The American Psychiatric Nurses Association, or APNA as it is frequently called, is now almost 26 years old. Over those 26 years it has successfully grown into the biggest professional organization for psychiatric health nursing around and exists to serve the needs of those professionals who work in this particular sector of medicine. The core values of APNA are:
As an organization, APAN seeks to facilitate professional advancement. It achieves this by:
- Providing quality psychiatric-mental health nursing continuing education
- Providing a wealth of resources for established, emerging, and prospective PMH nurses
- Providing a community of dynamic collaboration
According to the organization’s website, “APNA champions psychiatric-mental health nursing and advocates for mental health care through the development of positions on key issues, the widespread dissemination of current knowledge and developments in PMH nursing, and through collaboration with consumer groups to promote evidence based advances in recovery-focused assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation of persons with mental illness and substance use disorders”.
As in all professional organizations there are a number of excellent advantages that you will be eligible if you become a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.
Continuing Education & Professional Growth
The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is well aware that the best way to advance your career as well as the profession as whole is through providing continuing education to its members. IN this way you will not only be in a position to renew your license easily, but also to stay up to date with the latest developments in the field of psychiatric nursing. The organization offers over 160 online continuing education sessions (which adds up to 133.5 contact hours) which you can access for free on the members only portion of the website by using your membership bonus points. You will also have the opportunity to learn the latest best practices in psychiatric mental health nursing or share your expertise as a presenter at the Annual Conference hosted by the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. Members are eligible to receive cutting edge psychopharmacology CNE at the Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute.
This opportunity is also offered online, and option that many students and nurses find to be far more convenient. Because networking is the primary way in which to build your career, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association offers the opportunity of expanding your contact with other psychiatric nurses in your region by participating in your chapter regional events and educational opportunities. These are offered at a local level and are therefore highly targeted. Members can also apply for grants and scholarships from the American Psychiatric Nursing Foundation and manage their resumes, browse job postings specific to their search criteria, and access career advice with the APNA Career Line. This is an online job portal that gives you access to the various open positions in your area that are specifically aimed at you based on the criteria that you choose to search by. This is an extremely useful tool when it comes to expanding your career options.
Networking & Information Access
According to the American Psychiatric Nurses Association’s website the following networking and information access opportunities are open to its members:
- Connect with your fellow members and benefit from each other’s expert knowledge through Member Bridge, APNA’s networking and discussion site.
- Participate in the All Purpose Discussion Forum for the latest hot topics, tips, and advice from your APNA colleagues.
- Access current evidence-based PMH nursing research with a free subscription to the American Psychiatric Nurses Association’s bi-monthly Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (JAPNA).
- Enrich your nursing practice with the wealth of resources available in our online Resource Center: position papers, guides, kits, and tools specific to topic areas within PMH nursing, as well as medication updates, graduate programs listing, and the latest information on LACE and the APRN Consensus Model.
- Become a part of a collegial community and make an impact on your field by joining one of APNA’s 18 volunteer committees.
- Stay up-to-date on your association and info relevant to PMH nursing through the American Psychiatric Nurses Association’s monthly newsletter, APNA News: The Psychiatric Nursing Voice.
- Lend your support to APNA’s alliances with key stakeholders in order to promote mental health and nursing.
A major draw for members of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association is the fact that they have access to a number of significant discounts. As a member you can save $200 on regular registration fees for the APNA Annual Conference and the Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute. IN other words you will be paying less than non-members. This gives you an educational edge, which in turn means that you will have an edge in the job market as well. You will also have the opportunity to download full-text articles from JAPNA. This counts as a significant saving because the articles usually cost $32 each, but as a member you can download them for free, saving money each and every time.
Members also get discounts for APNA continuing education programs as well as bonus points which they can use in the APNA eLearning Center. You will also save on certification, exams and review materials from the American Nurses Credentialing Center with deals exclusively for APNA members. APNA has a Publications Discounts Program which allows you to receive significant discounts on certain publications. The discounts that you will be eligible for can be as much as 50%, making a significant difference to your financial situation. Other discounts that you are eligible for include discounts on Long Term Care Insurance for yourself and your family members as well as special rates on other associations’ conference registrations and educational materials.
There are several different membership types at APNA. As a Regular Member the following applies:
- You will pay a membership fee of $135.00
- Regular Membership is available to individuals who are registered nurses
- Regular Membership is available to individuals who pay dues
- Regular Membership is available to individuals who are engaged in pursuits which further the purposes of the Association
- As a Regular Member you may vote
- As a Regular Member you may serve on committees
- As a Regular Member you may seek election to the Board of Directors
The following rules apply for Affiliate Membership:
- You will pay a membership fee of $135.00
- Affiliate Membership is available for all other mental health professionals who are not registered nurses
- Affiliate members receive all benefits of membership
- Affiliate Members may not vote or hold office
There is also an International Membership category for professionals who do not reside within the US. The following rules apply:
- You will pay a membership fee of $135.00
- This is available for nurses who do not reside in the United States
- International members are entitled to all privileges and benefits of membership
The next category is Retired Membership. The rules are:
- You will pay a membership fee of $75.00
- Retired Membership is available for retired registered nurses who are interested in being
involved in the psychiatric-mental health nursing community
- Retired Members receive all benefits of regular membership
Lastly is the Student Membership. The following rules apply:
- You will pay a membership fee of $25.00
- You must be engaged in full-time study in a nursing degree program
- You must show evidence of student status
- You may not seek election to the Board
- You may serve on committees and task forces
- Student members who are registered nurses may vote
Professional membership with an organization such as this one is beneficial for you in a number ways, not least of which is the fact that it gives you the upper hand in a job interview. Potential employers are far more likely to select the candidate who is a member of a professional organization than the candidate who is not as this demonstrates your commitment to the profession as a whole. In addition membership may provide you with leadership and other opportunities which you could then use as a means of boosting your resume and improving your job prospects even further.
If you would like to find out more about this organization, please use the contact information provided below:
American Psychiatric Nurses Association
3141 Fairview Park Drive, Suite 625
Falls Church, Virginia 22042
Toll Free: 855-863-APNA (2762)
Fax: 855-883-APNA (2762)
Nicholas Croce, Jr., MS
Patricia L. Black, PhD(c), RN
Associate Executive Director
Manager of Finance and Administration
Lisa Deffenbaugh Nguyen, MS
Manager of Professional Development
Coordinator for Committee Operations
Deborah Hobbs, PhD, RN
Nursing Practice and Education Specialist
Administrative Support Specialist