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Mental Health Advocacy, Awareness and News
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November, 2014

Members' Corner
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President's Message: Meet President Susie Adams
It is with a great excitement that I begin my term as President of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. With each passing year I watch the energy, talent, and passion of psychiatric mental health nurses across the country... (Cont'd)

In Your Own Words: Psych Nurses' Stories
This month, Linda Oakley, PhD, RN shares her story: I became interested in psychiatric nursing without knowing it. When I was little, I was what the elders called an old child. (Cont'd)

Annual Conference: Pictures, Articles, Evaluations
Pictures from the conference are now up: view, like, comment, and tag yourselves here! Then, check out articles about Annual Conference presentations here. *Attendees - remember to log-in to the evaluations site by Monday, November 24th to complete your evaluations and receive your CE Certificates.*

Member News: Nurses in the News
Jennifer Barut highlighted in Vanderbilt University Medical Center Reporter; Lora Beebe featured in Knoxville News article, "UT program addresses psych nurse gap"; Michelle Giddings featured in Las Vegas Review Journal article, "Mental health workers a much-needed field in Nevada"; Mary Moller featured in Psychiatric Times Q&A on Schizophrenia and Post-Psychotic Adjustment; Kosuke Niitsu highlighted in University of Nebraska Medical Center Newsletter; "Patient centered care and engagement: Nurse leaders' imperative for health reform", co-authored by Luc Pelletier, published in Journal of Nursing Administration; Lynnda Zibell Milsap selected as a member of the ANA Professional Issues Panel on Workplace Violence and Incivility; Joanne Matthew and R. John Repique Participated in Update of ANA Position Statement on Nurse Fatigue. (Learn More)

SAMHSA Voice Awards: Changing Perceptions
Hear from Babette Wieland, who says that attending the SAMHSA Voice Awards on behalf of APNA was "both humbling and uplifting." (Cont'd)

Joining Forces: Helping Military Services Members, Veterans and Those Who Support Them in Transition

A recording of the Joining Forces Wellness Week webinar presented by APNA members Sean Convoy, Nancy Hanrahan, and CDR Jean Fisak is now online: Helping Military Services Members, Veterans and Those Who Support Them in Transition. APNA was proud to sponsor the webinar, along with the American Nurses Association and the American Nursing Foundation.

National Nurse Practitioner Week
November 9th-15th we celebrated National Nurse Practitioners Week. This annual celebration honors all NPs and reminds lawmakers of the importance of removing outdated barriers to practice so that NPs will be allowed to practice to the full extent of their experience and education.

Resource Roundup: New Resources in the APNA Resource Center

  • Member Discounts: APNA Members are eligible to receive a $200 discount on registration to the 2014 Current Psychiatry & American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists Psychiatry Update, which will be held December 11-13, 2014 is Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • APNA Advocacy: Letter to House and Senate LHHS-ED Appropriations Subcommittees on FY 2015 appropriations; Comments on Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule, Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule, Access to Identifiable Data for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Models & Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2015; Nursing Community letters in support of the Ensuring Access to Primary Care for Women & Children Act; Nursing Community Response for Proposed Rule - Medicare Program Physician Fee Schedule

New Members: 581 new members since August!

Issues & Events

Researchers have identified a disease that has similar symptoms as Alzheimer's yet is biologically different. Investigators believe the ability to diagnose different forms of memory impairment will aid the development of effective treatments for brain diseases. The new neurological disease is called primary age-related tauopathy (PART). Patients with PART develop cognitive impairment that can be indistinguishable from Alzheimer's disease, but they lack the telltale amyloid protein plaques of Alzheimer's, reported PsychCentral.com. Full Story

A recent Hospitals & Health Networks article looks at how Intermountain Healthcare is achieving the Triple Aim through team-based care, mental health integration, and clinician and institutional leadership at all levels. Full Story

Many community-based mental health providers are not well prepared to take care of the special needs of military veterans and their families, according to a new RAND Corporation study. Just 13% of the 522 mental health providers surveyed met the study's readiness criteria for both cultural competency and delivering evidence-based care. Providers who worked in community settings were less prepared than providers who are affiliated with the VA or military health system. Full Story

Many common insurance and state Medicaid policies may negatively impact patient health and impose a major workload on psychiatrists that takes time away from patient care and other important duties, according to a new study administered by the National Council for Behavioral Health and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Full Story

Researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine have discovered a genetic biomarker that could help identify schizophrenia patients who are resistant to antipsychotic drugs (about 30% of all schizophrenia patients). In the treatment-resistant group, the researchers found a mutation in the dopa decarboxylase gene, which is involved in the production of dopamine and serotonin. Certain variations of this gene have been linked to psychosis in previous studies. Many patients who were once treatment-resistant do eventually respond to a drug called clozapine. However, it's usually not administered in early treatment stages due to potentially severe side effects and required weekly blood monitoring, reported PsychCentral.com. Full Story

The FDA has given the green light to Johnson & Johnson's long-acting antipsychotic Invega Sustenna for schizoaffective disorder. Specifically, the agency has approved J&J unit Janssen's supplemental New Drug Applications for the once-monthly atypical long-acting antipsychotic Invega Sustenna (paliperidone palmitate) to treat schizoaffective disorder as either monotherapy or adjunctive therapy, reported PharmaTimes.com. Full Story

On November 10, Veterans Affairs Secretary McDonald sent a message to updates employees on MyVA reorganization plans. Full Story

Beginning this year, National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) will collect crucial data on the demographics, education and practice of Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs). If you're a CNS, you can help by completing the online 2014 CNS Census by clicking here before December 31. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) conducted its last national sample survey of the nurse workforce in 2008. Historically, policy-makers, health care leaders and others used the data from the survey to inform a range of health care policies and practices. To ensure this data is still captured, the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) and several other several national nursing organizations are working to gather this critical information.


On Oct. 31, 2014 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that updates payment policies and payment rates for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) on or after Jan. 1, 2015. The final rule includes policies for implementing the Value-based Payment Modifier (Value Modifier) in the Affordable Care Act that would adjust payments to physicians, groups of physicians, and other eligible professionals based on the quality and cost of care they furnish to beneficiaries enrolled in the traditional Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) program. Under the Value Modifier Program, performance on quality and cost measures can translate into payment incentives for providers who provide high quality, efficient care, while providers who underperform may be subject to a downward adjustment. CMS has published a fact sheet discusses the policies for implementing the Value Modifier. Click here to read the Fact Sheet.


Your are invited to comment on the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) strategic plan to help guide its research efforts and priorities over the next five years (2015-2020). The deadline is December 11, 2014. Click here for more information.

The American Geriatrics Society Geriatrics-for-Specialists Initiative (AGS GSI) announced the upcoming release of the new AGS Clinical Practice Guideline for Postoperative Delirium. The guideline’s overall aims are to present nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic interventions that should be implemented perioperatively for the prevention of postoperative delirium; and to present nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic interventions that should be implemented perioperatively for the treatment of postoperative delirium. 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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