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More Winning Ideas!

November 2023

A sampling of three more first-place posters from the APNA 37th Annual Conference to spark your curiosity.  Look for more fresh thoughts to come your way in this space next month from poster standouts in the categories of administration, education, practice, research, and student.


Mollie Babich, DNP, RN, PMH-BC

Streamlining Mental Health Initiatives for College Student Athletes

The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) up-to-date, evidence-based athlete-specific mental health screening process, Sport Mental Health Assessment Tool 1 (SMHAT-1), was chosen for pilot implementation in 2022 to improve on assessment used previously in 2021. Aimed at addressing the lack of validity, leveled interventions, and use of additional screening questionnaires, the use of the IOC tool yielded similar results to the previous assessment in capturing student responses with the additional benefits of containing validated, reliable, athlete-specific evidence-based mental health screening tools within an algorithm-dictated protocol for leveled interventions.


Timothy Ringer, MSN, RN-BC, NE-BC

Falls Reduction on an Adult Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit

Reducing falls on an inpatient behavioral health unit can be challenging. The nature of milieu therapy encourages patients to ambulate much more frequently than those on medical units. Specific sub-populations have unique falls risks. For example, patients diagnosed with dementia can have different challenges than younger patients experiencing alcohol withdrawal. The most effective approach to reducing falls is to implement specific interventions to address each root cause identified. This process is effective at the unit level or down to specific patients.


Ingrid Farrell, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC

Improving the Care of Patients with Non-suicidal Self-Injury

With negative attitudes toward patients with NSSI behaviors (cutting, burning, hitting, hair pulling, and ingestion) pervasive among caregivers, an education intervention in the form of one just-in-time training (JITT) session was implemented to increase awareness and understanding of NSSI. Provider confidence improved following the education, demonstrating that JITT education can be effective at improving staff’s confidence in their ability to provide care for patients with NSSI. Scores suggest that staff confidence improved after having time to use the information provided. This QI project demonstrates that short educational presentations can have a positive effect on staff’s feelings of confidence and competency regarding care of complex patients.

Imagine your own idea or innovation shared to benefit your colleagues! The APNA 38th Annual Conference Call for Abstracts opens in January.