November 2020 President's Message
Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses: Revolutionizing Access to Person-Centered Care
APNA President Matthew Tierney, MS, CNS, ANP, PMHNP, FAAN
Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses are dynamic leaders who make ongoing innovative improvements in care at multiple levels in order to meet the needs of diverse populations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, preserving and expanding access to this person-centered care is even more vital. That’s why I have selected “Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses: Revolutionizing Access to Person-Centered Care,” for this year’s theme.
As a Clinical Professor at the University of California San Francisco School of Nursing and as Clinical Director of Substance Use Treatment & Education for the UCSF Office of Population Health, I have witnessed the importance of continuous quality improvement (QI) in nursing. The QI process serves as the undercurrent of revolutionizing access to person-centered care and, for psychiatric-mental health nurses, is fundamental to our practice. In my career I have enjoyed improving access to substance use treatment, particularly for chronically underserved populations, by building new programs where none have existed and by training the rising and existing health workforce to understand and apply evidence-based treatments. It is wonderful to see providers and patients successfully implement effective care strategies. Patients can and do get better, and so can the systems that are designed to serve them.
I hope this theme will inspire you to reflect on the creative ways you tailor care for the diverse individuals you encounter. As you do, I invite you to share these experiences readily. Perhaps you will submit an abstract for the APNA 35th Annual Conference (call opening in January!) in order to share your expertise with your colleagues. Or you may want to submit a manuscript for publication in the Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association – there is a call for papers for a special issue on substance use treatment currently. Even by posting a helpful tip on Member Bridge, or simply imparting your best practices among your closest colleagues, you are widening the circle of individuals you help.
You are each a crucial part of revolutionizing access to person-centered care – thank you for everything you do!