A Message from the President

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

May 2012


Our community of psychiatric-mental health nurses continues to grow! This month we hit an exciting milestone: over 8,000 PMH nurses have lent their voices and support to our association! Wow! It’s thrilling that so many of us in PMH nursing are connected through APNA...and how many of us continue to be a part of this association of professionals - we have a member retention rate of over 85%!  More important than these numbers, though, is how busy and engaged we all are within our organization. I’m sure you’ve seen the wide range of topics covered in the conversations on Member Bridge and the number of people participating in these dialogues. Our chapters and councils are also engaging in much work and collaboration. We have had great participation in our quarterly conference calls with the Chapter Presidents and Co-Chairs of our Councils – it’s so exciting to hear what everyone is working on.

For example, I’m pleased to report that members of the Recovery to Practice project have begun piloting their recovery curriculum, Acute Care Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses: Preparing for Recovery Oriented Practice. This work is part of our involvement as one of five national participants in the SAMHSA Recovery to Practice initiative. Developed by the RTP workgroup with input from consumers and nursing leaders, this curriculum aims to increase nursing knowledge of recovery-oriented care and how it translates into nursing practice. Also recently, in March the Scholarly Review Committee finished its review of abstract proposals for the APNA 26th Annual Conference. Thanks in part to their excellent work we’ve got an outstanding program planned; I can’t wait to share it with you! Registration will open next month, so stay tuned.

Another exciting venture for APNA is the national Joining Forces initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Jill Biden’s effort to help ensure that all nurses have some skill set in assessment and triage to interventions for our military men, women and families who suffer from PTSD and other related mental health problems. APNA has been a strong presence in this effort from the beginning: at the onset we were part of a core group of specialty nursing organizations, along with the VA, ANA, AACN, NCSB, and AANP. Working together, we grew the initiative until virtually every nursing organization and nursing school was involved. Today over 170 nursing organizations and almost 600 nursing schools have pledged their support. On April 11th I attended the Joining Forces meeting in Philadelphia with First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Jill Biden to announce the initiative (see photo at left - I'm in the front row in the red). It was a true pleasure to meet them, hear their fervor, and participate in roundtable discussions with nursing leaders from around the country. It’s exciting for us as an association to see our work pay off as the initiative grows and evolves. I look forward to our continued involvement in ensuring that our service members, veterans, and families receive the best possible care.

Our new Strategic Plan, a product of the Board’s face-to-face meeting in February, is available on our website at http://www.apna.org/StratPlan. I hope that you’ve had the time to review it. The March/April and May/June issues of JAPNA feature a thorough, two-part description of the process that we used to formulate the plan. We are on a steady, clear, and future-oriented path.

Speaking of our future, elections for our APNA Board of Directors and 2012 Nominating Committee are upon us. Please do take the time to review the slate of candidates and make your voice heard in this simple and easy voting process - your participation is important!

As for me, in April I attended the ISPN conference, enjoying old and new connections among the members as well as meeting with their President. We agreed to continue the dialogue that we share through work teams such as the one working on the revision of the Scope and Standards of Practice for Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing. President-Elect Beth Phoenix and I participated at the ACMHA (The College for Behavioral Health Leadership) Summit this year, where the theme addressed the impact of social supports in the lives and communities of consumers. Earlier this month I also participated in a “think tank” hosted by the International Bipolar Foundation (with guest former Congressman Patrick Kennedy) regarding current and future research and the quagmire that stigma plays relevant to mental illness here in the US and worldwide. Within APNA, many of our chapters host their annual local conferences in the spring and I have been grateful to be able to attend and meet with you at some of these. Our Board is preparing for our upcoming face-to-face meeting in June: we meet a few days before our Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute. I am also looking forward to attending the upcoming SAMHSA/HRSA Behavioral Health Workforce Listening Session in June and will share any outcomes from the meeting with you.

I hope to have a chance to meet and greet many more of you, perhaps at next month’s CPI, a chapter conference and/or at our Annual Conference in the fall. If that’s not possible do note that I have an open-door policy and am happy to chat with you at any time!

Enjoy the spring – summer is just around the corner!

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