News that's hand-picked for psychiatric-mental health nurses.
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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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January, 2019

APNA Member Info

Online Continuing Education
Featured Free CE: The Neurobiology of Sleep and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia

Hot Topic:
Nutritional Psychiatry Approaches

Career Center


APNA Resource Center

APNA Member Benefits

Members' Corner

President's Message: Connect with APNA
I believe in the power of connection. You may have gathered that from the theme I chose for this year: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses: The Whole Health Connection. Connection is at the heart of what we do. I believe that's why most of us go into this work - because connection is a priority for us. I also believe that's why we join APNA - because it provides us with rich connections with our colleagues. (Read More)

Nurses in Action: Presenting at the APNA Annual Conference
At the APNA 32nd Annual Conference, one of the most highly rated sessions was Nursing Students, Trauma-Informed Care, and Resiliency: Identifying Learning Needs to Enhance Curricula. We spoke with primary presenter Kate Pfeiffer, MSN, PMHCNS-BC, PMHNP-BC about her work, her experience at the conference, and her advice to future presenters. (Read More)

Member News
Celeste Johnson discusses strategies for reducing nurse burnout and promoting resilience; Lisa Kehr reflects on her experience as an APNA Board of Directors Student Scholar; Rebecca Luebbert and Jodie Warsing honored with March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Awards; Susan Maloney receives commendation from Pennsylvania Attorney General; Donna Rolin explains the use of robots in telehealth education. Learn More

Tobacco Treatment Tips
When it comes to tobacco use, it is important to accurately ask patients about it. When a patient is asked, “do you smoke?” there may be unintended responses. A person who dips or chews will respond that they don’t, either because they know what you are trying to get at and they want to avoid that conversation – or they don’t see dipping or chewing as being as harmful as smoking. (Read More)

The Psychopharmacology Answers You Need at CPI West
In the words of one APNA Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute West attendee, "All the speakers presented on a higher level of knowledge, which I really appreciated. I felt they all respected how much we know, and how smart we are!"  That's why you can rely on CPI West for the answers you need to provide person-centered psychopharmacological care. Register now to join your community in San Diego this March 16-17 and earn up to 10 continuing education contact hours in pharmacology. Click here to save $50 on your registration.

Become a Facilitator of the APNA Competency Based Training for Suicide Prevention
Support best practices in your community and share strategies for suicide prevention by becoming a facilitator of the APNA Competency Based Training for Suicide Prevention. As one of the first trained facilitators, Shirlee Davidson MSN, RN, explains: "The skills learned in this class are needed by all nurses to build trust, encourage hope and save lives.... The need for this type of training is NOW!" Click here for more information about the Spring 2019 training.

Funding Opportunity: APNA Research Grants
The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is now accepting applications for the 2019 APNA Research Grants. Intended to support new researchers' investigations of evidence-based practice changes, quality improvement projects, or research studies, these grants range from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the researcher's needs. Students conducting their thesis, dissertation, or capstone project are welcome to apply. The deadline to submit a grant proposal is Tuesday, March 19th.

Featured Resource: Undergraduate Education Toolkit
The Undergraduate Education Toolkit is an evolving resource for new and seasoned educators teaching psychiatric nursing at the pre-licensure level. The toolkit is also a valuable aid in support of all nurses wanting to reinforce mental health concepts. Each category provides learning outcomes, classroom teaching strategies, clinical teaching strategies, simulation scenarios, assignments, and journal/media resources. (View Now)

Resource Roundup

  • Medication Updates: Clozapine Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) Program Modified
  • Press Release: American Psychiatric Nurses Association Opens Call for Abstracts for 2019 APNA Annual Conference
  • Mental Health Parity Resources: Updated tools and evidence to assist nurses working to reduce disparity in coverage for mental health illnesses compared with physical health illnesses.
  • APNA Advocacy: Letter requesting the Senate pass the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act this Congress

New Members: 492 New Members since November!

