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February, 2015

APNA Highlights
APNA Member Info

APNA eLearning Center
Featured Session: Texture Layering, "We See a Sea Story", and 55 Word Stories: Building Geropsychiatric Nursing Competencies and Enhancing Quality of Life through Creative Arts Programming

Hot Topic on Member Bridge:
Psychiatric Crisis Nurses vs. Social Workers

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2015 APNA Elections: Call for Nominations
Joining the APNA Board of Directors or Nominating Committee is an opportunity to hone your leadership skills, make lasting contributions to APNA and psychiatric-mental health nursing, and form rewarding relationships with colleagues!

APNA is currently accepting nominations for the following positions:

To nominate yourself or a colleague, email your contact information to Nicholas Croce by Friday, April 24, 2015 at ncroce@apna.org.  Additional information will be provided upon receipt of your nomination.

Call For Abstracts Deadline March 9, 2015
The 2015 APNA Scholarly Review Committee invites you to submit an abstract proposal to be considered for presentation at the 29th Annual Conference. The theme for this year’s conference is “Collaborating in an Evolving Health Care System: Opportunities to Advance Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing”. Click here for more information.

Register Now!
APNA 13th Annual Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute

Registration is now open for APNA's 13th annual Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute June 11-14, 2015, in Baltimore, MD. CPI delivers cutting edge psychopharmacology updates, research, and trends to nurses and other professionals looking to provide the best possible care for their patients. Click here for more information.

Free Continuing Education: Interactive Panels from the APNA 28th Annual Conference
Interactive Panels, hosted by APNA councils and institutes, feature conversations surrounding focus areas such as mental health advocacy, tobacco dependence, recovery, and research. These podcast recordings are available for free to members and nonmembers in the APNA eLearning Center. Click here for more information.

101 Annual Conference Sessions Now Online
Selected by psych nurses and presented by your colleagues this past October in Indianapolis, these APNA 28th Annual Conference podcasts encompass the varied clinical topics, research, and changes in practice, education, and administration that compose the landscape you navigate each day as a psychiatric-mental health nurse. Click here to view and access the sessions.

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice 2014 Edition
Delineating a body of knowledge and an advanced set of applied nursing skills, this publication reflects the diverse activities in which general and advanced practice psychiatric-mental health nurses are engaged and serves them in their clinical practice, education, research, and community service. Remember, APNA members can order copies at a significant discount (just $19.95!) or access a free digital version by clicking here.

Issues & Events

Dependent coverage provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) appear to have improved access to mental health care for young adults, new research suggests. Investigators at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, in Minneapolis, found that the legislation has led to "modest increases" in psychiatric inpatient admissions nationally and to lower emergency department (ED) visits in California among young adults aged 19 to 25, reported Medscape. Full Story

Behavioral health in the United States appears to be improving, especially for those between the ages of 12 and 17 years. The latest national behavioral health barometer from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) showed that treatment for adults with mental illness increased from 62.9% in 2012 to 68.5% 1 year later. Substance use treatment for all age groups also increased significantly. In addition, adolescent use of illicit drugs decreased from 10.1% in 2009 to 8.8% in 2013, and use of nicotine cigarettes fell from 9% to 5.6%. Binge drinking and nonmedical use of pain relievers also decreased. Full Story

The United States could save $220 billion within the first five years of a treatment for Alzheimer's disease being introduced, according to a new report from the Alzheimer's Association. The report, Changing the Trajectory of Alzheimer's Disease: How a Treatment by 2025 Saves Lives and Dollars, takes an in-depth look at the potential lives saved and positive economic impact if a hypothetical treatment that effectively delays the onset of Alzheimer's disease is discovered and made available to Americans by 2025. Full Story

Risk genes for different mental disorders affect the same biological pathways, a new and powerful analysis of genome-wide data has found. People with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression shared genetic risk affecting pathways for a key gene expression regulation mechanism, the immune system, and neuronal communication. Full Story

Many patients with depressive disorders can be effectively treated with psychological interventions in a primary care setting, according to a pair of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Reviewing data on more than 5000 primary care patients treated for depression, investigators found that a variety of face-to-face and remote interventions were comparably effective at improving scores on validated depression scales, reported Medscape. Full Story

A New York state initiative to provide psychiatric consultation to pediatric primary care providers (PCPs) about prescribing psychotropic medication shows promise for enhancing providers’ comfort with prescribing, reported Psychiatric News. Researchers in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine and colleagues at other institutions evaluated Project TEACH (PT), a statewide training and consultation program for pediatric PCPs on identification and treatment of mental health conditions. They found that the percentage of children prescribed psychotropic medication increased after PT training (from 9% to 12%), a larger increase than in the untrained group (from 4% to 5%). Outpatient mental health service use increased among children who saw the PT-trained providers (85% to 94%), whereas no significant change in outpatient mental health service use was observed for the comparison group. Full Story

