2015 APNA President's Report

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the APNA Board of Directors I am pleased to present the 2015 American Psychiatric Nurses Association Activity Report. This report covers the period from October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015. It represents only a summary of the many activities and exciting work that is underway. It is a testament to what you, as a part of our organization and profession, are helping to make happen.

Throughout the year we have enjoyed sound membership growth and retention. We are sustaining our membership at just over 10,000 members. Please see APNA Secretary Ben Evans’s report for more details on membership growth.

We have also enjoyed a strong financial year. Our annual revenue continues to exceed our expenses for net profit and our conservative investment portfolio continues to grow nicely. A copy of the most recent external audit report can be found in the Appendix and a copy of APNA Treasurer Susan Dawson’s report is included in this Activity Report.

A Strategic Direction guides all of APNA’s activities and our general direction. The current plan was developed in February of 2012 and updated this past February. A full copy of the Strategic Direction can be found here. Review of the strategic direction is a routine agenda item for every Board of Directors meeting. The Board assesses APNA’s progress against each of the direction’s four goals and evaluates the plan itself for pertinence against the current environment. The remainder of this report will provide a summary of the activities guided by these four goals (listed below) as we work to achieve the APNA purpose as stated in our bylaws: “The Association is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes.”

APNA Strategic Direction Goals

  1. APNA will be the indispensable resource for member networking and leadership and professional development.
  2. APNA will be the leader in creating strategic alliances with key stakeholders to advance its mission.
  3. APNA will be recognized as the expert voice for psychiatric-mental health nursing to stakeholders.
  4. APNA will be the leader in integrating research, practice, and education to address mental health policy issues that affect psychiatric-mental health nursing and the population served.

This year has seen many member-driven programs and initiatives come to fruition. In total, more than 1,000 members are participating across our committees, councils, institutes, and workgroups. We also continue to see increasing participation through attendance at conferences, usage of online education, and in the rich conversations in the many online communities across Member Bridge. With our educational offerings, scholarly journal, and programs like the APNA Board of Directors Scholarship, the APNA Annual Awards, APNA Mentor Match, and the American Psychiatric Nursing Foundation Research Grant, we continue to advance the profession across administration, education, practice, and research.

In the mental health and nursing communities at large, we maintain an active presence, continually striving to ensure that psychiatric-mental health nursing has a seat at the table. We continue to advocate for nursing and mental health through our membership in the Nursing Community, the Mental Health Liaison Group, and membership as a Premier Organizational Affiliate with the American Nurses Association.  Below is an abbreviated list of some of the tables at which he have been present this year, and the members who have represented us:

APNA Representative
Susie Adams
AACN APRN Clinical Task Force Invitational Stakeholder Meeting
Marlene Nadler Moodie, Nicholas Croce
American Nurses Association Organizational Affiliates Meeting
Susie Adams
American Society of Association Executives
Jolyn Zeller
ANCC Content Expert Panel - Lifespan PMHNP
Patricia Cunningham
Emergency Nurses Association Convention
Susie Adams
Institute of Medicine Committee on Developing Evidence-Based Standards for Psychosocial Interventions
Susie Adams
International Society of Psychiatric Nurses
Patricia Cunningham, Sattaria S. Dilks
LACE Representatives, National Council of State Boards of Nursing
Celeste M. Johnson, Kris McLoughlin, Nicholas Croce
NALA Educating Leaders in Nursing: Building Board Competencies
Susie Adams, Nicholas Croce
National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
Patricia Cunningham
National Council of State Board of Nursing Meeting
Patricia Cunningham, Susie Adams
National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty
Michael Rice
National Student Nurses Association
Susie Adams, Sattaria S. Dilks
National Task Force on Quality NP Education
Mary Ann Nihart, Susie Adams, Nicholas Croce
Nursing Organizations Alliance Meeting
Mona M. Shattell
Psychiatric Emergencies Summit
Kathryn Griffin
Recovery To Practice - Hogge Foundation
Susie Adams
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Think Tank
Susie Adams
Rosalynn Carter Symposium
Rosalind De Lisser
SAMHSA Voice Awards

In March we released the first competencies specifically for psychiatric-mental health RNs on assessing and managing suicide risk. Many APNA members and external experts in suicide prevention graciously shared their time and expertise to formulate, review, and validate the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Essential Competencies for Assessment and Management of Individuals At Risk for Suicide and the accompanying continuing education, Competency-Based Training for Suicide Prevention. With suicide the tenth leading cause of death, these represent an important step towards helping inpatient PMH RNs, one of the largest members of the teams providing care to patients at risk for suicide, to address this public health crisis. The Competency Based Training for Suicide Prevention furthers the mission by teaching nurses how to apply and integrate these competencies into their practice.  In response to overwhelming requests nurses across specialties and settings, APNA has convened a Task Force to adapt and modify the competencies for nurses in acute care hospital settings and critical care units, in collaboration with representatives from the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.

Similar to the development of the suicide competencies, the release of the APNA Transitions in Practice Program was the result of an immense team effort by the APNA Education Council’s Continuing Education Branch. By tapping into members whose fingers are on the pulse of orienting and educating RNs in psychiatric-mental health nursing, the workgroup created a comprehensive educational program that fills these nurses in on the foundational knowledge they need to feel confident in their practice. With 15 contact hours of self-paced online faculty presentations, case studies, and supplemental activities, ATP provides evidence based knowledge, best practices, and tools for PMH-RN practice in a user-friendly format.

Under the visionary leadership of current Editor in Chief Karen Farchaus Stein, our Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association received an impact factor and inclusion in Thomson Reuters indexing.  To ensure the continued upward trajectory of our journal, the JAPNA Editor Search Committee, composed of members representing the variety of backgrounds and focus areas found in our membership, devoted more than 18 months to identifying a candidate to succeed Dr. Farchaus Stein. In June the APNA Board of Directors approved the recommendation made by this committee and name Geraldine Pearson as our new editor, effective January 1, 2016. Dr. Pearson brings extensive experience as both an editor and a psychiatric-mental health nurse researcher and the Board is confident that she will continue to uphold the scientific rigor of JAPNA as established under Dr. Farchaus Stein, and ensure that the content meets the needs of the psychiatric-mental health nursing profession.

In addition to these exciting highlights, we introduced several programs this year, which I would also like to bring to your attention: To empower chapters to provide members with networking and education, we have been implementing chapter enhancements which include robust administrative support from APNA national staff. APNA is striving help members stay informed of legislative developments in their states through a new legislative tracking program. Members can access detailed information about legislation (both pending and recently passed) at any time via a new tool on the APNA website, and chapters can brief their members each month about legislative developments in their state with monthly reports. The APNA Recovery to Practice program, Acute Care Psychiatric Mental-Health Nurses: Preparing for Recovery-Oriented Practice, continues to spread, with the Texas Chapter receiving a grant from the Hogge Foundation to teach the curriculum across the state. This year also saw the release of the first issue of a free eBook series on Bipolar Spectrum Disorder, which integrates new criteria from the DSM-5 as well as recovery-oriented information.

All of the projects and initiatives in this report would not be possible without you, our passionate and dedicated members who give their time to help APNA support and advance psychiatric-mental health nursing. Serving as APNA President this past year, I have been humbled and inspired each day by the talent, dedication, and innovative ideas of APNA nurses. Through inter and intra professional collaborations, we help evolve the health care system and psychiatric-mental health nursing in order to improve the mental health of the population. There is no better time than the present to be a psych nurse and member of this wonderful organization!   

Respectfully Submitted,
Susie Adams
American Psychiatric Nurses Association

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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.