Falls Church, VA (PRWEB) May 08, 2013
Psychiatric Mental Health Registered Nurses (RNs) dedicate every week to saving lives, providing high-quality patient care, and finding innovative solutions to improve patients’ health. National Nurses Week, May 6-12, which falls during Mental Health Awareness Month, affords the opportunity to recognize psychiatric mental health RNs for their contributions.
America’s 3.1 million nurses, representing the largest health care profession, practice in a wide variety of settings, from hospitals and long-term care facilities to free-standing clinics and schools. Nurses are expert clinicians as well as educators, researchers, consultants, legislative advocates, and business leaders. These nursing roles are critical to initiatives to broaden access to health care, improve patient outcomes, and emphasize prevention and wellness.
Nurses have a significant impact on the health of entire communities, and are working to transform the U.S. health care system to improve quality and increase effectiveness. As roughly 30 million uninsured or under-insured Americans gain greater access to health care under the Affordable Care Act, the demand for nursing services will increase dramatically. Psychiatric mental health nurses work across settings to promote wellness and insure quality care for persons with mental health problems. According to the most recent data from HRSA (2008), there are about 134,000 nurses working in a variety of mental health settings across the country. In addition, as attention to mental health is an essential part of care that addresses the whole person, many psychiatric mental health RNs work in settings that integrate mental health with other health services.
Recognizing that mental illness does not define the identity of an individual, psychiatric mental health nurses are leading the way in implementing recovery-based practices to advance mental health and improve outcomes of care. The psychiatric nursing care model generates strategies that promote resiliency and strengthen mental health, and that prevent or minimize the impact of mental health and substance use conditions. Such effective, evidence-based mental health nursing care leads to improved general health and a healthier society.
“It seems to me that this year’s National Nurses week theme, Delivering Quality and Innovation in Patient Care, dovetails nicely with the Mental Health Month theme, Pathways to Wellness,” says APNA President Beth Phoenix, PhD, RN, CNS. “Psychiatric mental health nurses work across settings to provide innovative pathways to wellness and insure quality care for persons with mental health problems. Creative thinking and innovation are paramount in our work, as is providing quality care that addresses the whole person.”
The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is honoring National Nurses Week and Mental Health Awareness Month with two free continuing nursing education sessions: 1) a continuing education session for members and nonmembers during Nurses Week, Future of Nursing: A Campaign for Action; 2) a continuing education session for APNA members during the month of May, Social Stigma: The Conundrum of Mental Health Care. Each session offers nurses the opportunity to earn up to 0.75 contact hours.
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, 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.
The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.