It was a year both at a distance and connected.
AAPPN continued to provide a professional home for advanced practice psychiatric nurses in 2021. It’s not easy to cultivate a professional community through advocacy, career cultivation, connection, and education while sequestered behind a Zoom screen. But—as we have all done in our professional and personal lives—AAPPN members persevered to make the best of a difficult situation.
“My membership with AAPPN has far exceeded my personal and professional expectations when I joined the organization.”
Our AAPPN Board of Directors invites you to celebrate some of the highlights of your professional association. Our accomplishments are only possible through the hard work of our volunteers and the participation of all AAPPN members.
The Annual Conference provided 110 professionals in our field with opportunity to connect online and to receive career development training during two half-day sessions on October 9 and 16. This event was also recorded, so practitioners can continue to earn ANCC-approved CEs through 2022.
The conference explored the full spectrum of treatment considerations and modalities that psychiatric nurse practitioners can utilize to enhance treatment outcomes in areas including:
- “Targeting the Endocrine System to Optimize Treatment Outcomes for Anxiety, Fatigue and Mood Disorders” by Dr. Kristen Allott
- “ADHD Throughout the Lifetime: Diagnosis and Treatment” by Dr. Christopher Varley
- “Taking a Comprehensive Public Health Approach to Suicide Prevention” by Dr. Deborah Stone
- “Current trends and research in Ethno-Psychopharmacology” by Dr. Rahn Bailey
- “Notes on Charting” by Dr. Nikki Behner
“This was my first annual conference and look for to attending again next year and the years to come.”
AAPPN’s virtual workshops focused on the needs of both students and seasoned clinicians. These CE events addressed timely educational issues in a community atmosphere.
- “Billing in 2021” – Q&A with Cathy Campbell of Sirius Medical Billing held in March. Cathy discussed changes in coding due to COVID. Free video available for members by login.
- “Transitioning from DNP Student to New Practitioner” online Open House in April featured a panel of members addressing career questions from our Student Members.
- “Washington Mandatory Reporting and Duty to Warn in the Age of Telehealth” Master Class with Eric Ström, Attorney and Licensed Mental Health Counselor in May. More than 50 members joined Eric to explore the legal intricacies of this unique time. Register for the recorded webinar in case you missed it.
Duty to Warn: “Fabulous! One of the liveliest and most interesting. Loved his ability to engage constantly with his audience.”
Recognizing our members is a cherished honor for AAPPN. Our Awards Committee volunteers recognized outstanding members within our community who demonstrate excellence, extraordinary contributions, and distinguished work.
- Amy Renee, DNP, ARNP, PMHNP-BC – Student Member of the Year
- Nikki Behner, DNP, MPH, ARNP -Volunteer of the Year
- MaryAnne Murray, DNP, EdD, PMHNP-BC – Nursing Excellence
- April Gerlock, PhD, PMHNP-BC, ARNP – Gretchen Schodde Lifetime Achievement Award
Volunteers on the Legislative Committee supported 11 priority bills in the 2021 session. This included SB 5222, requiring health carriers to reimburse advanced registered nurse practitioners at the same rate as physicians for the same services. Though this bill was not passed in 2021, it’s discussion in a Senate committee was a step forward in the long-range approach for passage in the coming years.
Working with our lobbyist, Devon Connor-Green, AAPPN worked with legislators to support bills dealing with audio-only telemedicine services, provider reimbursement for personal protective equipment, and promoting student access to information about behavioral health resources. Each of these bills were passed and signed into law in 2021.
In these and other bills, AAPPN ensured that psychiatric ARNPs are recognized at the forefront of mental health care in our state. These efforts continued a tradition to support and protect the profession that is at the very core of our association.
AAPPN Members made their voices heard in Olympia by contacting their legislators during AAPPN’s Lobby Week. For the legislature’s online 2021 session, members made appointments and met with their representatives to educate them on the importance of our work.
Chapters and Special Interest Groups
Volunteer-directed groups provided opportunities to make new friends, discuss clinical questions, and share resources.
Although our online world of 2021 was a challenge, these virtual groups were able to build connections vital to our members. Special thanks to our volunteers who launched and support these groups.
AAPPN membership continues to be a valuable resource for developing our professional networks, enhancing our clinical skills, and building our practices. Membership grew by more than 10% in 2021, reaching a record 334 members.
AAPPN’s membership growth—at a time when many professional associations are experiencing declines—is a testament to the importance of our professional community.
Thank you for making 2021 a year of accomplishment and dedication to our profession and the mental health community.
“(AAPPN) was a great help to me when I moved from another state. I love knowing people across the state and through our different communities. The scholarships are important, so many people are helpful and wonderful sources of information and support. So much heart. And expertise. And spirit. I’m so grateful for this organization.”