APNA Issues Recommendations for Aligning Advanced Practice Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing With Consensus Model for APRN Regulation

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association issues a series of recommendations for changes needed to position psychiatric-mental health nursing to be in compliance with the new Consensus Model for Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Regulation. The recommendations promote a uniform approach for entry to practice so that future psychiatric-mental health advanced practice nurses will have the full scope of practice to address mental health and psychiatric needs across the lifespan.

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APNA has and will continue to advocate that the plan’s implementation move forward in a manner that does not compromise existing licensed and certified PMH-APRNs, now or in the future.

Arlington, VA (Vocus/PRWEB) March 09, 2011

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) issued a series of recommendations aimed at aligning psychiatric-mental health nursing (PMHN) with the “Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification & Education.” This Consensus Model was developed, with the participation of APNA, in response to the general agreement amongst nurses and nursing organizations that the existing system of licensure, accreditation, certification, and education for advanced practice nurses (APRNs) is confusing and that its inconsistent rules, policies and standards impede nursing’s advancement as a profession and its ability to meet the emerging changes of the healthcare system.

The nine recommendations issued by APNA address the implementation of this consensus model within psychiatric-mental health advanced practice nursing. Advanced practice registered nurses in psychiatric-mental health (PMH-APRNs) currently hold four different types of certifications: Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist, Child Clinical Nurse Specialist, Adult Nurse Practitioner, and Family Nurse Practitioner. Based upon trends in the issuing of these certifications over the past ten years, APNA recommends that one uniform approach be adopted for entry to practice and the certification of future PMH-APRNs. The association further recommends that all new PMH-APRNs have one entry educational focus for the future: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with preparation across the lifespan. This recommendation affects only the future education and certification of PMH-APRNs and does not apply to current psychiatric-mental health nurses with other existing advanced practice certifications. An essential aspect of the recommendations is the recognition that currently licensed and certified PMH-APRNs are qualified now and that their ability to practice in the future is protected by a grandfathering provision.

The Consensus Model for APRN Regulation has been adopted by over 44 national nursing societies as well as national accrediting and certification bodies such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), and the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC). The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), which is comprised of directors from state boards of nursing, is fully committed to its implementation. APNA has participated in the development of the Consensus Model, embraces the model’s goals, and stands with all of nursing in support of the model. APNA has and will continue to advocate that the plan’s implementation move forward in a manner that does not compromise existing licensed and certified PMH-APRNs, now or in the future.

For more details and to view the full series of recommendations go to http://www.apna.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=4495

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The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is a national professional membership organization committed to the specialty practice of psychiatric-mental health nursing and wellness promotion, prevention of mental health problems and the care and treatment of persons with psychiatric disorders. APNA’s membership is inclusive of all psychiatric mental health registered nurses including associate degree, baccalaureate, and advanced practice (comprised of clinical nurse specialists and psychiatric nurse practitioners). APNA serves as a resource for psychiatric mental health nurses to engage in networking, education, and the dissemination of research.