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When the Spirit Moves You

When the Spirit Moves You
The connection paradigm continues to evolve and expand

You inspire me. Our connection paradigm is shifting and evolving with your interpretations of CONNECTION. In talking with APNA leaders and through our connection survey, I’ve had the opportunity to hear from many of you on what connection means to you.

Additionally, an APNA Annual Conference session on spiritual care as well as our Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, reminded me of the importance of nurturing the spiritual needs of ourselves and those we serve.

Whether this spirituality is in the form of a relationship with a higher power, appreciation for nature, or something else spirituality can be a source of steadiness, offering hope and peace when navigating life’s challenges. Giving attention to spirituality in our own lives and in treatment plans for those in our care can reduce feelings of hopelessness by uncovering meaning, promoting a sense of belonging, and grounding in purpose.

I’m struck by the power of hope. It influences perseverance, resilience, and a sense of agency, which is so critical for those we serve as they pursue healing and greater well-being.

Hope and peace are now integrated into the working version of the Connection Paradigm as it comes to life with input and feedback from APNA leaders and members. Connection with others and spiritual connection have been explored, and the paradigm will continue to evolve as we dive into self-connection and sensory connection. Each domain of connection has shed light on new and important considerations for the paradigm, but the most important part of the paradigm is that it is being informed and shaped by psychiatric-mental health nurses. We are building a way of thinking about connection TOGETHER, and it feels so good!

My wish for you today is a renewed spirit as you approach the future with positive expectancy (a product of hope!) and consider these aspects of connection in your practice. I am looking forward to connecting with you at the APNA 22nd Annual Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute this June as an important time of recharging and learning together. Until then, I hope you are moved to keep cultivating connection in your lives and in the lives of others. It’s a gift that keeps on giving!

Lora Peppard, PhD, DNP, PMHNP-BC
American Psychiatric Nurses Association

Published March 2024