Council Activity Report


Addictions Council

How many conference calls did you conduct during the 2014 - 2015 year? 10 for Addictions Council steering committee and 6 for the Tobacco Dependence branch

Check any meetings that apply for the 2015 conference: Interactive panel focused on "The Hidden Nature of Stigma: Recognition & Response"

Please provide highlights of your group's activities in the past year:
Early in the year the Addictions Council developed Mission and Vision Statements which were approved by APNA's Board of Directors. *In December 2015: the Addictions Council and Tobacco Dependence Council merged to create one Addictions Council with a Tobacco Dependence Branch (TDB). Matt Tierney and Carol Essenmacher are co-chairs of the newly blended council. *The council membership succeeded in eliciting and submitting a large number of proposals for presentation at the 2015 APNA Annual Conference, which has resulted in an increase in addictions-specific content at the conference this October. *Based on feedback from the APNA membership, the council developed and will present an interactive Panel and Discussion at the 2015 APNA Annual Conference on the topic of Stigma. The council created specific content to not only help identify stigma, but also to present evidence on stigma reduction strategies.

APNA's core purpose is to be the unified voice of psychiatric-mental health nursing. How has your council made progress toward this in the last year?
Through all its activities this year, the Addictions Council's activities have focused on the understanding of substance use and addictive disorders as identifiable and treatable psychiatric disorders, and on sharing this understanding with the APNA membership in order to be a more comprehensive and unified voice of psychiatric mental health nursing. Organizations and stakeholders can and should recognize APNA as having expertise and leadership in the areas of substance abuse and addictions nursing. The council promotes this idea not only among the membership, but also more broadly through our focused efforts this past year as identified in the previous section of this report

How has your group worked to achieve these goals?
The TDB is taking the lead in exploring the creation of a position paper on what nurses should know about electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). A special committee is reviewing current literature and will consolidate this information, and if approved by the APNA Board of Directors, will create and disseminate a position paper on what nurses should know about ENDS. This task requires member networking to determine the most objective sources of literature on the topic of ENDS so that psychiatric mental health nurses will be recognized as
experts on the use of ENDS. The TDB will also continue to engage in learning and disseminating information about the most current trends is effective tobacco and nicotine dependency treatment through collaborations with the APNA Education Council. Regarding Strategic Alliances and an expert voice for stakeholders: The co-chairs of the Addictions Council worked with Nick Croce at the end of the year to submit an invited commitment to the White House to help address the opioid overdose epidemic in the US. Specifically, APNA proposed to educate nurses and other health professionals on evidence-based best practices for treating opioid use disorder and associated problems, including opioid overdose, by developing and disseminating educational interventions on the treatment of opioid use disorder that will be offered in a webinar and/or interactive format at no cost.

What do you hope to accomplish for the 2015 - 2016 year?
In the 2015-2016 year the TDB will complete the application for developing a white paper. If the application is approved, the TDB will complete at least one draft of an ENDS position paper. The TDB will also collaborate on construction of a webinar or other such interactive educational presentation on at least one tobacco or nicotine treatment related topic. The Addictions Council has proposed inter-council work in the coming year with APNA's Education Council to provide leadership in disseminating drug use trends and treatments in order to provide nurse visibility and expertise on addiction and substance use content. We hope to work on creating a resource to disseminate this information not just to APNA members but to others throughout the country; i.e.: a resource nurses, primary care providers and communities could access easily to promote education and safety around substance use and addiction treatment. The Addictions Council hopes to develop a survey the APNA membership regarding addictions knowledge. The survey would provide an update to past Tobacco Dependence Surveys, and also add additional survey content regarding other drugs of abuse as well as their evidence-based treatments. The purpose is to survey the knowledge base and identify deficits so knowledge gaps can be filled.

