A Message from the President

Marlene Nadler-Moodie, MSN, APRN, PMHCNS-BC

January 2012


Happy New Year! Time is flying by and I’m pleased to report that 2012 is starting out strong for us at APNA.

In a few weeks the APNA Board of Directors will be meeting to discuss our biggest agenda item currently on the table - revising APNA’s strategic plan. The strategic plan is what guides the association - setting out specific goals and ways to achieve those goals - and in a broader sense it defines the envisioned future of APNA.   We have asked for your input to inform and guide us as we revise the plan. Thanks to all of you who we have heard from; your input is invaluable in this process. The APNA staff is busy collating your responses, which are what will essentially steer our strategic planning meeting.  We are also dialoguing with our Inter-Council Council, a council consisting of the co-chairs from all of the APNA councils.   Gathering input from them is another way to discern what’s important to our membership for the strategic planning process.

Another new and exciting development already well underway is a collaborative project with our APNA Janssen scholars. The APNA Janssen Scholars are a group of 15 graduate and 15 undergraduate students who were awarded full scholarships to attend the APNA 25th Annual Conference in Anaheim this past October. They continue to be connected and involved in the association via Member Bridge, and are now sharing their expertise via this new collaborative project. Our membership has designated four relevant issues as priorities: quality indicators, suicide prevention, seclusion and restraint, and workplace violence. The APNA Janssen Scholars are helping us by working together in small groups to explore these issues. Each group is focusing on one issue and producing a report sharing their findings. Each workgroup is supported by an APNA member who serves is an expert advisor/mentor to the group. The workgroups are helping us employ the APNA knowledge-based decision making process which utilizes the following three questions:

  1. What do we know about the current environment related to (topic) and psychiatric nursing? (What's going on out there?)
  2. What do we know about PMH nurses' and stakeholder’s needs, wants and preferences related to (topic)?
  3. What are some of the ethical implications related to (topic)?

This is a very exciting venture; we are thrilled by the continuing collaboration with our APNA Janssen Scholars and very thankful for the help of all participating members.

Speaking of collaboration, our efforts to work in partnership with our colleagues in nursing and mental health are ongoing and growing. APNA is seated at many tables, quite prominently at some. A few of us recently attended the Nursing Organization’s Alliance, an opportunity for all the nursing organizations to come together and share goals, outcomes and members’ interests. I had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion about the “WOW’s” of our organization and took many notes on those from others. The APNA “WOW” that other associations took away from the panel was the incredible engagement and connection that is rooted in the very structure of our association. While at the meeting, we took the opportunity to dialogue with leaders from the American Nurses Association, Emergency Nurses Association, International Nurses Society on Addictions, American Nurses Credentialing Center, National Council of State Boards of Nursing, and National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, to name a few.

Another opportunity this past month was a face-to-face meeting with Karen Drenkard, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, Executive Director of ANCC. This meeting both helped to support our ongoing working relationship and provided an opportunity to share our members’ comments, questions and concerns related to certification issues. Additionally, we have members who are seated on committees working with the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties on their revision and validation of competencies and the International Society of Psychiatric Nurses (ISPN) and ANA on our Scope and Standards revision and continued involvement in the Consensus Model Process. I am looking forward to meeting with the President of ISPN, Victoria Soltis- Jarrett PhD, PMHCNS-BC, FMHNP-BC in a few months and attending the National Association of Student Nurses conference by invitation. Broadening our ties worldwide, we’ve also recently been contacted by the Horatio Organization which is the collective psychiatric nursing organization throughout Europe.

In addition to working with our colleagues in nursing, we also continue to reach out and cultivate relationships with mental health organizations. Discussions are underway between our Executive Director and the National Alliance on Mental Illness about how to better support and help those living with mental illness. In addition, one of our members recently participated in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Summit “Taking on Trauma in Our Lives and Service Systems” as an informal representative for APNA. These collaborations and more keep us in-the-know and perhaps more importantly on the radar of others so that we can continue to be the go-to organization for all things related to our profession.

As you probably know, we are accepting abstract proposals for the APNA 26th Annual Conference. I trust that you are saving the dates November 7-10 to join your fellow members and colleagues in Pittsburgh. We’re looking forward to an awesome conference full of incredible educational opportunities and fun! Fighting Stigma is our conference theme - this theme relates to our patients and the stigmas of mental illness, but also don’t forget the stigma that’s out there about us as psychiatric mental health nurses. How often have you heard someone say, “You work where?! With those people…hmm….” I encourage you to brainstorm about all you know about stigma and to consider what you do in your work settings that relate to fighting it - you just might find yourself with a great idea for an abstract proposal! I’m hoping to hear from many of you.

2012 is off to a roaring start - perhaps this is the year that you have the ability to get more involved in your profession? If so, our organization is here to welcome you. If you haven’t already, surf around our website and check out the online communities, councils, committees and discussion threads that are of interest to you. YOU are APNA!

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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.