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A Message from the ISPN President
Ukamaka M. Oruche, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN

For most of us, today is just like any other day of the week. However, for 10 families in Buffalo, New York, and 21 families in Uvalde Texas, life will never be the same. On May 14, 2022, 10 adults were killed and 3 others narrowly escaped death from gun massacre by an 18-year-old male on a racist rampage. Less than 2 weeks later, May 24, 19 children and their 2 teachers at Robb Elementary School were murdered in Uvalde, Texas, by an 18-year-old male. Yes, one of the common denominators is gun violence! First Columbine, then Sandy Hook, Parkland, and now Robb. Families who lost loved ones are traumatized all over again. When does it stop? The places where we were born, live, work, pray, play, and learn are no longer safe. I hope we never grow numb to this senseless violence and death because a society that devours its young or itself has a very bleak future. The collective psychological and physical trauma on all of us is a moral, social, and public health problem.

As psychiatric mental health nurses, we must ensure that society does not blame mental illness as the cause of gun violence or further stigmatize millions of Americans who are dealing with mental health problems. Millions of Americans are living with mental health issues but do not shoot people. In fact, people with mental health issues are more likely to be a victim of violence than to perpetrate it.

We advocate for mental health equity including access and preventative approach to care in all health and community settings. As the saying goes, “there is no health without mental health”. ISPN espouses proactive measures and rapid response approaches to meet the needs of communities in wake of any crisis. To that end, please (1) avail yourself of ISPN Peer Support Initiative for wellness, and (2) volunteer your time to serve affected communities and health professionals at the front line. We are quickly learning from Buffalo that there is need for culturally responsive care to persons within and outside the community, especially considering historical trauma. ISPN will work with other community organizations to address the mental health needs of communities of Buffalo and Uvalde. Please stay tuned – we will need all of us to help.


Ukamaka M. Oruche, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN
ISPN President


A Message from the ISPN President
Ukamaka M. Oruche, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN

We had a successful 2022 Annual Conference. To all who made it possible, especially the Conference Planning Committee, we thank you! This infographic highlights the conference outcomes.

On behalf of the ISPN Board of Directors, I want to thank Dr. Joyce Fitzpatrick for her many contributions to ISPN as Editor (2005 to 2021) of Archives of Psychiatric Nursing (APN), the official journal of ISPN. We thank Dr. Edilma Yearwood who is the current Editor for APN and each of the Associate Editors of APN. Indeed, it takes a village! We have enjoyed the ISPN newsletter, Connections, for years now. For this we thank Dr. Angela McNelis for her many years of service as the Editor. We welcome with much appreciation Dr. Brayden Kameg as the new Editor for ISPN newsletter. We also extend our gratitude to all past and current chairs of ISPN committees, workgroups, or task forces. Your service ensures the success of ISPN’s vision and mission to advance health equity locally and globally. See details of activities and outcomes from each committee in the last fiscal year leading up to the 2022 ISPN Conference, in the Committee Reports.

I invite each of you to consider sharing your expertise in advancing the work of ISPN and our commitment to advance mental health equity everywhere we live, learn, work, and play. Your time is precious to us. As you know, no member gets paid for service. However, we hope that your expert service advances your career aspirations. Thank you to The Rees Group for their administrative support to our committee efforts. As I shared during my brief talk at the Annual Conference, the ISPN Board of Directors has scheduled a strategic planning meeting on May 25, 2022. We invite the chairs of all ISPN committees to join us. We look forward to sharing a draft plan for your input. You may reach our Executive Director, Jessica Retzlaff, for any questions. The Board of Directors and I are at your service. Please do not hesitate to reach us directly if needed.

Ukamaka M. Oruche, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN
ISPN President 2022-2023 


Thank you to all attendees who joined us for ISPN 2022 virtually! The Conference was a great success! We look forward to seeing you next year in Redondo Beach, California! 

More information will be released on the website as it becomes available. 
Main Conference Page

 ISPN President's Statement   

In March 2022, a registered nurse from Vanderbilt University Medical Center was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide and abuse felonies after she made a medication error which resulted in a patient’s death.  Criminalizing an acknowledged medication error creates undue fear for healthcare professionals and undermines trust that the public has in nurses. As psychiatric-mental health nurses, we are gravely concerned about the psychological consequences of this guilty verdict in the nursing community and are concerned about the impacts it will have on future patient quality and safety efforts.  Please see the position statement from the ISPN Policy Committee, "Examining the Context of Medication Errors."

