Policy Statement:  APNA Position Paper (White Paper) Process and Guidelines
  1. Position papers state positions officially endorsed by the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) as authorized by the Board of Directors and are intended to advance the practice of psychiatric-mental health nursing. Position papers discuss issues in the field of psychiatric-mental health nursing of vital interest to the public and to the membership at large. A position paper will discuss not only the majority opinion about its subject but also a range of accepted (mainstream) minority opinions. The purpose of a position paper (white paper) is to advocate a specific solution or best way to go in addressing a particular concern.
  2. A position paper is initiated by the President or by direction of the Board of Directors.
  3. The President, with the Board’s approval, appoints the lead author.
  4. The lead author, with the Board’s approval, selects experts and co-authors to assist in preparing the first draft of the paper.
  5. The first draft is submitted to the Board of Directors for review and comment. The Board of Directors votes (simple majority) to accept or reject the paper in concept. The Board could request further revision or clarification before taking a vote.
  6. The draft is re-edited and posted on the APNA website for 30 days during which time the general membership has the opportunity to review and comment.
  7. The authors re-edit the paper based on members’ comments and then submit it to the Board for approval. The Board votes (simple majority—or could be super majority ¾) to accept, accept with additional revisions, or reject the paper.
  8. Accepted position papers will be published as approved (with the exception of stylistic changes) in the Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and posted on the website as a position endorsed by the American Psychiatric Nurses Association for five years.
  9. A paper rejected by the Board of Directors may be submitted to any medical journal as the product of the authors, but it may not be identified as an endorsed opinion of APNA.
  10. APNA’s endorsement of a position paper ends five years from publication of the position paper. APNA may renew its endorsement of a position paper by following steps 2-10 above, with revision of the original manuscript as appropriate for changes in knowledge or understanding that occur during the five year life of the original position paper.

A paper shall be concise (fewer than 2000 words recommended) and formatted as below:

Abstract: The abstract is a concise (fewer than 250 words) review of the paper. The abstract summarizes the introduction, background, body, and major points of the paper.
Introduction: The introduction concisely states the purpose and historical background that prompted creation of the paper.

Discussion: The discussion is a review of the current state of knowledge on a particular subject. This section should contain only information currently accepted as factual under existing scientific methodology and knowledge. This section is intended to present a balanced review of the subject of the paper by highlighting the current state of knowledge, areas of contention, and preferred methods of practice. The paper will acknowledge and discuss mainstream minority opinions. Personal opinions, speculative theory, or information relative to a specific case cannot be included in this discussion.

Conclusion: The conclusion states succinctly the major points supported by the paper.

References: The paper shall include a concise list of references that support the main points of the paper as well as the mainstream minority opinions discussed in the paper. Papers will be prepared using the American Psychological Association (APA) Manual.

(Adapted from National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) approved 2/21/06; thename.org)

Resources for writing white/position papers:



Approved by the Board of Directors
-July 13, 2010



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