Chair
Matthew Tierney, PMHNP-BC, ANP-BC
Associate Chair, Tobacco Dependence Branch
Carol Essenmacher, DNP, C-TTS
View Members of Addictions Council
 

Administrative Council

How many conference calls did you conduct during the 2014 - 2015 year? 5

Check any meetings that apply for the 2015 conference: Interactive Panel with a focus on Leader Response to Workplace Violence

Please provide highlights of your group's activities in the past year.
The Steering Committee solicited new members and named new co-chair. We piloted a new structure for the committee's work, dividing the members into focused small work groups. We determined the previous structure was preferable. The steering committee focused on leadership development and created a survey for APNA membership to determine members' ideas about leadership competencies. Leader response to workplace violence was chosen as topic for the group's annual conference Interactive Panel.

APNA's core purpose is to be the unified voice of psychiatric-mental health nursing. How has your council/institute/task force made progress toward this in the last year?
The Steering Committee chairs participated in phone conferences with leadership of the Institutes for Safe Environments. The goal for this activity is to capitalize on each group's unique contributions to providing safe environments in which psychiatric nursing care can be safely provided in a recovery oriented fashion. Additionally, we are striving to provide leaders with the competencies needed to achieve excellence. We have identified key roles for nurse leaders and are in the process of surveying members about desired leadership competencies so that focused education can be developed. We will be leading a discussion at the national conference focused on creating violence free environments in which nurses can provide and patients can receive recovery focused care.

How has your group worked to achieve these goals?
We developed a survey for members to better understand member opinions about most important leadership competencies. We have focused on an understanding of best practices in leadership responsibility in creating and maintaining safe environments for nurses and patients. Our group reorganized with the goal of increasing member participation. We have participated in phone conferences with leaders of the Institutes for Safe Environments in order to build synergy around leader roles in building safe environments for care.

What do you hope to accomplish for the 2015 - 2016 year?
Distribution of leadership competency surveys to members. Analyze and begin planning for survey results. Solidify membership commitment to the advisory council and steering committee.

Chairs
Avni Cirpili, MSN, RN
Kathy Lee, MS, APN, PMHCNS-BC
View Members of Administrative Council


APRN Council

How many conference calls did you conduct during the 2014 - 2015 year? 10

Check any meetings that apply for the 2015 conference: Interactive Panel

Please provide highlights of your group's activities in the past year.
The APRN Steering Committee has developed a 3 part psychotherapy series that will be presented at the APNA Annual Conference in Orlando. We anticipate developing further psychotherapy offerings based on feedback from course participants. The Steering Committee developed a brochure on the role of the PMH APRN to be offered through the APNA website for use by all chapters. The brochure will have a version to be offered to prospective PMH APRN students and one to offer to prospective consumers. The Steering Committee continues to follow and post relevant information related to tele-mental health and to engage in discussion on this topic with members of the APRN Council. APRN Council members are gradually becoming more active as mentors in the Mentor Match program and the SC will focus on how to become more involved during our interactive session in Orlando.

APNA's core purpose is to be the unified voice of psychiatric-mental health nursing. How has your council made progress toward this in the last year?
There is growing concern among PMH APRNs, particularly PMH CNS that a shortage of providers coupled with cost cutting measures has shifted APRN practice from psychotherapy to medication management in which non-nursing professionals are expected to do psychotherapy, leaving the PMH APRN to focus on prescribing. Graduate nursing programs have been criticized for emphasizing the medical care and medication management of patients who have chronic mental illness without providing adequate training in psychotherapy. Both the APRN and the Education Council: Graduate Branch have been exploring how to address this issue. The APRN Steering Committee has joined with members of the Education Council in developing the psychotherapy series that will be presented at this year's APNA Annual Conference.

How has your group worked to achieve these goals?
The APRN Council and Steering Committee are working toward getting more members involved in APNA's Mentor Match Program. We have continued to use the APRN discussion boards to post information and updates relevant to APRN practice. The APRN Steering Committee has been working with members of the Education Council: Graduate Branch to determine continuing education needs for our APRN members.

What do you hope to accomplish for the 2015 - 2016 year?
Further collaboration with the Education Council: Graduate Branch to develop continuing education products that will meet the educational needs of our APRN membership. Continuing support of the Mentor Match program through educating members about the program and getting more members involved as mentors and mentees. Facilitating discussion of pertinent issues that impact PMH APRN practice and treatment of the mentally ill such as PMH NPs training and supervision related to psychotherapy, ongoing barriers to PMH APRN practice and the shortage of PMH APRNs and resulting proliferation of non PMH APRNs and PAs being used in settings that treat persons suffering from chronic and severe mental illness.