Ukamaka M. Oruche, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN
President, ISPN


ISPN President's Message

As Mental Health Month 2021 comes to an end, we would like to take time to honor a very special ISPN member, Dr. Catherine Kane, PhD, RN, FAAN. Catherine has been a longstanding, active ISPN member. Most recently, Catherine generously committed to helping ISPN archive its historical records and legacy of achievement and activities to advance mental health around the world. Catherine has agreed to financially support the establishment and five-year maintenance of ISPN’s historical archives at the University of Virginia’s Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry. The ISPN Board and the ISPN Foundation Board will work to implement this initiative, and the two Boards will work together to establish and implement fundraising activities to sustain the ISPN archived collection at UVA. 

We usually spend mental health month reflecting on the very important work that psychiatric nurses to promote mental health and reduce mental health stigma. This year, we also would like everyone to join us in reflecting on the influential and inspiring work of ISPN. We applaud the founding ISPN members, who helped to establish our organization. We also applaud those who have worked to keep our mission and goals alive. 

For information about how to contribute to the ISPN Historical Archives Fund, please click on the link below:

Donation Information

If you would like to donate ISPN documents to the ISPN Historical Archive Collection, please contact ISPN Executive Director, Jessica Retzlaff, at [email protected].

Dr. Catherine Kane, for your extreme generosity and forethought, ISPN honors and appreciates you during Mental Health Month 2021 (and for many, many years to come)!


Cheryl Woods Giscombe, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, FAAN, FABMR
ISPN Past President


A Message from the ISPN Board of Directors and Diversity & Equity Committee

The International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses (ISPN) was officially inaugurated in 1999 at the First Annual ISPN Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. ISPN’s mission is "to support advanced-practice psychiatric-mental health nurses in promoting mental health care, literacy, and policy worldwide". Through the dedicated work of Diversity and Equity Committee members, we deliberately address population needs for a mental health workforce that is diverse and intentional about addressing all forms of racism, discrimination, bias, and injustice. As an organization, we sorrowfully acknowledge the civil unrest that has surfaced across the world in response to a) the disproportionately high death rates of Black, Latino, American Indian/Native American, and impoverished citizens during the COVID-19 Pandemic; and b) the injustice of racism made recently most apparent by the killing of George Floyd by officers of the Minneapolis, Minnesota, Police Department. We condemn this act of inhumanity and continue to be committed to our work to create a society that embraces the health and well-being of all people. We know that now more than ever, our world is in need of compassionate mental health providers to serve as a balm to pervasive trauma, a tool to prevent avoidable health inequities, and an approach to addressing the psychosocial factors that create conditions for oppression and injustice. ISPN envisions a future in which racism is eliminated and diversity, equity, and inclusion exists and are celebrated. We remain dedicated to joining with others to promote equitable, quality mental health care for individuals, families, and communities.

Deborah Johnson, DNP, NP, PMHNP-BC, FAANP, ISPN Past President 
ISPN Board of Directors
ISPN Diversity & Equity Committee

ISPN Mission:

To support advanced-practice psychiatric-mental health nurses in 
promoting mental health care, literacy, and policy worldwide.


Archives of Psychiatric Nursing

Official Journal of ISPN

A subscription to Archives of Psychiatric Nursing is a benefit of membership.

Read the Journal

ISPN Gift of Membership

We encourage you to think of a student—or two—whose membership you might sponsor by paying the student's first year of ISPN membership dues of $35. 

A special way to reach out to graduates as well is to support their entry into ISPN by sponsoring their first year of ISPN membership dues of $150. 

Gift of Membership Form

 The IMIN Mentoring Program

The ISPN Mentoring Initiative Navigator Program, or IMIN, is a capacity building project started in 2014 and sponsored by the ISPN Membership Committee. The IMIN model was designed by Dr. Beth Bonham with two aims: to increase an involved membership in ISPN by connecting new members with seasoned ISPN members; and to facilitate leadership succession planning by mentoring members into leadership positions.

The seasoned ISPN member who volunteers to mentor through participation in IMIN may meet the new member initially at the annual conference and share time with the new member that may include meeting for coffee, planning dinner, and introducing the new member to the wider network of ISPN members. The mentor/mentee model can be implemented in any way that is comfortable for the dyad and for any length of time the dyad decides – activities may range from an occasional telephone or email check in to a structured clinical supervision. IMIN is a voluntary program for any members as well as a pathway to quickly connect new members with the larger organization.

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