2020 APNA President's Report

Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to present your 2020 American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) Annual Activity Report. I am happy to share that your association continues the trend of steady membership growth and retention. Please see APNA Secretary Joyce Shea’s report for information on membership and other updates.  APNA has also enjoyed a sound financial year – APNA Treasurer Donna Rolin’s report provides the details.

APNA activities are guided by a strategic direction developed by the APNA Board of Directors (BOD). Below I call out some notable APNA accomplishments that are in line with the four goals set out in our strategic plan – as well as the significance of these accomplishments to you. Though a lengthy list, it is well worth your time to review it. The generous gifts of your time and expertise enrich our efforts as illustrated in this inventory of achievements - a source of pride for our dedicated psychiatric-mental health nursing community.

Goal A. APNA will be the indispensable resource for member networking, leadership, and professional development.

  • APNA Annual Conference
    • 608 Abstracts submitted
    • 28 contact hours on-site, 90+ on demand
    • 1,200+ participants in the virtual conference 
  • Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute
    • Held first virtual CPI successfully in June with 810+ participants
    • 23 contact hours in pharmacology
  • APNA eLearning Center
    • 373 sessions currently available with 414.2 contact hours
    • 63 Sessions offered for free to members thus far in 2020
    • New Free Sessions: Mindfulness in the Workplace: Practical Application, Cultivating Our Best Selves in Response to COVID-19: The Community Resiliency Model, Clinical Practice During COVID-19
    • Monthly free CE for members – four free sessions each month for members 
  • APNA Transitions in Practice: 4,443 registrations with 3,690 Certificates awarded 
  • Competency-Based Training for Suicide Prevention: PMH Nurse Generalist Role
    • Facilitator training content updated and released Spring 2020, 88 trained facilitators
    • More than 3,500 participants have completed the training since its launch
  • Medications for Addictions Treatment Training (16 & 8 hour, in partnership with PCSS-MAT) offered for free
    • 8-hour training: 21,598 registrants
      • Updated on demand course released April 2020
      • 2 live virtual trainings offered July and August 2020 with 237 registrants
    • 16-hour training: 21,484 registrations
      • Updated on demand course released February 2020
  • Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association: Contact hours (1 or 1.25 per issue) are FREE to members and non-members. 
  • APNA Certificate Program: Understanding the Brain-Behavior Connection: 662 participants
  • Motivational Interviewing: 10,790 participants
    • Free to members; Offered for free to everyone 3/20-12/20 in response to member concerns around educational needs.
  • Opioid Webinars for all nurses at RN and APRN levels offered for free 
    • 5,258 participants for new RN course released August 2019 
    • 4,061 participants for the new APRN course released August 2019
  • Seclusion & Restraint: Assessment and Risk Mitigation: 148 participants in course released September 2019
  • Competency Based Training for Conducting the One Hour Face-to-Face Assessment for Patients in Restraints or Seclusion: 480 participants
    • Updated and released March 2020, includes an animated simulation
  • APNA Annual Awards recognize and celebrate leaders each year: 8 Nurses and 1 Chapter recognized with 2020 Awards
  • APNA Student Scholars Program identifies rising psychiatric-mental health nursing leaders and provides them membership and conference attendance.
    • 32 scholarships from 204 applications received in 2020
    • Industry Sponsored Scholarships by Neurocrine and AbbVie (a part of APNA Industry Partner Sponsorship Program) allowed for two more students to receive this opportunity
  • 34 chapters covering 42 states offer local networking and education. View the full Chapter report here.
  • 10 active Councils working on focus areas of: addictions, administration, child & adolescent, education, forensics, mental health advocacy, practice, recovery, research, and safe environments. View their full reports here.
  • 8 Task Forces working on projects in the areas of: neuromodulation, personality disorders, staffing inpatient units, tobacco dependence, nurse mental health, integrated care and interprofessional practice, and workforce. View their full reports here
  • Collection of trusted resources, policy updates, webinars, and more to help members stay up to date on how COVID was impacting their practice and manage their stress
  • Ongoing communications on policy changes and updates due to pandemic.
  • Self-Care Planner for PMH Nurses incorporated tips shared by members.
  • Workforce Report: 12 interviews conducted with media outlets resulting in 9 stories
  • Four leaders participated in media training
  • New resources developed including infographics, social media images, and a one-page overview of PMH-RNs and APRNs to enhance image of PMH nursing as career option.
  • Tip Sheet for new nurses created and disseminated
  • Social media posts and multi-channel communication highlights member leadership, professional development opportunities, and networking.

Goal B. APNA will be the leader in creating and enhancing strategic alliances with diverse stakeholders to advance its mission.