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for up to nearly $51.5 million in Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Health Professions Student Training grants. This program develops and implements training programs to teach students in health professions (e.g., physician assistants, dentists, psychologists, pharmacists, nurses, social workers, counselors, and medical students and residents, etc.) evidence-based screening and brief intervention skills. It also instructs them on how to refer patients who are at risk for a substance use disorder (SUD) to appropriate treatment. Full Story

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for State Youth Treatment Implementation grants totaling up to $28.8 million over three years. This program provides funding to states, territories and tribes to improve treatment services for adolescents and/or transitional aged youth with substance use disorders (including those with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders). The State Youth Treatment Implementation program provides funding for both infrastructure improvement and direct treatment service delivery. Full Story

The Nursing Administration Scope and Standards Revision Workgroup seeks public comments on the draft document Nursing Administration: Scope and Standards of Practice, Second Edition. The comment period closes on March 6. Please consider reviewing and providing recommendations for improvements as part of your professional responsibility and accountability. Do invite students, colleagues, and other stakeholders to also respond. Click here for more information.

The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health will participate in a study that could hasten the day when a patient’s genetic profile, not trial and error, helps a doctor determine which medications to prescribe. The 28-month, $350,000 study will enroll about 400 volunteers with mental-health disorders. Researchers will analyze genetic material from about half of the volunteers and use those insights to make medication adjustments aimed at optimizing drug performance and decreasing side effects and adverse drug interactions, reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Full Story

Nursing's Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research are pleased to announce the launch of a new survey for RNs and NPs holding active licenses in CA, FL, NJ and PA. The survey, which will contact over 250,000 nurses, asks questions about patient care and nursing practice in order to improve patient outcomes. For more information click here or email: RN4CAST@nursing.upenn.edu.

A recent ScienceMic article looks at the concept of Living Rooms, state-funded, alternative ER centers for mental health crises. Illinois opened the first of its five Living Rooms in 2011 as a non-clinical crisis center. People can drop in to get immediate help and access to resources for longer-term care. As the name suggests, the centers are supposed to feel more like homes than hospitals. When guests walk into the Living Room staff members greet them "with open arms" and offer beverages - anything to make them feel at home, supported and in control of their own treatment. Full Story

Join SAMHSA’s Voice Awards program in recognizing consumer/peer leaders who use their stories of resilience to educate others about behavioral health and demonstrate that people with mental and/or substance use disorders can, and do, recover and lead meaningful lives. If you know of a consumer/peer leader who has made outstanding contributions in all of the following areas, please nominate that person for a 2015 Voice Award. Click here for more information.


Acknowledging the struggles of the nation's veterans, President Barack Obama signed legislation intended to reduce the high rate of suicide that is claiming the lives of soldiers and former members of the military by the day. The law, which had broad support from Republicans and Democrats, requires the Pentagon and Veterans Affairs Department to submit to independent reviews of their suicide prevention programs and make information on suicide prevention more easily available to veterans. The law also offers financial incentives to psychiatrists and other mental health professionals who agree to work for the VA and assist military members as they transition from active duty to veteran status, reported Stars & Stripes. Full Story

A congressional committee took the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to task for a failure to effectively coordinate programs for the seriously mentally ill and demanded more accountability, reported Medscape. The report, issued February 5, "produced unassailable evidence that our mental health system is dysfunctional, disjointed, and a disaster," said subcommittee Chairman Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA). Murphy, a psychologist, requested the report, along with Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO). Murphy also has introduced legislation in previous congressional sessions to essentially dismantle SAMHSA and create a new assistant secretary of substance abuse and mental health within HHS. Full Story To access the GAO report, click here.

Nebraska lawmakers began retracing their steps on a bill to give nurse practitioners more independence, reported Omaha.com. Senators voted 35-2 to advance Legislative Bill 107 to the second of three rounds of consideration. The measure, introduced by State Sen. Sue Crawford of Bellevue, would eliminate the requirement for nurse practitioners to have a practice agreement with a doctor. Lawmakers passed a similar bill last year on a 43-0 vote. Then Gov. Dave Heineman vetoed the bill, saying it moved “too far, too quickly.” Full Story


Physical and verbal assault are a serious threat to psychiatric hospital workers, and hospital administrators need to focus on factors that lead to conflict and how staff responds to it, according to new study from the University of California, Los Angeles. Researchers surveyed nearly 350 workers at a large psychiatric hospital and found that nearly all participants said they experienced verbal conflict with patients, and 70% said they were assaulted within the last year. Additionally, 92% of workers reported experiencing verbal conflict with other workers, reported Safety & Health. Full Story

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American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

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