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American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA)

American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA)

Sample Answer 

American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA)

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA), formed in 1986, is one of the leading professional mental and psychiatric health nursing institutions in the U.S. With approximately 12,500 registered members, APNA is dedicated to the delivery of quality mental health care nursing services, including promoting wellness by identifying psychiatric problems, prevention of mental health issues, as well as the treatment and care of patients with psychotic disorders. This paper primarily focuses on the role of APNA, including its mission, vision, and values; present policy activities; how it generates networking chances; how it informs its members’ changes in practice, as well as opportunities for continuing education and professional development.

Mission, Vision, and Role of APNA

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is steered by a strategic direction created by the organization’s Board of Directors and updated or regulated by the members. Some of APNA’s core values are stewardship, integrity, empowerment, transparency, inclusivity, innovation, and collegiality. The vision is to facilitate professional growth by offering ongoing quality mental and psychiatric health nursing education, a community of complex cooperation, and a range of resources for emerging, established, as well as potential PMH nurses (APNA, n.d.). The mission is to champion and advocate for mental-psychiatric healthcare by advancing the education and science of PMH nursing, disseminating present advances and knowledge globally in PMH nursing, as well as collaborating with different consumer groups to enhance evidence-based developments in diagnosis, recovery-focused assessment, evaluation, and treatment of people with substance use disorders and mental illnesses.

The role of APNA is irreplaceable in formulating regulations through policy as well as encouraging advocacy. APNA has, in recent years, taken a keen interest in formulating and amending policies, especially within the profession, by lobbying for constitutional amendments as well as a change of education curriculum to ensure PMH nurses perform their duties effectively and accordingly. One of the many policy amendments has been the push to ensure the profession follows the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This act was created to offer security and privacy for medical data and information. In particular, APNA has been heavily involved in educating its members, who are nurses tasked with ensuring the well-being of PMH patients, on essential aspects of the HIPAA policy, including revenue offsets, tax-related provisions, enforcement, and application of group health plan needs, among many other things.

As of 2017, APNA has been busy formulating and enforcing PMH key competencies for diagnosis, assessment, management, and treatment of individuals with substance abuse disorders as well as mental diseases using evidence-based research. APNA recognizes the need to create standards in the PMH nurse profession and practice since there are no benchmark competencies for mentally registered nurses. One of the critical psych areas the organization has been at the forefront to develop standards is suicide, perhaps because of the absence of suicide assessment codes that are formulated based on evidence-based practice (APNA, n.d.).

Therefore, APNA proposes the following guidelines for the prevention of suicide at both patient and system-level interventions. At the patient level, the role of the PMH nurse is to examine the threat of suicide, supervise and monitor at-risk individuals, offer suicide-specific psychoanalysis treatment and interventions, as well as evaluate the potential results of all other interventions provided. For example, the APNA policy stipulates that the PMH nurse is responsible for managing personal beliefs, attitudes, and reactions. If an inpatient attempts suicide, the psychiatric nurse must participate in Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) and Root Cause Analysis (RCA) exercise. APNA has also proposed that the PMH nurse is responsible for developing and maintaining a collaborative treatment relationship with patients through keeping a supportive and nonjudgmental stance between patients and their families, offering a therapeutic milieu that ensures the patient is emotionally supported and safe, as well as voicing the authentic intent to help.

Why It Is Vital For Nurses To Network And How The Organization Creates Networking Opportunities

Professional networking is the process of developing and sustaining professional relationships. For the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, professional networking is crucial as it assists members in acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to keep pace with the continuously advancing field. The process is also critical in helping members secure their first assignments or jobs, even those that lack experience in the area. Besides, it provides professionals the opportunity to exchange knowledge and skills in the industry and access scholarships and other valuable resources. There are several ways that APNA creates these networking opportunities for its members. The most common method is through annual seminars and conferences. Each year, APNA holds two conference meetings, which provide psychiatric nurses with a terrific opportunity to share, learn, and link with colleagues (APNA, 2020).

How APNA Keeps Its Members Informed of Changes In Profession And Practice

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association uses several avenues to communicate critical changes in practice to its members. Most importantly, the management uses emails, internal memos, as well as verbal communication during staff meetings to pass any information about policy changes or regulatory changes. Also, the organization often uses conference meetings held at the end of the financial year or monthly seminars to inform members of new changes in practice, including new treatment modalities introduced or new diagnostic tools proposed, such as amendments to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Finally, the organization has a website ( that it uses to enlighten and announce to members about new changes in the organization and the profession, including Awards & Scholarships, Press Releases, News & Updates, Publications, and many others.

Opportunities For Continuing Education And Professional Development

Similar to other organizations, APNA offers member nurses a chance to continue training and promotes professional growth. One of the popular methods the organization supports professional development and education is through national conference meetings held twice every year, including the March CPI Conference and the October Annual Conference. During these meetings, APNA offers special training services to its members. For example, in the upcoming March 2020 Conference, the association plans to provide psychopharmacology training (APNA, n.d.). The organization also offers free CE training, ATP Certificate Program, Suicide Prevention Training, Behavior Connection Certificate, and many others.


APNA. (2020). APNA 34th Annual Conference. Retrieved from

APNA. (n.d.). About the American Psychiatric Nurses Association: An Introduction. Retrieved from

Knapp, M.,  et al. (2006). Economic barriers to better mental health practice and policy. The Journal of Health Policy and Systems Research, 21(3), 157-170. Retrieved from


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American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA)

Examine the importance of professional associations in nursing. Choose a professional nursing organization that relates to your specialty area, or a specialty area in which you are interested. In a 750-1,000 word paper, provide a detailed overview the organization and its advantages for members. Include the following:

American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA)

American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA)

  • Describe the organization and its significance to nurses in the specialty area. Include its purpose, mission, and vision. Describe the overall benefits, or “perks,” of being a member.
  • Explain why it is important for a nurse in this specialty field to network. Discuss how this organization creates networking opportunities for nurses.
  • Discuss how the organization keeps its members informed of health care changes and changes to practice that affect the specialty area.
  • Discuss opportunities for continuing education and professional development.

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