  • APNA participation in The Well-Being Initiative with American Nurses Foundation, American Nurses Association, American Association of Critical Care Nurses, Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses, and Emergency Nurses Association
  • President’s participation in interviews for publications and presentations with American Nurses Association, Infusion Nurses Society, Nursing Organizations Alliance
  • Executive Director interview with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
  • Continued Premiere Organizational Affiliate status with American Nurses Association, ANA and ANCC relationships continued through agreements for discounts for ANCC Certification Exam fees (ANCC).
  • Organizational membership with Nursing Organizations Alliance and Nursing Community Coalition
  • APNA attendance at events held by: International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses, Emergency Nurses Association, American Nurses Association, National Association of School Nurses, National Student Nurses Association, STTI, Nursing Organizations Alliance, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, Global Advisory Panel on the Future of Nursing, APRN LACE Network, National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty, Nurses in Washington Internship, International Council of Nurses, Media In Nursing Summit, National Institute of Nursing Research
  • APNA is NCPD provider for APA’s Clinical Support System for Serious Mental Illness (5 year grant funded project): 24 activities were produced in 2019 and 13 thus far in 2020
  • APNA participation on HRSA Nurse Corps Funding for Psychiatric-Mental Health NPs webinar January 2020 – scholarships for NP students and loan repayment programs
  • Representatives sent to events hosted by: National Council for Behavioral Health, NCAA Sport Science Institute, Johnson & Johnson Advisory Council, Council for the Advancement and Application of Psychological Sciences, National Academy of Sciences Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) Forum on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders, American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, U of MI Ann Arbor’s Behavioral Health Work Force Research Center, National Quality Partners (NQP) Action Team to Prevent Healthcare Workplace Violence, APA Summit on Interprofessional Collaboration, National Quality Forum on VA Same Day Access for Mental Health and Primary Care Services, American Nurses Association Nurse Suicide Prevention & Resilience Workgroup
  • Partnership with American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry / PCSS-MAT; APNA and PCSS-MAT co-providing 24 hours of training required by CARA 2016 – updated trainings released this year
  • Membership in Mental Health Liaison Group
  • Two-year SAMHSA grant to deliver and test-pilot evidence-based substance use disorder curriculum to 10 undergraduate and graduate nursing programs
    • As of September, 9 programs delivered to 400 students and faculty with extremely positive feedback
    • 10 additional universities will participate with APNA in year 2
  • Partnered with the Opioid Response Network to develop information for all nurses related to OUDs: 
    • SBIRT Pocket Card released and enhanced communications around resources
    • Grant funding received for next two years to increase nurse access to and usage of resources and education.
  • Symposia and Product Theaters at conferences
  • Partnering with Johnson & Johnson for the Nurses Innovate Quickfire Challenge in Mental Health
  • Industry Partner Sponsorships with AbbVie, Janssen, Neurocrine
  • Haymarket Educational Grant: Jointly providing Equipping the Interprofessional Team to Optimize Care in Bipolar Depression and Schizophrenia: 12 activities with 1,324 participants

Goal C. APNA will be recognized as the expert voice for psychiatric-mental health nursing.

  • APNA President participation in interviews and presentations with: PsychCentral, Nursezone, SiriusXM Doctor Radio, Charleston Post & Courier, HealthLeaders Magazine, Louisiana Public Radio, North Carolina Public Radio, American Nurses Association, Infusion Nurses Society, Nursing Organizations Alliance
  • Issue Statements: The Impact of Extreme Stress on American Health Care Providers, PMH Nurse Protection During a Pandemic
  • APNA responses to Federal Legislation and Policy
  • Position Statements updated: APRNs’ Prescribing of Buprenorphine & Buprenorphine/Naloxone & The Continuing Opioid Crisis, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses’ Role in Primary Care, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing’s Role in Tobacco Treatment, SBIRT in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Practice
  • Updates to position papers in process: Violence Prevention, Electroconvulsive Therapy, Staffing Inpatient Units
  • Participation in The Well-Being Initiative
  • APNA Transitions in Practice Certificate Program adopted by 94 behavioral health organizations
  • Competency-Based Training for Suicide Prevention brings importance of PMH nurses’ role in suicide assessment and management to light and standardizes expertise
  • APNA Representatives on national committees and task forces: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Forum on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders, SAMHSA Expert Panel: Making Integrated Mental health and Substance Use Treatment Services Available to People with Co-Occurring Serious Mental Illness and Opiate Use disorder, U of Michigan School of Public Health Prescriber Summit, LACE Network, ANA Organizational Affiliates, Nursing Organizations Alliance, National Quality Partners (NQP) Action Team to Prevent Healthcare Workplace Violence, National Quality Forum for VA Same-Day Access Measurement for Primary Care and Mental Health Services, American Psychiatric Association Summit on Interprofessional Collaboration

Goal D. APNA will be the at the forefront of integrating research, practice, and education to address mental health issues that affect psychiatric-mental health nursing and the population served.

  • Continued expansion of nursing continuing professional development to bring current evidence-based knowledge to nurses. 
  • Free CE of the month, membership bonus points, and more. ensure that members receive evidence-based education to help meet the needs of the populations they serve.
  • Offering of Motivational Interviewing program for free to everyone through the end of the year
  • Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association
    • Special workforce issue, including papers from 2/2019 summit published in January 2020 
    • Board of Directors Column in JAPNA focuses on broad issues affecting the profession
    • Continued publication of papers by Councils and Task Forces on issues identified by the Board of Directors as priority for psychiatric-mental health nursing
    • Impact Factor of 1.111 (5 year impact factor 1.595)
    • Issues include a continuing education article – totaling 6.0 contact hours for APNA members in JAPNA each year. 
  • APNA communications around psychiatric-mental health nursing and stigma support building the workforce and enhancing the capability of the current workforce to meet demand.
  • Report on impact of COVID-19 extreme stress on health care providers released (4/20); press outreach 
  • Free education and new resources made available to help nurses address mental health impacts of COVID-19; interviews with several nursing outlets to highlight these impacts
  • Issue Statement on PMH Nurse protection during a pandemic
  • Issue Statements on racial Inequities and racism; board formation of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council
  • Ongoing multichannel communications highlight research, practice, education, and policy issues to mobilize grassroots advocacy
  • APNA responses to federal legislation and policy

As you can see, this year witnessed remarkable forward motion by our association.  It is thanks to the generous donations of time and expertise by members such as you that these accomplishments, which strengthen the quality of care for the patients we serve, are possible. It has been my honor serve as your APNA President over the past year.

Respectfully submitted,

Tari (Sattaria) Dilks, RN, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC, FAANP


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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.