APRN Council Chairs
Sattaria Dilks, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC
Kathryn Johnson, MSN, PMHCNS-BC, PMHNP-BC
View APRN Council Members


Child and Adolescent Council

How many conference calls did you conduct during the 2014 - 2015 year? The Child and Adolescent Council met three times from October 2014 through May 28, 2015, with meetings of subgroups occurring between these meetings.

Check any meetings that apply for the 2015 conference: Interactive Panel with the topic of Cyberbullying

Please provide highlights of your group's activities in the past year.
The Interactive Council held at the Annual APNA Conference had approximately 60 attendees and following a presentation of actions over the past year including survey results from a survey administered to the group in 2013-2014. The large group broke off into small work groups that included: violence in the community, evidence based practice, self-care, special populations, substance abuse, and inpatient care. Members connected with leaders from each group who will lead the groups in small calls to work on goals of interest. Three follow-up meetings of the council were held and council members reported back on work among these groups. Action items from these meetings included:

  1. Continued work in the evidence based practice group on the continuing education offering on Autism Spectrum Disorders lead by Jason Earle and potential paper/or collaboration on a paper on separation anxiety to be published in The Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing. Support was also given to members for submitting proposals for this year’s APNA (2015) conference and a discussion and follow up into offering a training using the COPE model at the APNA Annual Conference in Orlando. As of October 2, 2015, Jason Earle has submitted a continuing education series on Autism Spectrum Disorders, and is working with Deb Hobbs on this product. At the Conference in Orlando, in two pre-conference sessions, Dr. Bernadette Melnyk is providing continuing education on the COPE Model.
  2. Michelle Messina reported that her sub-group for Inpatient Child and Adolescent Nursing has met 7 times and is meeting on a regular basis. Some initiation occurred with Kathy Delaney and the group to pose a proposal for a talk at the 2015 Conference, looking at model of care across child and adolescent inpatient psychiatric-mental health nursing .
  3. A priority goal for looking at the Resource Web Page for the Child and Adolescent Council was identified and the chairs were to seek guidance from APNA on how to make some revisions and additions. Kathy Gaffney has an offering on child trauma she will work on with Deb Hobbs to get onto the Resource Page as well as to look for other trauma informed care links relative to child and adolescent nursing practice.
  4. Efforts aimed at collaborating across disciplines were discussed. Michael Terry reported on the panel discussion given this past year at the Annual meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (ACAP) and will lead continued discussions (along with Kathy Delaney and Julie Carbray) with Dr. Axelson, on the Access Committee of ACAP. This year there will be another panel discussion. Michael Terry plans to help organize this. The ACAP meeting overlap the APNA meeting in October, 2015 (October 26-31, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas). The Assembly of Regional Organizations around Child-Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing is held in the spring, 2016. A representative should be at this meeting. This is being discussed.
  5. One of the topics that rose in interest at the 2014 Child-Adolescent Interactive Council was the use of technology/cyberbullying. Diane Wieland is presenting on this topic at the Interactive Child-Adolescent Council at the 2015 Annual Conference to address this need.

During this past year, Julie Carbray and Diane Wieland participated in the APNA InterCouncil Council meeting on September 2, 2015. Julie Carbray has also participated in the development of a continuing education product on Bipolar Disorder, contributing to the child-adolescent aspect of this illness that occurs across the lifespan. She and several other APNA members worked on this project with Deb Hobbs.

At the APNA 2015 Conference there are a number of sessions under the Child and Adolescent Track including:

  1. United We Stand, Divided We Fall, Development of a New Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit in a Large Tertiary Pediatric Facility.
  2. Creating an Innovative Inpatient Program for Pediatric Medical Psychiatric Patients.
  3. The Transformation of Pediatric Psychiatric Nursing Practice to Enhance Therapeutic Outcomes
  4. REAACH: Recognizing Every Adolescent’s Ability to Climb Higher: A Therapeutic Framework for Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatric Units.
  5. The Impact of Parent Directed Education Curriculum on Improved Adolescent Mood Disorder Outcomes.
  6. Parents Self-Help Training for Improved ADHD Outcomes
  7. Evaluating the Effectiveness of Multiple Family Group Therapy in Reducing Stress Among Families Coping with Autism.

