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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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March, 2016

Members' Corner
APNA Member Info

Online Continuing Education
Featured CE: Breaking Down Stigma for the Next Generation of Nurses

Hot Topic on Member Bridge:
Music Therapy

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Keep up-to-date on APNA happenings!

Find out about APNA events in your area.

APNA Resource Center

APNA Member Benefits: Learn More

President's Message: 14 Years of Leadership in Applying the Science to Psychopharmacologic Nursing Practice
Brenda asks her PMHNP about a new medication she noticed in advertising that claims the drug causes less weight gain and no sexual side effects. She wants to know if this is true. “I feel so much better emotionally but I hate all the weight. I avoid mirrors and cameras. It would be a miracle if I could lose weight and enjoy my relationship with my husband again. Should I try it? I don’t want to lose what I have gained.” (Cont'd)

In Your Own Words: Psych Nurses' Stories
This month, we hear from a nurse whose time in the Navy influenced his decision to go into psychiatric-mental health: Nursing was not my planned career. I joined the active duty Navy out of high school and saw myself in a military career. After deciding to get out at 21, I went back home and within two years began working as a corrections officer. I did not particularly like the work, but with only a high school diploma (and poor grades), it paid the bills. During my time in the Navy, I met and married a nurse. (Cont'd)

Member News
Marcia Carlson joins Cheney Psychiatric Associates; Carol Essenmacher contributes to guide on the Management of Substance Use Disorder; Dorothy Jordan contributes to the conversation around children with PTSD; Bernadette Melnyk leads study on evidence-based health care; Marlene Nadler-Moodie profiled for her work to destigmatize mental health and lung cancer; Cathy Phillips pens opinion piece on the role of nurse practitioners in nursing shortages; Mona Shattell blogs for the Huffington Post, the New York Times, and contributes to an article in favor of mental health screening during pregnancy; Carolyn Wellford profiled by UVA Today; Amy Whipple named Associate Chief Nursing Officer of Parkridge Valley Adult & Senior Campus; Barbara Wolfe named new Dean of the University of Rhode Island College of Nursing. (Learn More)

3 Ways to Take Action with APNA
Looking for ways you can get involved with current activities within APNA? Here are a few things you can add to your to do list: 1. Nominate yourself or someone you know for a position the APNA Board of Directors. 2. Recognize an exceptional colleague with a 2016 APNA Annual Awards nomination! 3. Support the future of psychiatric-mental health nursing by encouraging nursing students to apply for the APNA Board of Directors Student Scholarship.

Big Reasons to Register for the Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute
Register now to save $75 on the 14th Annual Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute, June 9-12 in Baltimore, Maryland. Here are just two of the many reasons to register:
For nurses, by nurses: CPI is the foremost psychopharmacology conference designed by nurses for nurses. This year, more than 60% of the faculty presenting are nurses themselves. The program, which offers up to 20.5 contact hours, focuses on the scientific base from which treatment decisions are made along with informed care within the nurse/consumer/family relationship.
3 keynotes = 3 expert perspectives on trends in treatment: On Friday, Keynote John Kane, MD will discuss the pharmacologic treatment of schizophrenia. Saturday's keynote from Wilson Compton, MD, MPE will examine the epidemic of prescription opioids and heroin use. And on Sunday, Keynote Pierre Tariot, MD, will delve into the diagnosis and prevention of Alzheimer's Disease.

Coming Soon: A Psychiatric-Mental Health Content Toolkit for Undergraduate Faculty
There is an urgent need for tools that faculty can use to better integrate psychiatric-mental health content into undergraduate nursing curricula: “Over the past few years, APNA members have expressed the need to highlight the key components for psychiatric mental health (PMH) content within the undergraduate nursing curriculum,” says David Sharp, PhD, RN, co-chair of the Undergraduate Branch of the APNA Education Council. (Cont'd)

Tips from Colleagues: Preparing for the Certification Exams
If you are getting ready to take one of the the psychiatric-mental health nursing certification exams and are feeling nervous, your colleagues can help! The psychiatric-mental health nurses who make up the Member Bridge community have given encouragement, recommendations, and resource suggestions to past test takers. Click here for their tips.

