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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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August, 2016

APNA Highlights
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Online Continuing Education
Featured Free CE: Effective Treatments for Opioid Use Disorders

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APNA Member Benefits

APNA 30th Annual Conference - Early Bird Discount Ends Sept. 7
Join us this October in Hartford, CT to earn up to 29.5 CNE contact hours onsite and an additional 100+ contact hours online. Together, we advance psychiatric-mental health care through networking, education and a celebration of psychiatric-mental health nurses' leadership every day. Click here for more information and to register.

2016 APNA Elections Results
New members of the APNA Board of Directors and 2017 Nominating Committee have been announced. These members will begin their new roles during the Annual Meeting & Town Hall on October 22, 2016 at the APNA 30th Annual Conference in Hartford, CT. We are excited to welcome these members to their new positions! Click here to learn more.

New Resource: PMH-APRN Scope of Practice Map
This new interactive map summarizes each state's practice authority for PMH-APRNs (NPs & CNSs), relevant legislature, and information about supervision and prescribing. Start exploring this resource now, available exclusively for APNA members.

Psychopharmacology CE - New & Online
Podcasts from the APNA 14th Annual Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute are now available online! If you weren't able to attend this year's Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute, you can still get the content and contact hours by purchasing these session podcasts in the APNA eLearning Center. View and order any of the 13 sessions here.

Issues & Events

A multidisciplinary specialist depression service (SDS) may be an effective way of managing patients with persistent moderate to severe depression, new research suggests, reported Medscape. Investigators found that collaborative specialist care involving integrated psychiatric and pharmacologic treatment lasting at least 12 months was more effective for depressive symptoms than usual generic community mental health care by 18 months' follow-up. Full Story

The Minnesota Hospital Association released a study that shows significant shortcomings in patients getting appropriate care for mental health issues in their hospitals. MHA found that roughly one in five days mental health patients spent in inpatient community hospital psychiatric units could have been avoided. "Potentially avoidable days" are defined as days mental health patients spent admitted to the hospital when more appropriate treatment would have been given in a different care setting. Full Story

The U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy has sent a letter to 2.3 million American health professionals, asking them to lead a national movement to turn the tide on the nation’s prescription opioid epidemic. The Surgeon General urged clinicians to visit a website his office launched this month, TurnTheTideRx.org, where they can pledge their commitment to combating opioid misuse by enhancing education for treating pain, by screening patients for opioid use disorder, and by leading a shift in the public perception of addiction so that it is treated as chronic illness rather than as a moral failing. Full Story

To combat the nation's opioid epidemic, 25 national nursing organizations, including APNA, have joined forces to offer a free online educational series that will serve as a resource for practicing nurses, faculty, and students. Click here for more information or to register.

Criteria for Evaluation of Nurse Practitioner Programs, 5th Edition, a Report of the National Task Force on Quality Nurse Practitioner Education, is now available. This report is a resource for those involved in educational preparation, credentialing, and licensing of NPs. To download the report, click here.

A new study finds that a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) can increase the risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), reported PsychCentral.com. The knowledge that even mild head trauma can lead to PTSD could improve screening, detection, and timely treatment for the disorder among at-risk populations. Full Story

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommended in its second-ever professional judgment budget for Alzheimer’s research a $414 million increase for FY2018 annual spending “to meet one of the greatest challenges of our time ― the development of effective treatments for and prevention of Alzheimer’s and related dementias by 2025.” Full Story

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has  published “Create Positive Change—Lead From the Middle.” In the blog post, Richard Ricciardi, PhD, NP, AHRQ senior nursing advisor, describes leading from the middle as “the actions of individuals who are able to influence those in a position higher or lower than themselves.” Few health care professionals fit this description better than frontline nurses, who serve as the link between upper management and support staff. Embracing this role can help nurses create positive change that makes care safer for patients. Full Story

About 25% of dementia patients in U.S. nursing homes are still quieted with risky antipsychotic medications. Now, a small study suggests that managing these difficult patients, instead of medicating them, could obtain better results, reported Health Day. Full Story

Nominations are now open for the 2017 AANP State Award for Excellence. The NP State Award for Excellence is given annually to an individual NP in each state who has demonstrated excellence in NP practice. The Advocate State Award for Excellence is given annually to an individual in each state who has made a significant contribution toward increasing awareness and recognition of NPs. Nominations are open thru October 10, 2016. Click here for more information.

The Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital announced that the Nurses' Health Study, for the first time, is now accepting both male and female participants. RNs, LPNs, and nursing students between the ages of 19 and 46 who live in the US or Canada are eligible to join the study. More than 38,000 have signed up already, and recruitment will stay open until the goal of 100,000 participants is reached. Full Story


On behalf of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HSAG invites all interested healthcare professionals, stakeholder organizations, and individuals to provide comments on the following proposed quality measure - Continuation of Medications within 30 Days of Inpatient Psychiatric Discharge. The measure is being developed under the IPF Outcome and Process Measure Development and Maintenance Project. This measure evaluates the proportion of patients who fill evidence-based medications for major depressive disorder (MDD), schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder within 30 days of discharge from an IPF to provide an important indicator of the quality of care patients receive during the discharge process to help them transition to the outpatient setting. All feedback submitted within the public comment period from August 25, 2016 through September 15, 2016 (11:59 p.m. ET) will be reviewed and carefully considered by the project team. A summary of all comments received and responses will be publicly available within two months of the close of the public comment period. Additional information is available by clicking here or to submit comments, click here.


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration published a new guide to help states and other stakeholders ensure that coverage for behavioral health conditions is comparable to medical and surgical benefits. The guide, “Approaches in Implementing the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act: Best Practices from the States,” was developed by SAMHSA in collaboration with partners across the federal government. In developing this resource, SAMHSA consulted insurance commissioners and other officials from seven states with robust parity implementation efforts. The states officials were asked to identify parity implementation processes, collaborations with other organizations, and tools used for understanding and monitoring compliance that might be useful for other states. Full Story

The National Council for Behavioral Health launched the Behavioral Health + Economics Network, known as BHECON, which is an initiative to unite diverse stakeholders to identify, examine and advance policy reforms to strengthen states’ mental health delivery systems. 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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