Your monthly psychiatric-mental health nursing news and updates.
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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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January, 2020

APNA Member Info

Online Continuing Education
Featured Free CE: Trauma Competencies & Culture: Embracing Diversity

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PMH-NP Exam Prep

Career Center


APNA Resource Center

APNA Member Benefits

Members' Corner

President's Message: Embracing the Year of the Nurse
As nurses, we know that we are more than capable of meeting the rising demand for quality mental healthcare. But we also know that there are too few nurses of all stripes to answer that call. I’m sure some of you have found yourselves as the sole provider of care for your patients, increasing the significance of the relationship and the partnership nature of our PMH nursing practice. So, let’s get those good nursing vibes going by embracing the World Health Organization’s Year of the Nurse and Midwife! Read More

Nurses in Action: Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association Editor-in-Chief on Workforce
JAPNA Editor-in-Chief Geraldine "Geri" Pearson, PhD, APRN, FAAN is passionate about research that has the potential to change practice. Her most recent effort involves an online repository of information about the PMH nursing workforce. We spoke to her about what it means for nurses now and for the future of the profession. Hear from Geri

Member News
Genevieve Chandler publishes research on building resilience in college athletes; Karen Foli receives American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award; Wanda France and Rachael Hovermale honored with UPCEA South Region Program of Excellence Award; Pam Greene offers messages to share with individuals struggling with mental health issues during the holidays; Adrian Mesa pioneers program to support mental health of homeless individuals; Janette O’Connor named chair of 2020 APNA Nominating Committee; Andrew Penn writes articles on procedural psychiatry, Walmart’s proposed plans to increase access to mental health; Victoria Soltis-Jarrett helps secure grant to increase access to mental health care in rural North Carolina. Learn More

Just Over a Month Left to Submit an Abstract!
Help enhance the care of those with mental health needs through your innovative practice, new educational approach, nursing research, or administrative insight: Submit an abstract for the APNA 34th Annual Conference this September 30-October 3 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Florida. The deadline to submit an abstract for consideration as a podium or poster presentation is 11:59 ET on March 2. Learn More & Submit

The Science Behind the Treatment Decisions at CPI West
When you attend the APNA Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute West, you get more than just 10.0 contact hours. You get the opportunity to recharge with your psychiatric-mental health nursing community while you gain new insight into the science behind treatment decisions. As one CPI West attendee explains, "After attending this conference, I feel better prepared to educate my patients as to the rationale for treatment decisions we are making." Register now to join your community in San Diego this March 14-15 and earn up to 10 continuing education contact hours in pharmacology. Click here to save $50 on your registration.

Become a Leader in Suicide Prevention
Become a facilitator of the APNA Competency Based Training for Suicide Prevention and support best practices in your community and share strategies for suicide prevention. As facilitator Dorothy Kassahn explains, "Because [the course is] up-to-date and evidence-based, it provides so much information that psychiatric-mental health nurses need to know to give the best care to patients." Learn more about becoming a facilitator.

2020 APNA Elections Call for Nominations
Do you want to grow professionally while connecting with other PMH nurse leaders? Are you inspired by the big picture of psychiatric-mental health nursing? Take the next step in your leadership journey: submit your name for consideration for the APNA Board of Directors or 2021 Nominating Committee! The deadline for nominations is March 30. More Information

Featured Resource: Preceptors and Students Podcast
In a new podcast recording of a discussion panel at the 2019 APNA Annual Conference, members of the APNA Education and APNA Practice Councils explore the relationship between students and preceptors. Listen now for characteristics of an effective student/preceptor relationship and potential challenges for preceptors and PMHNP students.

Resource Roundup

  • Organizational Responses: Comments on CCNE's Proposed NP Residency/Fellowship Program Accreditation Standards; Letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services regarding Scope of Practice
  • Grants & Scholarships: Letters of Intent due next month for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Funding Opportunities
  • Child & Adolescent Resources: SAMHSA's Substance Misuse Prevention for Young Adults
  • Education Terminology Update: American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) updates terminology
  • Recovery Resources: Fostering Resilience and Recovery: A Change Package for Advancing Trauma-informed Primary Care
  • How to Get Published: Free online course from the publishers of JAPNA.
  • Free CE: Improving Clinical Practice with Patients who have Opioid Use Disorder; Major Depressive Disorder: Using the Components of Shared Decision Making in Treatment Planning; Clinical Convergence®: Child & Adolescent Bipolar Depression
  • APNA Advocacy: Letter to the Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Communications & Technology endorsing HR 4194 to make a 3 digit mental health and suicide prevention line a national service; Letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services regarding Scope of Practice from NCC

New Members: 653 New Members since November!