APNA's core purpose is to be the unified voice of psychiatric-mental health nursing. How has your council made progress toward this in the last year?
The Child and Adolescent Council is the one and only voice for the large amount of nurses working in this field. Julie Carbray has been active in co-authoring a CE on Bipolar Disorder across the lifespan with other APNA members. Jason Earle is working on a CE on ASDs. Diane Wieland and Julie Carbray are working on a publication on Cyberbullying. Other work groups are beginning to address other issues.

How has your group worked to achieve these goals?
We are working with ACAP leadership in terms of collaboration. Michael Terry has been instrumental in this as have been Kathy Delaney and also Julie Carbray. The other goals should be discussed at the Interactive Council with activities designated to meet these goals.

What do you hope to accomplish for the 2015 - 2016 year?

  1. To strengthen the workgroups, especially the Inpatient Unit Workgroup
  2. To improve the Resource Page
  3. To increase activity on the conference calls
  4. To present child-adolescent nursing sessions at the Annual Conference each year
  5. To collaborate with ACAP members/leaders
  6. To follow-up with continuing education offerings from the Council with Deb Hobbs.
  7. To connect with speakers at the APNA conference who are speaking about child-adolescent topics but who may not yet be Child-Adolescent Council members.

Child and Adolescent Council Chairs
Julie Carbray, PhD, APN, BC
Diane Wieland, PhD, MSN, RN, PMHCNS-BC
View Child and Adolescent Council Members


Education Council

How many conference calls did you conduct during the 2014 - 2015 year? 9 between November 2014-October 2015

Check any meetings that apply for the 2015 conference: The council will have an Interactive Panel and the three branches of the Education Council will be conducting presentations and meetings at the 2015 APNA Annual Conference.

Please provide highlights of your group's activities in the past year.
The Undergraduate Branch has continued to work on the following:

  • Update on major project charged by APNA BOD *Infuse pertinent PMHN content into undergrad curriculum to cover range of healthcare settings
  • Develop teaching resources *Crosswalk document aligning APNA/ANA Scope & Standards of PMHN, AACN BSN Essentials, Toolkit in development for teaching 13 required core nursing content areas. Graduate Branch:
  • Monthly Conference Calls
  • Topical discussions
  • Project planning & implementation
  • Member Bridge Discussions

Goals & Projects for Upcoming Year:

  • Update list of Graduate Advanced Practice Psychiatric Mental Health Programs
  • Form workgroups (Continuation of Graduate Ed. Council Concurrent Session #3047)
  • Debate basic knowledge, skills, & attitudes needed by PMHNP to provide psychotherapy
  • Discuss various individual, group, & family psychotherapy learning & training opportunities that can be employed in PMHNP programs
  • Create forum these learning opportunities can be shared.

Continuing Education Branch:

  • Suicide Competencies for Acute Care RNs
  • Bipolar Spectrum Disorder Series
  • Psychiatric RN and APRN Roles in Integrated Care

Upcoming Annual Goals:

  • Survey of interest areas for Continuing Education Branch members
  • Self-care practices for Psychiatric Nurses
  • Strategies for dealing with manipulative or disruptive client behaviors
  • Responding to cultural differences in psychiatric settings
  • Collaborative work with other APNA Councils.

APNA's core purpose is to be the unified voice of psychiatric-mental health nursing. How has your council made progress toward this in the last year?
The Education Council has worked toward the development of products that are grounded out of surveying members on the issues that surround educational opportunities within and across APNA. In addition, we are beginning to create collaborative work with other councils.

How has your group worked to achieve these goals?
Please see the previous answers in this document.

What do you hope to accomplish for the 2015 - 2016 year?
Please see the previous answers in this document.

