A Message from the President

APNA President Susie AdamsSusie Adams, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, PMHCNS-BC, FAANP
November 2014

It is with a great excitement that I begin my term as President of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. With each passing year I watch the energy, talent, and passion of psychiatric mental health nurses across the country and especially among APNA members continue to flourish in this evolving health care environment. I believe we are at pivotal time in the history of U.S. health care delivery to develop models of care that treat the whole person – body, mind, and spirit – that improve clinical outcomes and quality of life. Psychiatric-mental health nurses are uniquely prepared to lead collaborative efforts across diverse settings in practice, administration, education, research and policy arenas to that end. I look forward to collaborating with you throughout the year to advance our profession and promote mental health…mindful of the fact that “There is no health without mental health” (WHO).

My theme for the coming year, then, is Collaborating in an Evolving Health Care System: Opportunities to Advance Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing. As we all well know, the health care system is in the midst of change. With change comes opportunity – opportunities to implement innovative models of care and our full scope of practice to help meet the needs of our population and promote wellness.  Collaboration is key to both finding those opportunities and taking advantage of them. APNA is a vehicle for us to collaborate with each other across psychiatric-mental health nursing practice education, and research. At the same time, our organization helps us collaborate intraprofessionally with other stakeholders in nursing and mental health. Collaboration is how we learn from each other, embrace new perspectives, work through complex issues, advance knowledge, and build relationships.

On a personal note, I would like to acknowledge the two amazing leaders who mentored me during my year on the Board as President-Elect: Pat Cunningham, on whose heels I am immediately following, and Beth Phoenix, who just reached the end her three year Presidential ‘lifespan’ on the Board last month. These two leaders have gone above and beyond to help me prepare for the year ahead. Beth and Pat have provided me with two remarkable examples of leadership through vision, sensitivity, and consensus building.

As we prepare to close out this year’s chapter, let’s take a quick look at the highlights. At the Annual Conference Opening Ceremony, Executive Director Nick Croce announced that we had just reached an exciting milestone - our membership has surpassed 10,000! Likewise, our two yearly educational conferences – the Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute (CPI) and Annual Conference both drew more attendees than ever before. 455 colleagues came together in June for CPI and last month we were a group of 1,505 building connections and sharing our psychiatric-mental health nursing perspectives at the Annual Conference. The Chapters and Councils have also accomplished much, from the development of suicide competencies for inpatient nurse generalists to an online policy forum on integrated care. The Annual Activity Report, presented by Pat Cunningham last month, provides an excellent look at all that the APNA membership accomplished this year.

If you were with us at the Annual Meeting during the Annual Conference last month, then you know that I am a great lover of all things Disney. I am so thrilled, then, that the 2015 Annual Conference will be held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Mark your calendars for October 28 - 31, 2015 – It’s going to be a fabulous several days of collaboration!

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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.