Association of Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses
Advancing your practice, your career, and our community.

2018-19 Board of Directors Election

The AAPPN Board of Directors invites you to participate in the election of association leaders for 2018-19. These volunteers will be the visionary leaders of the association and will help plan events and guide our committees.

To make voting as accessible as possible, you can vote online or at the Spring Conference on March 17. To cast your online ballot, please go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/aappn2018election. The ballot does ask for your name for verification purposes. However, your vote is confidential. Your name will not be attached when votes are tabulated. Please note that online ballots are being accepted through 4 p.m. Thursday, March 15.

To learn more about our candidates, please read their statements below.

Thank you for participating in the election. If you have any questions, please contact Kirk Roberts at the AAPPN office at 360-734-3166 or info@aappn.org.

Candidate Statements

President-Elect: Mary Ellen O’Keefe, MN, MBA, PNHCNS-BC, ARNP

Statement: Why run for president of AAPPN?

If you have been around for a long time and you can remember that I have had this job before, you might regard me a “retread.” If you are young, establishing a career, and tired of rants about our past experiences, you might regard me as the “old guard.” If my style seems too direct for your West Coast sensitivities, you might even get dirty and call me an “East Coaster.” Yes, I am all of these things.

However, like you, I am also a nurse anticipating a tidal wave of changes in our profession. I may not be able to predict what will happen in this profession 20 years forward, but I do know that we now must firmly establish an organization that is integrated into the state and national network of psychiatric nurses, and also have the financial and structural framework to adapt to environmental factors that lie ahead.

From a pragmatic perspective, AAPPN is in the middle of a transition; the original cohort of founding members is retiring and another cohort of psychiatric nurses is stepping forward. Within the past three years we have a new administrative team, the Lois Price Spratlen Foundation was established and is growing, and the communication and web presence of AAPPN has grown in sophistication. But the organization is not yet completely ready for the changes that are coming.

I am willing to serve as President for the next term to provide the stability to make this generational transition as smooth as possible.

Secretary: Nikki Behner, DNP, MPH, ARNP

Statement: As a long-term member of AAPPN, I have been proud to be a member of such an active and progressive specialty organization. Now, more than ever, I believe it is important to highlight and market the skills that psychiatric ARNPs bring to our complex healthcare environment. As psychiatric and medical practices begin to collaborate and align in joint practice affiliations, having the support, expertise, and strength of AAPPN membership has the potential to strengthen those alliances. If elected to a Board position, I anticipate continuing to promote the expertise of independent psychiatric nursing practice through documentation of members’ activities as our practice continues to expand into new healthcare opportunities.

Biographical Information: I have been a Psychiatric ARNP for 30+ years in a variety of practice settings. Following graduation from the University of Washington with my Master’s Degree, I got an excellent immersion into advanced practice psychiatric nursing while employed for six years at Western State Hospital. My initial experience with acute psychiatric care has resulted in a career that has involved positions in involuntary care facilities, two large jail facilities, and a long period of employment in community mental health where my experience has culminated in a fulfilling career which is representative of my journey as a Psychiatric ARNP. I am most proud of receiving my DNP from the University of Washington with a focus on improving medical and psychiatric access to care for persons re-entering the community from a correctional facility.

Member-At-Large: Penny Leah Tanner, PhD, ARNP

Statement: I have been an AAPPN member for about 20 years and have served in the past as President-Elect, President, Past President, Olympia Chapter President, and member of several committees. I was the President when we completed our prescriptive authority. I facilitated psychiatric ARNPs to qualify and sit for Nurse Practitioner ANCC board examination by developing continuing education that met the criteria for our one-time opportunity to take this test without having to meet requirements through university courses. Having taken a rest from organizational duties, the mission of AAPPN is still alive and well within me. It is time now for me to pick up the baton and become the activist once again to further the goals and vision of our organization.

My work is in private practice. I am ANCC Board Certified as an Adult and Child and Adolescent Clinical Specialist and Family Practice Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. I am a preceptor for the University of Washington Department of Psychosocial Nursing DNP program. As a clinician, educator, and member of AAPPN, I am concerned about our future, our expanded roles and continuing the vision for our profession’s viability. It is absolutely most important that Nurse Practitioners are leaders in health care and recognized as such as we continue to positively impact the residents of Washington State in the mental health field.

Of particular interest is that I am Board Certified in Anti-Aging medicine. I recently became a grandmother. I am an award winning needle artist, endurance horse rider, and dog enthusiast. I have livestock guard dogs, Australian heelers, five horses, a veggie garden, orchard, and honey bees.

Member-At-Large: Patricia Wuertzer, MSN, ARNP-BC, PLLC

Statement: Since I arrived in Washington in 1992, AAPPN has been a lifeline of learning, camaraderie, and inspiration. Many years ago I was a Member-At-Large and I am ready to experience it anew. As long as I am living, I am learning. I hope to listen to the concerns and issues presented to me and be a conduit for change when possible.

Biographical information: Presently I am co-chairing the AAPPN East King County Chapter and in private practice in Kirkland, WA. I have served on the Legislative Committee, past Member-At-Large, and long-time EKC Chapter Chair. I am honored to be a member of AAPPN and look forward to growing with the organization.