Issues & Events

With countries dedicating less than 1%, on average, of their health budget to mental health, in addition to other institutional and social barriers, many people living with mental illness find themselves with little to no support, according to a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. In addition to the moral case for addressing mental health, there is also an economic one. Around the globe, mental illness costs $2.5 trillion in lost productivity and represents the leading cause of disability, reported the American Journal of Managed Care. Full Story

A new report, authored in part by researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) provides guidance on how to implement universal suicide risk screening of youth in medical settings. The report describes a way for hospitals to address the rising suicide rate in a way that is flexible and mindful of limited resources. Full Story

Rapid, repeated, and abrupt shifts in mood may be the most accurate diagnostic criterion for distinguishing borderline personality disorder (BPD) from bipolar (BD) or major depressive disorder (MDD), new research suggests. Investigators found affective instability criterion had 90% sensitivity in identifying patients with BPD and ruling out those without the condition, reported MedScape. Full Story

A new study shows that targeted cognitive training (TCT) benefits patients with severe schizophrenia, improving verbal learning and auditory perception while lessening the severity of auditory hallucinations, reported Recently, targeted cognitive training (TCT) has emerged as a promising therapeutic intervention for schizophrenic patients. TCT uses computerized training, such as sophisticated brain games, to target specific neural pathways, including memory, learning and auditory-based senses, to alter the way the patients process information. Full Story

More than four in five Americans (84%) again rate the honesty and ethical standards of nurses as "very high" or "high," earning them the top spot among a diverse list of professions for the 17th consecutive year, according to Gallup's annual poll Americans' Ratings of the Honesty and Ethical Standards of Professions. Full Story

A new smartphone app might one day help save lives by identifying people when they have overdosed—and then calling their family or emergency services for help, reported MIT Technology Review. The system, developed by a team from the University of Washington, effectively converts a phone into a sonar device using the built-in speaker and microphone. An algorithm analyzes the rate of reflected sound waves to identify if someone’s breathing has slowed or stopped (apnea), or if the person isn’t moving—all of which could signal that an overdose has started. Full Story


Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) re-introduced his Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act to improve programs and grants that support the recruitment and retention of professionals for our nation’s nursing workforceFull Story

The Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act (S. 2076/H.R. 4256) was signed into law Dec. 31, 2018. The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act will establish Alzheimer’s Centers of Excellence in communities around the country to expand and promote effective Alzheimer’s interventions, and issue funding to state and local public health departments to promote cognitive health, risk reduction, early detection and diagnosis, and the needs of caregivers. Critically, the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act will also increase collection, analysis and timely reporting of data on cognitive decline and caregiving to inform future public health actions. Full Story

The New York State Office of Mental Health published draft amendments to its Part 596 regulations expanding the use of telehealth to deliver mental health services in the regulated mental health system, reported Full Story

The Mental Health Liaison Group wrote to the Honorable Kamala Harris to express continued support for the Mental Health Professionals Workforce Shortage Loan Repayment Act. This legislation is a vital step in addressing our nation’s dire shortage of mental health professionals and reducing the unmet mental health treatment gap for Americans across the lifespan. Click here to read the letter.


Poor reimbursement, workforce shortages, and lax government oversight of mental health parity laws limit access and integration of behavioral health, according to a new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC). But of all the barriers to accessing quality and affordable mental health services, stigma may be the most powerful, said Patrick Kennedy, founder of the Kennedy Forum, a mental health and substance abuse advocacy organization. Authors of the new report said their ideas were to be taken as "policy options" or a "starting point for discussion" rather than as a specific set of recommendations, reported MedPage Today. Full Story

A new study in the January 2019 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, “Not Missing the Opportunity: Improving Depression Screening and Follow-Up in a Multicultural Community,” details the work of Harrisonburg Community Health Center (HCHC) to improve the efficacy of Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) for depression — an evidence-based approach to identify and treat disorders related to substance abuse. While evidence-based guidelines recommend screening for the adequate diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of depression, only seven states report depression screening and follow-up. Full Story

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is Accredited with distinction as a provider of continuing nursing education by the
American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

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