Professional Association MembershipNameInstitutionInstructorCourseDate Professional Association MembershipDue to the nature of most professions, it is important to have organizations that represent members of a particular profession. This allows the organizations to ensure that members’ rights are respected as well as develop solutions to address some of the challenges faced by the members (Grand Canyon University, 2018). One of the complex professions is the healthcare profession where there are different professional organizations to advocate for the different nursing specialties. Due to the nature of the nursing profession, it is important to ensure that nurses have a conducive environment and adequate resources to enable an optimal performance in their different roles (Grand Canyon University, 2018). Professional associations have come in to represent nurses and mediate between the nurses and their employers since nurses are unable to advocate changes successfully without the help of these associations. One of the professional organizations that represent nurses is the American Psychiatric Nurses Association that advocates for the needs of psychiatric nurses (Grand Canyon University, 2018). The American Psychiatric Nurses Association and Its Significance to Psychiatric Nurses The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is the largest nursing association founded in 1986 to represent psychiatric nurses in the United States. Psychiatric/mental health nurses are nurses who have specialized in the psychiatric care process where they treat mental disorders such as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and substance use disorders (American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 2020). Other members who can join this association include nursing students, retired nurses, and advanced practice registered nurses (APRN). APNA mission is to advance the science and education of psychiatric/mental health nursing by focusing on wellness and recovery promotion through the identification of mental health issues, prevention programs, and treating individuals with mental issues (American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 2020). This association is guided by a strategic plan formulated by the Board of Directors in collaboration with other members. One of the ways of ensuring professional advancement is through continuing education where psychiatric nurses have access to learning opportunities to improve their knowledge in the psychiatric care (American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 2020). APNA supports and provides nurses with important resources to enable them to effectively perform their roles Members of this association have access to scholarships, learning, and networking opportunities that lead to professional growth. This association also promotes its vision through its core values that include transparency, integrity, empowerment, innovation, and inclusivity (American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 2020). Importance of Networking for Psychiatric Nurses and How APNA Creates Networking Opportunities for NursesDue to continuous advancements in the healthcare sector as well as experiences of different members, networking is important as it allows members working in the same department and performing similar roles to link up with one another (Huston, 2014). This enables members to share advancements in the specialty, important information, and expert knowledge that can be used to improve the performance of psychiatric nurses. Professional networking builds and enhances professional relationships that can be beneficial in addressing complex healthcare scenarios (Huston, 2014). This enables nurses to learn more issues relating to their field of specialty enhancing their competence and experience. This in turn increases their performance in their diverse roles. Networking also provides nurses with opportunities to access healthcare resources such as scholarships and opportunities to continuing education (Huston, 2014). APNA allows members to network through Member Bridge which is APNA’s networking and discussion site. APNA Member Bridge provides members with a platform to participate in discussions on latest topics where other APNA colleagues may provide advice to members (American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 2020). How APNA Keeps Its Members Informed Of Health Care Changes and Changes to Practice That Affect the Psychiatric AreaAPNA informs its members on recent heath advancements and topics through its academic articles that are published annually. These articles contain healthcare information relating to psychiatric health and any changes aimed at improving the performance of its members (American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 2020). Each year APNA provides its members with a report on the happenings of the association which is distributed during the Annual Conference. One of the publications provided by the association to its members is the APNA’s Academic Journal for Psychiatric Nursing where all members can access the article that offers continuing nursing education at no cost (American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 2020). The association has also the APNA News: The Psychiatric Nursing Voice which is the association’s online newsletter aimed at keeping its members informed of latest information and events regarding psychiatric mental health. Another article of the APNA News is Members Corner that focuses in specific APNA news at the national and state levels (American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 2020). This article is a bi-monthly issue and is emailed to members every month where members’ achievements are also highlighted. APNA’s has also other resources that can be accessed through the association’s online portal. One of the available resources that can be accessed online includes child and adolescent resources to guide substance misuse and prevention for young adults (American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 2020). Opportunities for Continuing Education and Professional DevelopmentOne of APNA’s key roles is providing members with learning opportunities to enhance the performance of the psychiatric department. This is achieved through an annual conference that is held for more than three days to update members with current advancements in the psychiatric department (American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 2020). This conference is the largest gathering of psychiatric nurses in the United States where issues affecting the psychiatric nursing specialty are brought at the table for discussions. This conference also allows members to initiate a program for change in practice or education. The American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation has accredited APNA as a provider of continuing education (American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 2020). This has enabled the association to develop and provide live and online learning programs to provide education to psychiatric nurses by incorporating the latest developments in mental health research and practice to metal health nursing. This association has also an eLearning center where psychiatric nurses have access to nationally approved speakers and health experts at a low cost (American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 2020). ReferencesAmerican Psychiatric Nurses Association. (2020). About the American Psychiatric Nurses Association: An Introduction. Retrieved from https://www.apna.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3277American Psychiatric Nurses Association. (2020). Continuing Education. Retrieved from https://www.apna.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3824American Psychiatric Nurses Association. (2020). Publications. Retrieved from https://www.apna.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3300American Psychiatric Nurses Association. (2020). Why Join. Retrieved from https://www.apna.org/m/pages.cfm?pageid=3680Grand Canyon University. (2018). Dynamics in Nursing: Art and Science of Professional Practice. Grand Canyon University.Huston, C. J. (2014). Professional issues in nursing: Challenges & opportunities. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
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