Free CE - More Options!
We now have more options on our Free CE page to give you even more ways to keep your practice current without cost. Browse all of the free CE sessions here, including sessions that cover workplace violence prevention, incorporating genetics into practice, and more.

Resource Roundup

New Members: 320 New Members since January!

Issues & Events

As part of the U.S. government’s urgent response to the epidemic of overdose deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new recommendations for prescribing opioid medications for chronic pain, excluding cancer, palliative, and end-of-life care. The CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, United States, 2016 will help primary care providers ensure the safest and most effective treatment for their patients. Full Story

The National Institute or Mental Health published the transcript of a recent Q&A on electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which was conducted on March 17, 2016 with expert Sarah Lisanby, M.D. Full Story

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced $94 million in Affordable Care Act funding to 271 health centers in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to improve and expand the delivery of substance abuse services in health centers, with a specific focus on treatment of opioid use disorders in underserved populations. Full Story

A new analysis by Avalere and Mental Health America (MHA) finds that significant barriers to quality care for individuals with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) exist, that insurance coverage does not necessarily equal access to care, and that patients often feel left out of their own treatment. An infographic summarizes the results found in the white paper. Full Story

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced new steps it is taking to reduce Veteran suicide. The steps follow a February 2 Summit, “Preventing Veteran Suicide – A Call to Action,” that brought together stakeholders and thought leaders to discuss current research, approaches and best practices to address this important subject. Full Story

Researchers led by a University of North Carolina team will use a new iPhone app to recruit women who have had postpartum depression. The goal is to collect about 100,000 DNA samples and compare them with DNA from women who have never experienced depression in hopes of discovering genetic factors that could lead to better prediction, diagnosis and treatment for maternal mental illness, reported The New York Times. Full Story

The Voice Awards, a program of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), helps improve the nation's views and knowledge about mental health and addiction issues by recognizing exemplary television and film productions that raise public awareness, as well as community leaders whose work demonstrates that recovery from mental health conditions and addictions is not only possible, but is taking place every day. In 2016, the Voice Awards will focus on the role that family support plays in inspiring hope and resilience for people experiencing a mental and/or substance use disorder. Nominations are due by Apr. 22, 2016. Click here for more information.


Click here for the March State Legislative Activity Report, made available as a part of APNA's legislative tracking system.

In a continuing effort to educate prescribers and patients about the potential risks related to opioid use, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced required class-wide safety labeling changes for immediate-release (IR) opioid pain medications. Among the changes, the FDA is requiring a new boxed warning about the serious risks of misuse, abuse, addiction, overdose and death. Full Story

Draft guidance issued by FDA titled General Principles for Evaluating the Abuse Deterrence of Generic Solid Oral Opioid Drug Products includes recommendations about the studies that should be conducted to demonstrate that a generic opioid is no less abuse-deterrent than the brand name product, with respect to all potential routes of abuse. Full Story To read the guidance, click here.

In a near-unanimous vote, the Senate approved the Comprehensive Addictions and Recovery Act (S.524). Known as CARA, the legislation authorizes much-needed funding for evidence-based prevention, treatment and recovery programs to help Americans struggling with addiction to heroin or other opioids. The bill passed the Senate with a bipartisan vote of 94-1 and now moves to the House for consideration. Full Story

On Feb. 25, 2016, the Oregon House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to pass Senate Bill 1503 B (SB 1503 B) to continue Oregon’s nurse practitioner payment parity law. Oregon’s nurse practitioner payment parity law is the first law in the country to require private insurance companies to reimburse primary care and mental health nurse practitioners (NPs), physician assistants (PAs), and physicians at the same rates when they perform the same services. Without legislative action, the law would have expired in 2017. Full Story


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report showing that states can greatly improve access to behavioral health services for residents by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. According to the report, in 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, an estimated 1.9 million uninsured people with a mental illness or substance use disorder lived in states that have not yet expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and had incomes that could qualify them for coverage. Full Story

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

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