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Review by an APNA Member: “Understanding the Brain-Behavior Connection”

Review by an APNA Member: “Understanding the Brain-Behavior Connection”

by Roshanda Bridgraj, January 2023

About the Author
APNA member Roshanda Bridgraj works at Hackensack Meridian Health Carrier Clinic in New Jersey. Bridgraj is also a volunteer listener for Caring Contact Crisis Line and a Disaster Mental Health Services Volunteer for the American Red Cross. She recently took the APNA Certificate Program, “Understanding the Brain-Behavior Connection.”

As a psychiatric-mental health nurse, it is important to understand the neurological factors behind mental illness and behavior. The 3-module APNA Certificate Program, “Understanding the Brain-Behavior Connection,” educates nurses on the relationships among brain anatomy, human behavior, psychiatric disorders, and nursing interventions.

What does the certificate program cover?
  • Module I explores the 5 major brain functions — perception, cognition, emotion, behavior, and socialization — and the 6 major CAMPPS of psychiatric disorders and symptoms.
  • Module II examines the functions of the major brain structures.
  • Module III uses published brain scans to teach nursing interventions tailored to deficits in specific parts of the brain seen in various psychiatric disorders.”
What will you gain from the certificate program?

After completing this certificate program, nurses will have a better understanding of the major brain structures and the functions involved in psychiatric disorders and will be able to understand how specific nursing interventions tailored to certain brain deficits are aimed at reducing symptoms of mental illnesses including schizophrenia, depressive disorders, and substance use disorders.

Patients must feel safe and trust all members of their health care team in order to build rapport and establish goals. With a clearer understanding of the biological processes behind a patient’s reactions to their provider, their environment, and their treatment, nurses will be able to provide better care to their patients.

Those with mental illness often lack education on their diagnosis, and a better understanding promotes patient-centered care and leads to increased adherence to treatment. After completing this program, I feel well-prepared to treat and educate patients on mental illness.

>>> You too can earn 5 contact hours and strengthen your skills: Register and take the APNA Certificate Program “Understanding the Brain-Behavior Connection” today!


About APNA: The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is a national professional membership organization committed to the 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 evidence. The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.