More than 2200 psychiatric-mental health nurses came together in New Orleans, Louisiana last month for the APNA 33rd Annual Conference. Over the course of 4 days, this community experienced learning, camaraderie, and collaboration.



  • In pre-conference session 1034, Building Student Resilience: Changing Minds, Changing Lives An Innovative Program to Build Resilience in College-Aged Students in the Increasingly Challenging Collegiate Environment, Kristen D. Lambert, PhD, MSN, RN and Genevieve Chandler, PhD, RN introduced an intervention program to build resilience in college students using a psycho-educational strengths-based approach. Attendees left the session with a better understanding of challenges faced by modern undergraduates.
  • Deborah Salani, DNP, PMHNP-BC, APRN, NE-BC provided a comprehensive overview of human trafficking in session 4036, Do You See What I See? Recognizing Human Trafficking. In it, Salani described the role nurses can play in identifying and helping human trafficking victims.
  • At session 2026, Suicide Assessment in Older Adults, Marcia Walmer, DNP discussed unique risk factors for older adults and provided strategies to identify and assess those risks. In the words of one attendee, "After this session I will be assessing each new patient on a deeper level, as well as assessing after major events happen in my patient's life."

TogethernessA group poses with the Mardi Gras Indians at the Standup Comedy and Mardi Gras Reception.

  • APNA President Gail Stern discussed the theme of the conference, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses: The Whole Health Connection, in her President's Address. In it, she said, "Connections are healing. The connections we make with those we serve result in positive change - and science backs that up."
  • Standup comedian Pete Lee kicked off the Mardi Gras Reception on October 3 with a hilarious performance followed by a discussion with APNA President Gail Stern and psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner Jamie Plaxco on the importance of humor in forming connections.
  • The Mardi Gras Indians let the good times roll with live music and dancing during the reception, inviting attendees to a taste of New Orleans.
  • In her keynote, Nanette Larson reminded the audience that "healing occurs in the context of human connections." Her powerful message of lived experience and modeling self care for individuals with mental illness emphasized whole body wellness.



Session Recordings: Session recordings are released in groups and you will receive an email each time new recordings are posted.

Save the Date! Mark your calendars for the APNA 34th Annual Conference on September 30 to October 3, 2020 at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida!

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