July 2018 President's Message

APNA News: The Psychiatric Nursing Voice  |  July 2018 Members' Corner Edition


“Be open to the visions of the very young and the memories of the very old”
Linda S. Beeber, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN

As a relatively new psychiatric-mental health nurse, I had the privilege of learning from a psychiatric-mental health nursing icon: Grayce Sills. I cannot overstate the amount of influence she had on my career and how I think about our profession. One particular piece of wisdom I want to pass down to you from Grayce is the importance of mentorship and leadership development to the success of psychiatric-mental health nursing. In a message Grayce crafted for friend Peggy Chinn’s 1987 calendar, she said that in order to create a viable future we must...”be open to the visions of the very young and the memories of the very old.”

When it comes to the visions of the very young, take a look at the APNA Board of Directors Student Scholars. Because these 30 graduate and undergraduate students are our future, the APNA Board of Directors is bringing them into APNA to infuse their vision into the organization now. Cerissa Hugie, a DNP student at Vanderbilt University, wrote in her scholarship application, “Your investment will reach every patient that I encounter for years to come, the ethnic minorities that will learn about and/or seek mental health treatment through my efforts, those in the audiences of my speaking engagements, and the aspiring nursing students that I will teach throughout my career...Wherever my career takes me, your investment will be multiplied many times over as I have committed to carry the torch forward. I represent the future of psychiatric nursing.” I can’t say it any better myself. I look forward to meeting and learning from all 30 of the scholars at the APNA Annual Conference in October.

Grayce Sills
Grayce Sills

As for the memories of the experienced, I’m going to return to Grayce Sills. At the APNA Annual Conference, I, along with Pat D’Antonio and Madeline Naegle, will share Grayce’s legacy of leadership and mentorship. We’ll have plenty of “Grayce-isms” and video vignettes to demonstrate how leadership is passed from one generation to the next through key professional mentoring relationships. Isn’t mentorship after all, a mutually beneficial relationship where new vision meets wisdom and experience? This special presentation will provide an important look back at one person who played a key role in shaping the path that brought our profession to where it is today. Columbus, Ohio was her home, so the location of our annual conference in Columbus makes this presentation ever so special!  Her pearls of wisdom must not be forgotten. I hope to see you there!

Ultimately to succeed, we need to all heed Grayce’s advice. We need to listen to the young and the old. We need to value both lessons learned and new ways of thinking. It is only through fusing the two that we will create a viable future for psychiatric-mental health nursing.

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