What is a American Psychiatric Nurses Association ?

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Nursing professional bodies are different organizations or unions in which members of varying nursing specializations in their profession engage to enrich their skills and also oversee their conduct, knowledge, and practices in the specific discipline. Nurses involve themselves in different professional bodies for various reasons. Gaining professional recognition is one of the primary reasons most nurses engage in the professional bodies; this is because membership in these bodies guarantees all the employers that the nurse must have exemplarily passed to get this membership.  Others engage in these bodies to widen and deepen their knowledge in the specialization field (Clearly et al., 2013). Therefore being a member of such bodies helps a nurse career advancement and more exploration in the specialization field. This discussion aims to discuss one of these professional bodies: the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA).

American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA)

American Psychiatric Nurses Association began its operations in 1986 when it was founded and has consistently and progressively grown over the different years and has become one of the largest professional organizations whose aim is geared in the psychiatric mental health (PHM) practice. This institution works to prevent mental health issues and problems and mental wellness promotion. Stewardship, innovation, inclusivity, empowerment, transparency, collegiality, and integrity are the central core values of the professional body as formulated by its board of directors.  This professional body also has a window that aids in providing quality education for all the nurses who are willing to pursue advancement in this specialization (Delaney, 2015). APNA promotes PHM nursing and supports the different initiatives for mental health care by giving their different stands on critical issues in this field, by participating in ensuring the widespread knowledge understanding on PHM nursing and also collaborates with other groups to help in recovery, assessment, and evaluation of different people with mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

This professional body’s mission is advancement in science and all educated related to Psychiatric mental health nursing and commitment to the specialized practice of psychiatric mental nursing, its wellness, and the different recovery promotion methods. They do this by identifying all mental-related issues, preventing the emergence of problems related to mental health, giving care practices to mentally ill people, and finally enhancing treatment processes for all the people with mental disorders.  The vision of APNA depends on the guidance given and procedures formulated by the board of directors in this body (Delaney, 2015). However, the direction must align with the core values of inclusivity, innovation, stewardship, transparency, empowerment, integrity, and collegiality. APNA consists of members with a working website that gives room for discussions and forums, blogs by members, sharing of different resources by members, and further keeping them in track of everything that was happening and changes in this field.

APNA has a great significance to the member nurses who are engaged in this professional body. First, the body constitutes a well-organized educational platform for all the psychiatric mental health nurses, which brings on board all the latest developments in research about mental health. APNA is thereby accredited by7 the accreditation body and thus gives all the continuing nurses relevant education either live or online to the member nurses of this body (Delaney, 2015). APNA also holds an annual conference that brings together all the nurses in this field to get a particular issue into focus and initiate a relevant program for the subject. APNA also has a psychopharmacology institute that researches all the medications given to nurses who have the prescription authority.

Importance Of APNA And How It Creates Networks.

Some of the significant reasons for engaging psychiatric nurses engaging in APNA are widening and deepening the psychiatric field knowledge. As illustrated above, APNA has an educational platform that helps many nurses advance in this field and helps in researching mental health reasons; hence, this is a significant reason why nurses should engage in this field. Secondly, American Psychiatric Nurses Association helps different nurses shape their careers by offering them the necessary advice on psychiatric practice and ensuring that they are competent in anything that may be required by the employer. Additionally, they advertise jobs for the nurses and hence shaping their careers.  Third, nurses involved in APNA enjoy professional recognition by different employers. This is because employers have confidence in the type of education offered by the body and hence being a member gives the security that the nurse is competent enough (Mahoney et al., 2016). Finally, APNA creates networks that might help a nurse get a mentor or a job efficiently and support mental health programs. APNA creates networks by conducting annual conferences that bring together all the psychiatric nurses to discuss issues affecting them and form partnerships with different psychiatric hospitals, hence helping them quickly get job vacancies in such hospitals. Also, through the members’ bridge discussion sites, members can easily network and interact.

How APNA Keeps Its Members Informed

American Psychiatric Nurses Association has a networking and discussion site called the “members bridge” that gives its members a chance to participate in the different discussions on the site and access advice from other colleagues. Through this site, APNA can keep its members informed of all the changes or any necessary information that they need to be passed to the members. APNA also gives its members access to a free journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (JAPNA). That updates them on all the monthly information and news (Mahoney et al., 2016).  APNA also gives out monthly newsletters known as the Psychiatric nursing voice that keeps its members up to date with all the information needed in psychiatric mental nursing. The body displays further medical updates through the American Psychiatric Nurses Association resource center, the program listing, and provides position papers, kits, and guides related to specific psychiatric mental nursing areas. Finally, APNA also has voluntary committees where they request differe4nt nurses to join and increase impacts on the mental health field; through these committees, the members are well kept informed.

Opportunities for Continuing Education and Professional Development.

Nurses enjoy being exposed to different opportunities through continuing with their education and especially in professional bodies. Psychiatric nurses who pursue professional development through APNA enjoy options such as getting chances to apply for different scholarships and grants offered by the American Psychiatric Nursing Foundation, enabling them to get funds to further their education. Opportunities such as participation in annual conferences conducted by APNA give them a chance to share their mind over anything happening in this field and gain more knowledge (Klein and Ware, 2003). American Psychiatric Nurses Association also gives such nurses opportunities to participate in different regional vents, which provide more educational opportunities for the nurses. In addition to this, nurses also enjoy good management of resumes and advanced advice to help them in the job market.




Cleary, M., Horsfall, J., & Jackson, D. (2013). Commentary: Professional mental health nursing bodies: Issues relevant to leadership within and beyond. Contemporary Nurse43(2), 257-259.

Delaney, K. R. (2015). American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) revised its Position Statement on the Use of Seclusion and Restraint. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association21(2), 114-114.

Klein, D., & Ware, M. (2003). E‐learning: New opportunities in continuing professional development. Learned Publishing16(1), 34-46.

Mahoney, J. S., Lewin, L., Beeber, L., & Willis, D. G. (2016). Using Liberating Structures to Increase Engagement in Identifying Priorities for the APNA Research Council. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association22(6), 504-507.




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