Issues & Events

For the 18th year in a row, Americans rate the honesty and ethics of nurses highest among a list of professions that Gallup asks U.S. adults to assess annually. Currently, 85% of Americans say nurses' honesty and ethical standards are "very high" or "high," essentially unchanged from the 84% who said the same in 2018. Full Story

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a streamlined survey and certification process for psychiatric hospitals, delivering on the Agency’s “Patients Over Paperwork” initiative. The full benefits of this initiative can be explored by clicking here. This new process will ensure safety and quality through more holistic and efficient hospital inspections that protect patients, while reducing burden for providers. Full Story

The 2020 Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program is accepting applications through Thursday, March 12, 7:30 p.m. ET. The program supports registered nurses (RNs), advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), and nurse faculty by paying up to 85% of their unpaid nursing education debt. In exchange, participants serve for at least two years at a health care facility with a critical shortage of nurses or an eligible school of nursing in the case of nurse faculty. To combat the nation's opioid crisis, special funding has been provided for psychiatric nurse practitioners. Click here to learn more.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2020 Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) Expansion Grants (Short Title: CCBHC Expansion Grants). The purpose of this program is to increase access to and improve the quality of community mental and substance use disorder treatment services through the expansion of CCBHCs. Full Story

The Lancet has a call out for papers for a future issue dedicated to the theme of nursing, including issues such as nursing and universal health coverage, nursing education, workforce planning, quality of care, new technologies, task sharing, and nursing as a movement to protect planetary health. The issue will be reflecting and supporting WHO's Year of the Nurse and Midwife. Full Story

Certain loops of ribonucleic acid — “circular RNAs” — in the brain are associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study reported recently in Nature Neuroscience. Because these circular RNAs can be detected not just in the brain but in cerebrospinal fluid and blood, they have the potential to be developed into lab tests to detect Alzheimer’s before symptoms appear. Full Story

FDA has approved Intra-Cellular Therapies’ lumateperone (Caplyta) for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults, reported Pharmacy Times. The drug is expected to be launched in 2020. Lumateperone was approved as an oral, once daily medicine approved for the treatment of schizophrenia of adults (42mg/day). The mechanism of action of lumateperone in the treatment of schizophrenia is unknown. However, the drug's efficacy could be mediated through a combination of antagonist activity at central serotonin 5-HT2A receptors and postsynaptic antagonist activity at central dopamine D2 receptors, according to Intra-Cellular Therapies. Full Story

There appears to be a robust genetic link between body weight and major psychiatric disorders, an international research team has concluded. Using data from more than a 500,000 individuals with major depression, bipolar disorder (BD), and schizophrenia, the investigators showed extensive genetic overlap between body mass index (BMI) and psychiatric disorders, reported MedScape. Interestingly, they found that although the genetic risk variants for major depression and BD were primarily associated with increased weight, the majority of genetic variants for schizophrenia were related to reduced weight. Full Story

Clinical trials suggest that adding psychedelic drugs to traditional psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be more effective than psychotherapy alone, reported PsychCentral. Many PTSD patients do not respond well to the current treatments, but new research to be presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, suggests that the combination of some psychedelic drugs and traditional psychotherapy holds promise. Full Story

Primary care practices see patients with untreated and undertreated mental illness every day, although many feel they cannot adequately address their patients’ behavioral health needs. Meanwhile, many patients would prefer to access mental health treatment at their primary care visits, with the physicians who know them best. A recent AMA article looks at two organizations have successfully piloted integrated behavioral health services and share their insights on the benefits and obstacles encountered. Full Story


Continuing a steady climb in funding for Alzheimer’s research, the Senate approved a $350 million increase in funding for Alzheimer’s and dementia research at the National Institutes of Health for the 2020 fiscal year. The appropriation bill, signed into law by President Trump on December 20, also included $10 million to implement the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, reported Full Story

Reps. Kim Schrier (D-WA) and Lauren Underwood ( D-IL) introduced new legislation to help more Americans access the care they need, according to the Auburn Reporter. The Primary and Behavioral Health Care Access Act (HR 5575) would require private insurance plans to cover three annual primary care visits and three annual outpatient mental health or outpatient substance use disorder treatment visits without charging a co-payment, coinsurance, or deductible-related fee. Full Story

Maine will conduct a comprehensive review of its Medicaid reimbursement rates for treatment of mental health and substance abuse as well as for adults with intellectual disabilities and developmental disorders, reported the Portland Press Herald. The review, which could affect Medicaid services at hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics and nonprofit agencies, will be done by a yet-to-be-hired consultant to the Department of Health and Human Services and is expected to be completed by November, with recommendations to follow. Full Story


The Joint Commission has introduced new and revised standards, effective July 1, 2020, for behavioral health care organizations that treat substance use disorders. The standards include 14 new and revised elements of performance (EPs) to improve the quality and safety of care for individuals seeking treatment. Full Story

The Alzheimer’s Association launched a new health systems initiative aimed at facilitating and enhancing dementia care in the clinical setting. The Alzheimer’s Association is working to engage more than 300 health systems across the country to offer proven solutions for improving health outcomes and more effectively managing the cost of care for people living with dementia. Full Story

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

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