American Psychiatric Nurses Association Creates Virtual Nursing Academy of Champions for Smoking Cessation to Encourage Evidence-Based Tobacco Dependence Interventions

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) is currently accepting applications for the new Virtual Nursing Academy of APNA Champions for Smoking Cessation. 12-15 APNA members with promising smoking cessation interventions will receive an honorarium of $1,000, complimentary registration to the APNA 28th Annual Conference, October 22-25, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana, and access to an online knowledge-sharing community.

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Addressing tobacco dependence is an important component of meeting the health needs of individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders.

Falls Church, VA (PRWEB) November 25, 2013

To help mobilize grassroots smoking cessation initiatives, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association is pleased to announce the new Virtual Nursing Academy of APNA Champions for Smoking Cessation. Psychiatric-mental health nurses who are APNA members are invited to apply for the academy, made possible through a partnership with the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center. 12-15 psych nurses with promising strategies will receive an honorarium of $1,000; complimentary registration to the APNA 28th Annual Conference, October 22-25, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana; and access to an online learning and support community. The deadline to submit an application is Monday, December 16, 2013. Those interested in learning more and applying can visit http://www.apna.org/VirtualNursingAcademy.

“Addressing tobacco dependence is an important component of meeting the health needs of individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders,” says APNA President Pat Cunningham, DNSc, APRN, BC. “APNA is excited to introduce this program and provide support to psychiatric mental health nurses’ strategic efforts for smoking cessation with our clients.”

Although the prevalence of tobacco use in the general population has decreased over the past several decades, the numbers of people living with psychiatric and/or substance use disorders that use tobacco remains alarmingly high: Nearly 36% of persons with mental illness smoke cigarettes, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2013). (This is compared to about 21% of the general population.) Research has shown that persons with mental illness and/or substance use disorders have a better chance of quitting smoking when they are provided access to evidence-based smoking interventions.

APNA takes the position that it is imperative for all nurses working with individuals with mental health or substance use disorders to prioritize and provide evidence-based tobacco interventions. Since the creation of the Tobacco Dependence Council in 2008, APNA has fostered the development and dissemination of educational resources to assist psychiatric-mental health nurses in doing so. The Virtual Nursing Academy represents an extension of these efforts by reaching out to PMH nurses and providing them with funding and support to help them implement their strategies in real-world practice settings. After implementation and in order to widen the reach of these interventions, the programs’ strategies and results will be disseminated to a wide audience through APNA continuing education programs and publications.

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The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) 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, advanced practice (comprised of clinical nurse specialists and psychiatric nurse practitioners), and nurse scientists and academicians (PhD). APNA serves as a resource for psychiatric mental health nurses to engage in networking, education, and the dissemination of research.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013). Adult smoking: Focusing on people with mental illness. CDC vital signs. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/SmokingAndMentalIllness/