APNA Meets with HRSA Regarding Workforce
As the need for mental health services continues to grow, workforce issues are top of mind for many APNA members. APNA is working to increase awareness of who PMH nurses are, what they do, and how that can inform policy and improve care. APNA outreach to stakeholders recently included conversations with centers within the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). During these meetings, APNA provided expert input to inform future workforce projections. Here are quick summaries:
Key Messages Delivered
- Mental health workforce projections are based on an incomplete understanding of the PMH-APRN role
- APNA urges HRSA to work directly with APNA on how the PMH-APRN roles are defined and integrated into federal reports and projections.
- Data increasingly supports the critical role of PMH-APRNs in addressing the mental health needs of individuals who utilize federal insurance programs
- APNA urges federal entities to support and leverage PMH-APRNs to the full extent of their education and training in order to better meet population needs, including under resourced communities.
- PMH-APRNs were not included as a workforce that could meet the need in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs).
- APNA urges HRSA to include PMH-APRNs when calculating demand in HPSAs, consistent with current evidence.
January Meeting with Center for Health Workforce Studies at University at Albany, SUNY
APNA leadership met with representatives for the HRSA Center for Health Workforce Studies and a company contracted to do data analysis for the center. Items discussed include:
- Center’s models and supply & demand scenarios
- Center’s data sources (HRSA National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses and American Association of Nurse Practitioners)
- APNA’s perspectives on major issues facing the PMH nursing profession, including: attracting and retaining PMH nurses; retirement; burnout; preceptors & clinical hours; an increase of services provided via telehealth; and dual certifications
- APNA advocating for inclusion of PMH-CNS data to obtain a more accurate representation of the existing PMH-APRN workforce
- APNA Workforce Survey Data and how it can be utilized by the center
February Meeting with HRSA National Center for Workforce Analysis
In February, APNA leadership met with leaders from the HRSA National Center for Workforce Analysis. This meeting was a follow-up to an APNA letter of concern regarding the HRSAs November 2022 Behavioral Health Workforce Projections, 2020-2035. The discussions included:
- APNA’s insights into who PMH-APRNs are, how they should be defined in workforce reports, and how they meet needs for services
- APNA Workforce Survey data and how it can help inform workforce analyses
- Center’s data sources and how they structure their models for workforce projections
- Workforce projections are based on projected utilization, as opposed to projected need
- Relevant statutes and regulations that determine how health provider shortage areas are defined and how data is reported; need for stakeholder education to update these statutes and regulations
- HRSA programs beneficial to PMH nursing: Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Programs, Advanced Nursing Education Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship (ANE-NPRF) Program