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#PMHCon Welcomes APNA Memorial Scholarship’s First Recipients

#PMHCon Welcomes APNA Memorial Scholarship’s First Recipients
Dynamite & McNeeley

Two exceptional nurses will enjoy the APNA 36th Annual Conference with registration and travel courtesy of a new APNA program. Christina Dynamite, BSN, RN-BC, NC-BC, and Heidi McNeeley, BA, RN, BSN, are the recipients of the inaugural APNA Memorial Scholarships.

The scholarship program was created as a lasting tribute to psychiatric-mental health nurses who have left a legacy of service and dedication to the APNA community, nurturing more nurses to follow in their footsteps. This year’s scholarships are supported by donations to the APNA Memorial Fund in honor of Marlene Nadler-Moodie, MSN, APRN, PMHCNS-BC.

To be selected for the 2022 APNA Memorial Scholarship, applicants needed to show evidence of participation in the improvement of organizational performance to positively impact patient care and evidence of continuously improving their skills and knowledge base through a variety of self-enhancement activities.

McNeeley, for whom nursing is a second career, has special appreciation for the rewards caring for others can bring. “For the first time in so many years I love going to work. I am fueled by my passion to work with people struggling with mental health issues. My twelve-hour shift seems short when compared to my daily eight hours in the corporate world, and that is because I am doing what I love.”

Recalling Mark Twain’s adage, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why,” McNeeley recognizes her purpose. “This is definitely what I was born to do. Receiving the APNA Memorial Scholarship is, for me, an affirmation of my journey. I am looking forward to meeting and networking with like-minded people and I am very excited to be learning from leaders in our field.”

For Dynamite an important practice goal is working toward eliminating seclusion and restraint, as Nadler-Moodie advocated. “I assess and approach an agitated person with an open mind and heart to demonstrate an alternate patient-centered outcome. I create a safe space to allow strong feelings then try to guide them to helpful soothing skills. The ripple is trauma and restraint reduction and potentiation of healing,” states Dynamite.

For her, traveling to APNA Annual Conference marks a long-awaited return. “This will be my first APNA conference since I was a student in 2015, and I’m grateful for the APNA Memorial Scholarship which is enabling me to attend! As a holistic mental health coach, educator, and clinic nurse, I’m looking forward to filling my cup through connecting with like-minded nurses and learning evidence-based tools to help create change for individuals and systems,” says Dynamite.

Both nurses have stayed open to new possibilities and paths throughout their careers. And both look to the APNA Annual Conference for a time of inspiration, connection, and replenishment. The APNA Memorial Scholarship is an annual opportunity for PMH nurses to be considered for complimentary registration, travel and lodging for the conference.