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American Psychiatric Nurses Association Announces New Executive Director

American Psychiatric Nurses Association Announces New Executive Director
Pure Light Images/Laurie DeWitt 410-937-9957

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) Board of Directors is thrilled to welcome Lisa Deffenbaugh Nguyen, MS, CAE as its new Executive Director.

FALLS CHURCH, VA (PRWEB) December 3, 2019

Lisa Deffenbaugh Nguyen, MS, CAE has more than a decade of experience in association management, is a Certified Association Executive, and possesses a keen understanding of APNA’s mission and purpose. She will officially assume her role as Executive Director on January 1, 2020.

“Lisa’s background in association management and her demonstrated commitment to the APNA core values will serve our organization well into the future,” says APNA President Sattaria (Tari) Dilks, RN, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC, FAANP. “The APNA Board of Directors has the utmost confidence that her strategic and inclusive leadership style will allow APNA to build upon its current successes and continue to serve the needs of the psychiatric-mental health nursing profession.”

The APNA Board of Directors convened an Executive Director Search Committee to oversee the selection process. The committee was chaired by APNA Immediate Past President Gail Stern, RN, MSN, PMHCNS-BC and included APNA leaders Diane Allen, DNP, PMHRN-BC, NEA-BC, FACHE; Linda Beeber, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN; Patricia Black, PhD, RN; Sattaria (Tari) Dilks, RN, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC, FAANP; Barbara Drew, PhD, PMHCNS-BC; Brenda Kucirka, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, CNE; Evelyn Perkins, PMH-BC, NE-BC; Donna Rolin, PhD, APRN, PMHCNS-BC, PMHNP-BC; and Dan Willis RN, DNS, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN. The committee conducted an extensive national search, seeking input from stakeholders, meeting numerous times virtually and in person, and giving thoughtful consideration to more than 80 candidates. At the conclusion of the multi-phase interview process, the search committee unanimously recommended to the APNA Board of Directors that the position of Executive Director be offered to Nguyen.

“As chair of the search committee, I am confident that this has been a thorough, transparent, and effective process,” says Gail Stern, RN, MSN, PMHCNS-BC. “I would like to personally thank each of the members of the search committee for the time, work and thought they devoted to ensuring a successful future for our organization.”

Nguyen has worked with APNA since 2007, most recently serving as APNA Associate Executive Director, Operations. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Music and holds a Master of Science in Forensic Psychology from Tiffin University.

“I am honored and humbled by this incredible opportunity to serve the APNA membership. They are an impressive group of leaders who care deeply about their patients and their profession,” says Nguyen. “I look forward to working with the APNA Board of Directors to advance psychiatric-mental health nursing and support our members.”


The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is a national professional membership organization committed to the specialty practice of psychiatric-mental health nursing and wellness promotion, prevention of mental health problems and the care and treatment of persons with psychiatric disorders. APNA’s membership is inclusive of all psychiatric-mental health registered nurses including associate degree, baccalaureate, advanced practice (comprised of clinical nurse specialists and psychiatric nurse practitioners), and nurse scientists and academicians (PhD). APNA serves as a resource for psychiatric-mental health nurses to engage in networking, education, and the dissemination of research.
The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is accredited with distinction as a provider of continuing nursing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.