Education Council Chairs
Donna Rolin, PhD, APRN, PMHCNS-BC
Barbara Warren, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN
View Education Council Members


Forensic Psychiatric Nurses Council

How many conference calls did you conduct during the 2014 - 2015 year? 0

Check any meetings that apply for the 2015 conference: Interactive Panel

Please provide highlights of your group's activities in the past year.
We have not done as much as I would like, but I hope that after Carrie returns from the Conference we can get a list of interested members together and promote activity on the member bridge and on regularly scheduled calls. I also hope to get some leadership ideas from the meeting in February.

APNA's core purpose is to be the unified voice of psychiatric-mental health nursing. How has your council made progress toward this in the last year?
None--but hope to work with other councils next year as I see we have many common visions.

How has your group worked to achieve these goals?
We have not achieved much this year, but I hope to get a white paper on forensic nursing written and create a robust interactive panel for next year.

What do you hope to accomplish for the 2015 - 2016 year?
Energize member bridge activity. Schedule and hold regular calls. Develop a robust interactive panel for next year at the APNA Annual conference.

Forensic Psychiatric Nurses Council Chairs
Nina Beaman, EdD, MSN, CNE, RN-BC (PMH)
Carrie Carretta, PhD, APN-BC, AHN-BC, FPMHNP
View Forensic Psychiatric Nurses Council Members


Recovery Council

How many conference calls did you conduct during the 2014 - 2015 year? 12-14 including workgroups

Check any meetings that apply for the 2015 conference: Meeting of Steering Committee + Advisory Panel and Interactive Panel

Please provide highlights of your group's activities in the past year.

  1. Currently working on a literature review looking at current best practices/research in the area of recovery across disciplines. Plan to publish this work.
  2. Beginning to approach other councils to explore collaborating on specific projects that include recovery principles and content.
  3. Revised our mission, vision, goals and outcomes for the council.
  4. Developing a workbook for nurses using recovery principles and self-care practices.
  5. Considering collaborating on a publication comparing and contrasting recovery and mental health with recovery and cancer.
  6. Education, Population and Environment work groups working on tool kits for APNA members to use in their practice setting.

The group broke into workgroups to develop recovery materials for members based on different environments and settings, but these were not successful due to attendance. Beginning in 2015, a literature review has been conducted and is still underway with a goal of writing a state of the science paper for the JAPNA Journal.

APNA's core purpose is to be the unified voice of psychiatric-mental health nursing. How has your council made progress toward this in the last year?
Recovery itself is a unifying theme for all psychiatric mental health nurses. Our council is dedicated to ensuring PMH nurses have the resources they need to understand, utilize and integrate recovery principles into their professional practice. To that end, we are completing a review of the current literature and hope to publish the findings. In addition, our work groups are putting together specific tool kits for nurses in academia, hospital practice and community settings to help them incorporate and infuse recovery into all aspects of care. Finally, we are currently discussing how recovery principles might be used as part of self-care practices for nurses. The deliverable for this project will be a workbook/journal for nurses. Literature review for state of the science paper on recovery. Working on a toolkit of resources for website.

How has your group worked to achieve these goals?
Goal A: We have initiated conversations with other councils to collaborate on projects for the APNA membership to ensure our members have up-to-date best practice information on recovery. We are eliciting examples of recovery oriented activities, experiences, practices from APNA members to share with all APNA members. Goal B: We have intentionally included individuals with lived experienced on our steering committee. Goal C: We are interested in developing a "speakers bureau" of council members, prepared to offer information and assistance to agencies interested in integrating recovery principles into their system of care.

What do you hope to accomplish for the 2015 - 2016 year?

  1. Publish at least three articles for PMH and RN's interested in learning more about current best practices in recovery.
  2. Complete a self-care/recovery oriented workbook/journal for nurses.
  3. Engage and include current steering committee members as well as utilizing the expertise of the expert panel members.
  4. Make best practice information collected during the interactive panel available to APNA membership as well as continue to add to the repository of best practice exemplars.

