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2022 Elections: President-Elect

Vote for one candidate. Click on each candidate to view their full candidate profile.

An APNA President-Elect serves a three-year term on the board: One as President-Elect, one as President, and one as Immediate Past President. View Full President-Elect Description & Qualifications

  • Duties Include: Representing the association as requested, mentoring current and prospective board members, assuming the functions of president in the absence of the president,
  • Qualifications Include: Informal and formal leadership experience, knowledge of APNA, ability to work with diverse styles and personalities to facilitate teamwork and consensus


Celeste M. Johnson, DNP, APRN, PMH CNS

Present Position
Managing member and nurse consultant at CMJ Behavioral Health Consulting, LLC

DNP, Texas Christian University
MSN, The University of Texas at Arlington
BSN, Virginia Commonwealth University

APNA Contributions

  • APNA Board of Directors, Member-at-Large, 2015-2019
  • APNA Texas Chapter president 2010-2013
  • Chair, Inpatient Staffing Taskforce, 2020-current
  • Administrative Council Steering Committee, 2019-current
  • Research Council, 2013-2015
  • Recovery Council, past
  • Annual Conference Presenter, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2017, 2018
  • Project Director, Recovery to Practice Grant, funded by the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at the University of Texas at Austin (2015-2021)

Other Experience

  • Texas Health and Human Services Behavioral Health Advisory Council, 2015-2018
  • Texas Hospital Association Behavioral Health Council, 2015-2018
  • Chair, Mental Health Node Expert Reference Group, The Joanna Briggs Institute, Adelaide, South Australia, 2012-2015
  • Collaborated with community partners to implement evidence-based programs, including a multidisciplinary mental health team for 911 calls.
  • Led the nation in implementing Universal Suicide Screening in a large safety-net healthcare system
  • Member; ANA, Texas Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau International

APNA members should vote for me to serve as President-Elect because of my leadership experiences in APNA at the national and state levels and on state committees such as the HHSC Behavioral Health Advisory Committee as well as experiences chairing an international research committee and collaborating with community partners to improve mental health service delivery systems, will serve APNA well if I am elected as President-Elect. I have the time and desire to dedicate the next three years to a leadership role at APNA and would be honored to serve the organization and membership in this role.  I will ensure that your voices are heard and that we continue to be seen as experts and valuable resources in mental healthcare.

I can help fulfill APNA’s purpose as a scientific and education organization by: as a past board member, I collaborated with colleagues to advance APNA’s purposes of providing leadership to promote psychiatric-mental health nurses; improve mental health care for culturally diverse individuals, families, groups, and communities; and shape health policy for the delivery of mental health services. In serving as President-Elect, we will continue to focus on healthcare policy, research, and education.  We will mitigate barriers for PMH nurses to operate at the full extent of their education. We will focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in our membership and in the populations we serve. We will collaborate with our state chapters to provide relevant education and support policies to improve the mental healthcare for their communities. We will advance research in psychiatric nursing to demonstrate the value of our profession and the impact that our care has on patient outcomes. We will engage our members and APNA councils to identify and participate in educational, research, and policy initiatives.

APNA’s position on the Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health states that “nurses should be full partners with physicians and other healthcare professionals in redesigning health care in the United States.”  We will play a fundamental role in healthcare transformation by seeking opportunities to be at the table and participate in decisions that will impact the lives of our patients, our communities, and our profession.

If elected, I will ensure that APNA continues to be regarded as the premier psychiatric-mental health nursing organization.


Lora Peppard, PhD, DNP, PMHNP-BC

Present Position
Director of ADAPT (A Division for Advancing Prevention & Treatment) and Deputy Director for Treatment & Prevention, Washington/Baltimore High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA)
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (part-time), Marymount University

PhD, George Mason University, 2017
DNP, Columbia University, 2008
MS, Boston College, 2004
BA, Wesleyan College, 1998

APNA Contributions

  • APNA Virginia Chapter
    • President, 2019-2021
    • Board Member, 2017-2019
  • Mental Health Roundtable coordinated by United States House Representatives Joseph P. Kennedy III, Tonko, Matsui, and Trone – APNA Representative 2019
  • National Quality Forum’s Serious Mental Illness Action Team – APNA Representative 2018-2019

Other Experience

  • Director of a national substance use prevention training and technical assistance division for the HIDTA Program out of the Office of National Drug Control Policy 2019 – present
  • Evaluation expert for United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Technical Consultation Group on “The Role of Law Enforcement Officers in Drug Prevention within Educational Settings” 2021
  • Guest Editor for special issue on substance use prevention for Journal of Applied Research on Children 2020-2021
  • Project Director for multiple federal behavioral health and substance use prevention grants 2015 – present
  • Developer/Coordinator of PMHNP concentration and co-developer of DNP program at George Mason University 2009-2019
  • Psychiatric nurse practitioner in emergency room, inpatient, and outpatient settings 2005 – present

APNA members should vote for me to serve as President-Elect because I look forward to bringing APNA’s mission and goals to life in creative and important ways, always informed by the needs of our membership and the populations we serve. I have chosen an unconventional path as a psychiatric nurse initially focusing heavily on practice, then using my strengths in other ways, resulting in a well-rounded perspective on mental health, substance use, public health, psychiatric nursing’s potential role in the big picture, and existing opportunities for our field. I bring a demonstrated drive and energy to the role of President-Elect in pursuit of maximizing our impact as psychiatric nurses in the work we do.

I can help fulfill APNA’s purpose as a scientific and education organization by: I have spent the last 18 years advancing the science and education of psychiatric-mental health nursing in practice, academic, administrative, and volunteer roles. I have served in local, state, national, and international positions, paying close attention to critical conversations happening around mental health and substance use prevention, an area warranting significant education, training, and study.

In my current role leading a national training and technical assistance division for substance use prevention in communities, I support translating, adapting, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based strategies and generating new evidence to address emerging drug threats.  Our overarching mission is to increase the likelihood that communities will successfully “integrate” the best available evidence into their approach. Similarly, as President-Elect, I will support identification of educational or research gaps, strategies to address these gaps, quality monitoring and evaluation of all activities, and successful integration of new material into our discipline and beyond.

Enhancing strategic alliances with diverse stakeholders is essential and something I have done with federal, state, and local partners to streamline substance use prevention efforts across the country. I intend to do the same as President-Elect, honoring our core values and ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in our efforts.