American Psychiatric Nurses Association

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The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) is a professional organization of psychiatric mental health nurses. It is committed to the specialty practice of psychiatric mental health nursing, health and wellness promotion through identification of mental health issues, prevention of mental health problems, and the care and treatment of persons with psychiatric disorders.


APNA currently has more than 8,500 members, all of whom are at all levels of education from basic to doctoral, and work in a wide variety of settings including inpatient, outpatient, research, education, administration, clinical, private practice, military, and forensic. It is the largest psychiatric-mental health nursing membership organization,[1] with over 40 chapters nationally and internationally. APNA also has membership for students and retired registered nurses.[2] The membership is composed of approximately 40% psychiatric registered nurses and 60% advanced practice registered nurses.[3]


APNA has an electronic newsletter entitled APNA News: The Psychiatric Nursing Voice that is emailed to all members monthly.[4] The Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (JAPNA) is published bimonthly by SAGE Publications. APNA membership includes a subscription JAPNA. Members may also access JAPNA online. It includes peer-reviewed articles regarding psychiatric and mental health nursing, improving mental health care, and health care policy.[5] It has a circulation of 10,809 subscribers.[6] APNA also co-published Psychiatric-Mental Health: Scope and Standards of Practice with the American Nurses Association and International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses.[7]

Continuing Nursing Education[edit]

APNA is an accredited provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.[8] The organization offers live and online continuing nursing education programs.

The APNA Annual Conference is the largest gathering of psychiatric and mental health nurses in the US and consists of three days of continuing education specific to psychiatric mental health nursing.

The APNA Annual Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute offers sessions which provide psychopharmacology continuing education contact hours related to psychiatric medications. This institute addresses the interaction of neurobiological and genetic mechanisms, Axis I and II disorders and clinical syndromes, and current health care issues in recovery including transcultural care delivery. Complex health issues, polypharmacy, and recently approved medications are also addressed.[9]

APNA worked collaboratively with the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners on a three part series, Counseling Points - Caring for Patients with ADHD Throughout the Lifespan.[10] APNA is developing a three part series of Counseling Points[11] on tobacco dependence entitled "Breaking Barriers and Implementing Change".[12]


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