Pardee Hospital announced today that Lori Johnson, MSW, BSN, RN-BC, a nurse in the hospital’s Psychiatric and Addictions Therapeutic Healing Services (PATHS) department, is one of 32 nurses nationally to receive suicide prevention training from the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA). Following participation in year-long online and in-person education, training, and practice, Johnson is now confirmed as a content expert in suicide risk assessment, management and prevention and is now able to provide this training to institutions, communities, and individuals.
According to the Center for Disease Control, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and is a major public health problem (1). The increase in the instance of suicide on inpatient psychiatric units mirrors the overall increase in suicide rates in the U.S. over the past decade (2). Many of the approximately 90,000 psychiatric-mental health registered nurses in the US (3) provide 24-hour care to those hospitalized for suicidal thoughts and behaviors on acute care inpatient units. It is believed that death by suicide is mostly preventable if the person at risk for suicide receives proper screening, identification, and prompt intervention from competent mental health professionals (4). With a commitment to train nurses, who compose the largest segment of the health care workforce, in the assessment and management of suicide risk, each of the APNA Competency-Based Training Instructors is taking a leadership role in health care community efforts to reduce deaths by suicide.
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. The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.