Workshops and Open Houses were held at AHS hospitals in late October. Valerie Devereaux, DNP, MSN, RN, and Vice President of Nursing at Universal Health Services presented topics including Psychiatric Nursing as a Chosen Specialty: What You May Not Know and A Changing Landscape, the Nursing Workforce, 2016: An Environmental Scan.

Ms. Devereaux talked about the need for more psychiatric nurses and additional training for all nurses to be able to recognize behavioral health disorders in any setting. She said that mental health patients often suffer from concurrent medical conditions and that the majority of individuals diagnosed with mental illnesses and substance use disorders seek help outside of specialty behavioral health. She added that although “psychiatric disorders, including substance use disorders, afflict a majority of people who receive nursing care in the U.S., only a small percent actually receive treatment for the disorder.” This requires she says, “A renewed focus on psychiatric, mental health and substance use disorders in professional nursing education to address current needs.”

Attendees included area nurses, home care nurses, supervisors, social workers, and mental health staff. Registered Nurses earned CEUs for attending the workshop.