American Psychiatric Nurses Association Honors Seven Nurses for Outstanding Contributions to Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing

Barbara Drew, PhD, APRN, BC and Shirley Smoyak, PhD, RN, FAAN

Arlington, VA (PRWEB) June 14, 2011

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association announces the recipients of its 2011 APNA Annual Awards. These awards honor individuals who exemplify a superior dedication to and passion for the psychiatric mental health nursing profession. Awards recipients were nominated by their peers and chosen by a committee of their APNA colleagues. The awards will be presented to seven psychiatric mental health nurses at the APNA 25th Annual Conference in October.

This year’s recipient of the prestigious APNA Psychiatric Nurse of the Year award is Barbara Drew, PhD, APRN, BC. The Psychiatric Nurse of the Year award recognizes a psychiatric mental health nurse who demonstrates vision, perseverance, dedication, initiative and facilitation in the delivery of mental health services to individuals, families and their communities. Dr. Drew is a past president of APNA and an Associate Professor at Kent State University’s School of Nursing, where she established a successful child and adolescent psychiatric nursing program. Most recently, she has been heavily involved as Chair of the APNA/ISPN LACE Implementation Task Force, working to create a framework for the implementation of the Consensus Model for Advanced Practice Nursing within psychiatric mental health nursing. “Barb demonstrated her ability to visualize a need for a future where the public would have a clear understanding of what advanced nursing practice is, who advanced practice psychiatric mental health nurses are, and a more coherent conception of what to expect from these practitioners,” says Jeanne A. Clement, one of the psychiatric nurses who recommended her for the award. “She is…a leader who leads and inspires by her ability to have a vision of the future.”

APNA is also honoring Shirley Smoyak, PhD, RN, FAAN with the Distinguished Service Award in recognition of her commitment, initiative, loyalty, integrity, and exceptional and meritorious service to the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. “Perhaps more than any other living individual, Dr. Smoyak has helped shape, teach and preserve the body of knowledge that is psychiatric nursing. Truly, our profession owes her a debt of gratitude because of her long standing advocacy; she truly represents distinguished service and is deserving of this award,” says nominator and mentee Teena McGuiness, PhD, CRNP, FAAN. Dr. Smoyak, a professor at Rutgers’ College of Nursing and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, is a respected researcher and author in the field of mental health. She is known internationally as an advocate for psychiatric mental health nursing as well as for her pioneering work on the relationship between family systems and the patient with mental illness. A charter member of APNA who has served on its Board of Directors in the past, Dr. Smoyak continues to be an active and vocal member in the association.

APNA further honors the following psychiatric mental health nurses for excellence in practice, education, leadership, and innovation in the field of PMHN:

Award for Excellence in Education:

M. Jane Suresky, DNP, PMHCNS-BC

Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University

Cleveland, OH

Award for Innovation – Individual:

Michael Terry, DNP, FNP, PMHNP

Hahn School of Nursing & Health Sciences, University of San Diego

San Diego, CA

Award for Excellence in Leadership – Advanced:

Lisabeth Johnston, PhD, APRN, CS

Independent Practitioner

West Hartford, CT

Award for Excellence in Practice – APRN:

Patricia Cunningham, DNSc, APN PMHNP/CNS-BC, FNP-BC

Memphis, TN

Award for Excellence in Practice – RN-PMH:

Marcia Melby, RN-BC, PMH

Community Mental Health Center

Fresno, CA

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is a national professional membership organization committed to the specialty practice of psychiatric-mental health nursing and wellness promotion, prevention of mental health problems and the care and treatment of persons with psychiatric disorders. APNA’s membership is inclusive of all psychiatric mental health registered nurses including associate degree, baccalaureate, advanced practice (comprised of clinical nurse specialists and psychiatric nurse practitioners), and nurse scientists and academicians (PhD). APNA serves as a resource for psychiatric mental health nurses to engage in networking, education, and the dissemination of research.


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