Recovery Council Chairs
Jennifer Barut, MSN, RN-BC
Kristen Lambert, PhD, MSN, RN
View Recovery Council Members


Research Council

The Steering Committee led by Dr. Danny Willis met in May, June, and September 2015. The Steering Committee has focused on engaged dialogue, new ideas, sustained energy and a fresh perspective during brainstorming and thinking about the role of the Research Council within APNA.  The Steering Committee has engaged in discussions about inclusivity as a major theme over the past few months. Discussions have included thoughtful suggestions about how to best engage the membership. The discussions have included recognition of the fact that APNA is composed of a diverse group of members representing the many facets of psychiatric mental health nursing, including general and advanced practice, nursing education, nursing science/research; and policy. In order for the Research Council to be most appealing and inclusive, the Steering Committee has been conceptualizing “research” as existing on a continuum with nurses able to participate at different levels of engagement, including evidence-based practice, quality improvement, as well as NIH and other types of funded nursing science to advance foundational knowledge for practice and the empirical development of theory-based interventions.

The 2015 Interactive Panel for the Research Council will be truly interactive and exciting for attendees!  Under the direction of Dr. Jane Mahoney (Research Council Co-Chair), we will offer APNA members an opportunity to engage in the strategic planning at the annual conference in Orlando. Attendees will have the opportunity to take part in shaping the council’s goals and activities. We will be utilizing an interesting methodology (Liberating structures activities/group work; akin to a modified Delphi technique) to synergize energy around research needs, gather input from attendees and reach consensus on a unified direction that reflects the diverse needs of the members via several rounds of voting. The final goals and activities will be presented to the group for final discussion and revision at the end of the Interactive Panel.

This content will be brought back to the Steering Committee for discussion and final decision-making. The final document will be posted on the Research Council’s Community via the Member Bridge for comments and revision.

In addition to the ongoing Council Activities, The Research Council also coordinated the peer review of the 2015 American Psychiatric Nurses Foundation (APNF) research proposals. This year, we received 17 proposals (an excellent response!) and had a dedicated panel of reviewers conduct blind reviews on the proposals. Each proposal received two independent reviews with constructive comments offered on each proposal. The APNF Board directed that two awards of $10,000.00 each be awarded. After careful review, one proposal was funded; other proposals were worthy but had methodological issues that the reviewers deemed in need of revision before funding could be awarded. The Council made a recommendation to the APNF Board that a variable funding mechanism be created that would allow several proposal mechanisms ranging from $2-10,000.00 to be supported. Dr. Beeber will take this proposal to the APNF Board in October.

Steering Committee members with expertise in clinical care and DNP Educational programs will work with the Co-Chairs to design criteria and a review rubric to include DNP evidence application proposals to be considered in a separate call for proposals.. These criteria and the rubric will be completed by January, 2016 in time for the 2016 call for proposals.

Research Council Chairs
Linda Beeber, PhD, CNS-BC, FAAN
Jane Mahoney, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC
Danny Willis, RN, DNS, PMHCNS-BC
View Research Council Members


Institute for Mental Health Advocacy

How many conference calls did you conduct during the 2014 - 2015 year? 10

Check any meetings that apply for the 2015 conference: Interactive Panel

Please provide highlights of your group's activities in the past year.
Annual conference planning including a panel discussion, review of APNA guidelines for advocacy. CQ State Tracking System – reviewed by Advocacy Steering Committee. Excited to have ability to provide more legislative information for members. Look forward to tracking trends in states on issues involving mental health. Presentation will be provided at the APNA Annual Conference in October 2015. Review of Steering Committee members and survey of participation of interest completed with the help of council support. 400 persons submitted requests to join the Institute Steering Committee or Advisory Panel. Selected member candidates will be submitted to the Board for approval. Identified issues with low participation of board members in monthly calls and on Member bridge.

APNA's core purpose is to be the unified voice of psychiatric-mental health nursing. How has your institute made progress toward this in the last year?
Continuing to discuss current issues in psychiatric mental health nursing. Monitor legislation. Involve membership thru our Steering Committee and Advisory Panel from all over the United States. Provide guidelines for members regarding lobbying and advocacy.

