A member-at-large's duties include ensuring effective and accountable governance, providing responsible oversight of the association, demonstrating competent and accountable leadership, and ensuring leadership continuity. Full Description


Brenda KucirkaBrenda Kucirka PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, CNE

Present Position

Associate Professor, Widener University SON
Consultant, Widener Community Nursing Clinic
Providence House Advisory Board
City of Chester Reentry Committee


PhD Widener University
MSN University of Pennsylvania
BSN Hahnemann University/MCP
Diploma St Luke’s Hospital SON

APNA Contributions
  • Executive Director Search Committee (2019-20)
  • Scholarly Review Committee - Chair (2017); Co-Chair (2015-16); Member (2010-present)
  • Awards and Recognition Committee (2009-present)
  • Education Council (2007-present)
  • Forensic Council Advisory Panel
  • Undergraduate Nursing Education Toolkit (2016)
  • APNA Pennsylvania Chapter - President (2017-20); President-Elect (2016-17); Education Chair (2014-16)
  • APNA Annual Conference presenter (2010, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19)
  • APNA Health Policy Summit invited participant (2018, 19)
  • Janssen Scholar 2011
  • eLearning Center Faculty
Other Experience
  • Clinical: 36 years PMH nursing: Generalist (15yrs) APRN (21yrs)
  • Teaching: 19 years in PMH settings and higher education (prelicensure to doctoral)
  • Advocacy: NAMI: Advisory Board, Education and Outreach Committee
  • Facilitate MH awareness and coping skills workshops in prison and homeless shelter

APNA Members Should Vote for Me Because: As an APNA member for 30 years, I am committed to service, actively involved at the state and national level. This year I served on the Executive Director Search Committee, an experience which deepened my appreciation for the work of the leadership team, strengthening my desire to serve on the BOD. I bring an understanding of APNA’s mission and strategic plan and a sincere desire to work with the BOD on initiatives meeting needs of members and stakeholders. I will use my advocacy and PMH nursing skills to promote wellness, social justice, and inclusivity. I am committed to listening to the voices of stakeholders, cognizant that APNA is an organization dedicated to promoting MH nursing and MH. My career focus is advocacy and education to support optimal MH outcomes for the communities and organizations that I serve. I am a mentor and ambassador for PMH nursing. My passion for PMH nursing has inspired students to pursue PMH nursing careers. I understand the educational needs of nurses and persons with MH issues. I welcome the opportunity to use my leadership skills and nursing expertise to serve APNA as Member-at-Large.

I Can Help Fulfill APNA’s Purpose As A Scientific and Education Organization By: If elected, I will bring integrity and intentionality, upholding APNA core values of empowerment, inclusivity and collegiality through stewardship, advocacy and service. As an innovative leader, I will collaborate with the BOD on initiatives that fulfill APNA’s goals of advancing PMH nursing, integrating research, practice, and education to promote mental health. My expertise as an educator and researcher along with years of active involvement in APNA will inform my work with the BOD. I support open dialogue that recognizes and values all voices. I am a passionate, tireless advocate with a heart for social justice serving vulnerable and stigmatized populations. I will address issues related to disparity and stigma. I will listen to the needs of members and stakeholders and work with the BOD to maintain APNA’s standing as the expert voice for PMH nursing committed to the wellbeing and MH of persons affected by MH issues.

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The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.