This month’s psychiatric-mental health nursing news and updates
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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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April, 2019

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Online Continuing Education
Featured Free CE: T-3 + T-4: Do You Know Your Patient's Score? The Role of Thyroid Hormones in the Management of Depression

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Tablets for Patient Rounding

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APNA Highlights

Register by 5/13 to Save on the APNA Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute
The APNA Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute (CPI), June 6-9 in Louisville, KY, delivers psychopharmacology updates to professionals looking to provide the best possible care to their patients. CPI prioritizes the integration of psychopharmacology and neuroscience into clinical practice. It offers the scientific base for treatment decisions and addresses the context of care within the nurse/consumer/family relationship. Register By May 13 to Save $76

New Guidance Regarding Preceptors and Mentors
The APNA Board of Directors has approved new guidance on mentorship and precepting. Because fostering productive and responsible connections to help nurses grow in their careers is a priority for the profession, this resource offers background on mentorship and preceptorship, as well as notes that there can be no replacement for proper due diligence by the persons and/or organizations involved in determining qualifications and suitability of preceptors and mentors. You can view the guidance in full here and download the PDF here.

Overcoming Diagnostic and Treatment Challenges in Bipolar I Disorder

Issues & Events

A first-of-its-kind national study has found that a form of brain imaging that detects Alzheimer’s-related “plaques” significantly influenced clinical management of patients with mild cognitive impairment and dementia. The study revealed that providing clinicians with the results of positron emission tomography (PET) scans that identify amyloid plaques in the brain changed medical management — including the use of medications and counseling — in nearly two-thirds of cases, more than double what researchers predicted in advance of the study. The technique, known as “amyloid PET imaging,” also altered the diagnosis of the cause of cognitive impairment in more than one in three study participants. Full Story

Haloperidol plus lorazepam had the best response rate for delirium treatment, and ramelteon had the lowest delirium occurrence rate, based on the results of a network meta-analysis of 58 randomized clinical trials among 9603 individuals. No pharmacological management was significantly associated with a higher risk of all-cause mortality compared with placebo or control groups during delirium treatment or prevention, reported MedScape. Full Story

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted final approval of the first generic naloxone hydrochloride nasal spray, commonly known as Narcan, a life-saving medication that can stop or reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The agency is also planning new steps to prioritize the review of additional generic drug applications for products intended to treat opioid overdose, along with the previously announced action to help facilitate an over-the-counter naloxone product. Full Story

Mental health issues have risen significantly over the last decade and the rise of digital media may be one reason why, according to a national survey published by the American Psychological Association. The research found sharp increases in the number of young adults and adolescents who reported experiencing negative psychological symptoms — specifically in those born in 1995 or later, known as iGen, reported Coincidentally, the greatest spike in symptoms occurred in 2011, around the same time social media bursts onto the scene. Full Story

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration permitted marketing of the first medical device to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The prescription-only device, called the Monarch external Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (eTNS) System, is indicated for patients ages 7 to12 years old who are not currently taking prescription ADHD medication and is the first non-drug treatment for ADHD granted marketing authorization by the FDA. Full Story

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Zulresso (brexanolone) injection for intravenous (IV) use for the treatment of postpartum depression (PPD) in adult women. This is the first drug approved by the FDA specifically for PPD. Zulresso will be available only through a restricted program called the Zulresso REMS Program that requires the drug be administered by a health care provider in a certified health care facility. Full Story


At least six states with high opioid abuse rates also have strong work restrictions that hinder advanced practice nurses (APRNs) in prescribing medication that can help treat the problem, according to a study by researchers at UC San Francisco. These states, and others with restrictive scopes of practice for APRNs, should reform their regulations to take full advantage of the health care workforce in addressing the opioid crisis and meeting primary care needs, the researchers said. Full Story

The CMS finalized a rule that would give Medicare Advantage plans more flexibility to offer additional telehealth services to seniors as part of their basic benefits package starting in 2020. While previously Medicare Advantage plans could include additional telehealth services only as a supplemental benefit to be paid for with rebate dollars or enrollee premiums, they will now be able to include telehealth as a basic government-funded benefit beyond what the original Medicare program offers, reported Modern Healthcare. Full Story

The Oklahoma House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would protect nursing home residents from being prescribed anti-psychotic drugs without their informed consent or being prescribed the drug by their physician, reported The Lawton Constitution. Full Story


In 2008, New Jersey began requiring hospitals and nursing homes to publicly report the number of patients per nurse and a recent study out of Rutgers, found the law has led to better nursing staffing ratios. The study is the first study of its kind to evaluate the effectiveness of this particular requirement. Since the law went into effect, the number of patients decreased in 10 out of 13 specialty areas of care, reported Full Story

In pockets across the country, hospitals are trying something new to address the unique needs of psychiatric patients: opening emergency units specifically designed to help stabilize and treat patients and connect them to longer-term resources and care. These psychiatric ERs aim to address the growing number of patients with mental health conditions who end up hospitalized because traditional emergency rooms don’t have the time or expertise to treat the crisis. The rate of ER visits involving psychoses, bipolar disorder, depression or anxiety jumped more than 50 percent from 2006 to 2013, according to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Roughly 1 in 8 emergency department visits now stem from mental illness or substance use disorders, the data show, reported 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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