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2023 Elections: President-Elect

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

Vote for one candidate. Scroll down to view the candidate profiles for Allyson Neal & Joyce Shea.



Present Position
Assistant Dean, Graduate Programs, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

DNP, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 2010
MSN, Emory University, 1996
BSN, University of Tennessee Chattanooga, 1995
ASN, East Tennessee State University, 1985

APNA Contributions

  • Child and Adolescent Steering Committee – January 2021- Present
  • Scholarly Review Committee Chair – November 2020-2022
  • Scholarly Review Committee Associate Chair – January 2019-October 2020
  • National Task Force (NTF) for Quality NP Education Criteria for Evaluation of NP Programs Representative – November 2019 – Present
  • Licensure, Accreditation, Certification, and Education (LACE Network) Representative –October 2018 – Present
  • Annual Conference Presenter
  • CE Reviewer
  • eLearning Center Faculty
  • APNA Foundation Donor

Other Experience

  • NTF for Quality NP Education Criteria for Evaluation of NP Programs-APNA Representative; Section leader 2019-2022
  • Tennessee Nurses Association: Director of Membership – 2016 – 2018 and District 4 President 2010 2012
  • National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners – Tennessee Chapter President –Education Chair, Membership Chair -1998 – 2007

APNA members should vote for me to serve as President-Elect because APNA is the voice of PMH nursing and committed to the prevention, care, and treatment of those with mental health disorders. To accomplish this, it engages members, whether in the community, practice setting, on committees, collaborating with stakeholders, and in the academic setting. I believe we are at our best when we work as a team and involve all members. I look forward to finding ways to highlight the APNA mission and goals so that we each have a role to play in our organization. I am a team player and know that we are the strongest and accomplish the most when we build on our strengths for the good of those we serve. As President-Elect I will bring my strengths of learner, achiever, arranger, connectedness, and restorative so that we may accomplish great things for our organization, members, and the mental health community.

I can help fulfill APNA’s purpose as a scientific and education organization by bringing my experience as a practicing PMHNP-BS, Child & Adolescent PMHCNS-BS, a faculty member, and as the Assistant Dean of a graduate program. I currently serve as the APNA representative for LACE and the National Task Force where I ensure the best interest of the membership and those with mental health disorders are represented, protected, and promoted. All aspects of my professional life work together to promote PMH nurses, improve mental health care for culturally diverse individuals, families, groups, and communities, and shape health policy for the delivery of mental health services. As President-Elect I will continue this work of ensuring APNA’s leadership as the voice of psychiatric-mental health nursing.



Present Position
Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Professor, Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, Fairfield University, CT

DNSc, Yale University School of Nursing, CT
MSN, Yale University School of Nursing, CT
BSN, Fairfield University, CT

APNA Contributions

  • APNA Board of Directors Secretary, 2015-2020
  • Elected Member, Nominating Committee, 2014
  • Co-Chair for APNA, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Scope and Standards Revision Task Force, 2018-2022
  • Co-Chair, Continuing Education Committee, 2013-2015
  • Member, Education Council Steering Committee, 2013-2015
    • Member, Undergraduate Branch, 2012-2013
  • Member, Expert Panel, Recovery Council, 2011-2015
  • Member, Steering Committee, Institute for Mental Health Advocacy, 2010-2015

Other Experience

  • American Nurses Association, Member, Advisory Committee, ANA Code of Ethics Revision Panel, Appointed Fall, 2013.
  • American Nurses Foundation, Appointed Grant Reviewer, 2015-2017.
  • International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses, Member, Integrated Care
  • Position Paper Task Force, 2014- 2017.
  • Sigma Theta Tau International Nurses Honor Society
    • Mu Chi Chapter, President, 2005 – 2008
    • Region 15 Representative, 2005-2008
    • Biennial Convention Delegate, November 2007

APNA members should vote for me to serve as President-Elect because these times call for strong and responsive leadership to protect the profession of psychiatric-mental health (PMH) nursing and the patients we serve. A leader’s effectiveness is only as good as the extent to which they are able to foster a shared sense of responsibility, respect, and hope among members of a team. As a leader, I have never asked more of my team members than I have of myself. I have been told that I am able to synthesize ideas expressed by others in a way that promotes unity among members who may come from very different backgrounds. I try to speak less and listen more when wrestling with a difficult issue. With this responsive leadership style, I hope to ensure that APNA remains the premier source to support and promote PMH nurses and improve mental health outcomes for all.

I can help fulfill APNA’s purpose as a scientific and education organization by: Having practiced as a board-certified PMHCNS for over 35 years, I bring to the table my experience working in Psychiatric EDs, Mobile Crisis Units, and Intensive Outpatient Programs. My research has focused on the areas of severe mental illness and recovery, integrated physical and mental healthcare, and telehealth care, preparing me to address these critical and ongoing issues. I received over $6 million in HRSA funding which supported innovative educational programs for PMHNPs. My academic roles have given me significant insights into the needs of both faculty and students and the structure needed to increase the pipeline of future PMH nurses. My 5 years on the APNA Board of Directors has enabled me to understand how our organization functions and how it has thrived over the past decade despite global events that strained all our collective resources. I was selected as APNA’s Co-Chair for the Task Force that revised the Scope and Standards for PMH Nursing, a publication to guide healthcare organizations, academic institutions, and government entities as they design policies and protocols for PMH nursing education and practice. Grounded in my cumulative experiences, it would be my deepest honor to be entrusted with the office of President-Elect.