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Onward and Upward

Onward and Upward
Zim Okoli APNA President

September 2023

We set out on this expedition together almost one year ago, as daring explorers. Our journey of psychiatric-mental health nursing discovery started with a sturdy base of support. The foundational principles that guide our practice, Inclusion. Diversity. Equity. Access. De-Stigmatization, have kept our feet sure as we take steps toward advancements in providing person-centered mental health care with dignity, and in a manner that removes barriers.

These I.D.E.A.S. have taken us to the next stop on our itinerary, the APNA 37th Annual Conference this October 4-7 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Florida. Sessions, keynotes, and social events will free our minds to visualize how as PMH nurses we can improve efficacy, expand reach, and nourish our own well-being. And, at the close of the conference, we will welcome APNA President-Elect Lora Peppard to begin her term as President.

Who is your luminary?Looking ahead, Lora and I and the APNA Board of Directors are gearing up to foster shared knowledge and inspiration through a new initiative, the Nurse Luminary program. Nurse luminaries personify the spirit of PMH nursing and APNA’s core values: Inclusivity, Integrity, Empowerment, Stewardship, Innovation, Transparency, Collaboration. Be thinking about those who have lit the way for you to be a better nurse by their wisdom, vision, and best practices. APNA invites you to share your nurse luminaries as a part of this special program. Let’s recognize them, show our gratitude, and leave a lasting record of their practical knowledge to enhance the profession of PMH nursing.

We’ve come far enough on this climb together that we can pause, turn, and marvel at the breathtaking view. But let’s not stop yet. If we keep on the path lit by our luminary colleagues, we are sure to get to new heights of helping our patients, families, and communities. There is an awesome summit still to come. Let’s keep going…

Chizimuzo Okoli
Chizimuzo (Zim) Okoli, PhD, MPH, APRN, PMHNP-BC, NCTTP, FAAN
American Psychiatric Nurses Association