How has your group worked to achieve these goals?
Involvement of members from all disciplines in advocacy for mental health through our Institute membership and meetings. Continued monitoring of current legislation and issues in mental health.

What do you hope to accomplish for the 2015 - 2016 year?
Membership participation in using the new CQ State Tracking system. Providing input on current issues. Monitoring trends in states. Getting this information out to members. Continuing to involve all disciplines in psychiatric nursing.

Institute for Mental Health Advocacy Chairs
Kathryn Brotzge, MSN, APRN
Christine Tebaldi, MS, PMHNP-BC
View Institute for Mental Health Advocacy Members


Institute for Safe Environments

How many conference calls did you conduct during the 2014 - 2015 year? 11

Check any meetings that apply for the 2015 conference: Interactive Panel

Please provide highlights of your group's activities in the past year.

This year the ISE Steering Committee continued its structure of monthly calls and a focus on issues/projects raised by the members of the steering committee or suggested to us as a concern of membership. Each month our calls have an average of six members. Discussions among members are usually thoughtful and productive, and inevitably end with talk about the importance of teaching and promoting therapeutic interaction and engagement as means to increase safety. We discuss our current projects as well as emerging issues related to safe environments. We begin the year with broad discussions of issues and then settle into two to three projects. Co-chair Diane Allen reached out to inactive Steering Committee members to invite them to participate.

One of our projects was completion of a paper titled Engagement as an Element of Safe Inpatient Environments that was published in JAPNA. We appreciate Michael Polacek’s leadership on this project. We are hoping that the paper provides a platform for discussion on the importance of engagement as well as our efforts to formulate methods to measure the relationship of safety and engagement. We are pleased that feedback from members gathered at the 2014 APNA Safe Environments Interactive Discussion Meeting was incorporated into the document.

Another ISE work group, consisting of nurses who work in hospital emergency rooms, is awaiting a final decision about publication in the JAPNA Journal of the results of the APNA member survey done earlier this year about the Role of the Psychiatric Nurse in Hospital Emergency Departments. This paper will provide invaluable baseline data on how this role is evolving and how we might support safety in this setting.
Another ISE workgroup, led by Richard Ray, has authored a paper on the use of Special Observations and they are working towards its publication in the JAPNA Journal.

We are proud of ISE Steering Committee members Barbara Bonney and Pamela Greene who worked diligently with the group that developed the recently published Suicide Competencies.
Finally, The Steering Committee is planning an Interactive Discussion Panel Presentation at the APNA Annual Conference at Disney World, and hopes to use this opportunity to flesh out some of ideas for a proposed “Violence Prevention Toolkit” and a resource/toolkit for engagement that highlights recovery-oriented, trauma-informed and relationship-based strategies for providing care.

APNA's core purpose is to be the unified voice of psychiatric-mental health nursing. How has your institute made progress toward this in the last year?
The Institute for Safe Environments has provided a framework for further exploration of issues related to safe environments and as added to the scholarly nursing literature about safety related topics.

How has your group worked to achieve these goals?
Goal A: ISE has actively communicated with members, promoted discussion and encouraged members who demonstrate leadership. Goal B: ISE has worked to create alliances with other councils and stakeholders - ISE Steering Committee members volunteered to lend their expertise projects of interest. Goal C: By publishing scholarly works in respected nursing journals such as JAPNA, ISE members have gained credibility have disseminated evidence about best practices related to safety. Goal D: The work of the ISE has provided a foundation that will support further research, education and training about safe nursing practices.

What do you hope to accomplish for the 2015 - 2016 year?

  1. Publish results of the APNA Member Survey about the Role of the Psychiatric Nurses in Emergency Departments.
  2. Publish a "Call to Action" regarding the need for research to determine best practices for monitoring patient safety.
  3. Engage APNA members in development of a compendium or "toolbox" of practical resources that support the use of engagement as an element of safe environments.

Institute for Safe Environments Chairs
Diane Allen, MN, RN-BC, NEA-BC
Kathleen Delaney, PhD, PMH-NP, RN
View Institute for Safe Environments Members

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