What our members are saying...


My journey with ISPN began in 2021 when I received a recommendation from my doctoral advisor, Dr. Giscombe, during my DNP program at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She referred to ISPN as a close-knit family; her words carried great weight in my decision-making to join ISPN. In that same year, I became a member of ISPN, and I must say that Dr. Giscombe's endorsement has proven to be true ever since.

In 2022, a significant milestone occurred as the ISPN Foundation awarded me the Conference Student Scholarship. The same year, I had the opportunity to present my first podium presentation. Despite the virtual nature of the conference, I could sense the warmth and camaraderie that ISPN fosters among its members. As a Black, gay, immigrant nurse, I've often found it challenging to find spaces that fully affirms and celebrate my intersecting identities. However, ISPN has exceeded my expectations by welcoming and celebrating these facets of my identity. ISPN has made a deliberate effort to embrace diversity, equity, and belonging—by ensuring a place for everyone within the organization.

My affiliation with ISPN has significantly propelled my career. Since joining, I've had the privilege of connecting with remarkable nursing leaders who have graciously taken me under their wings. For instance, Dr. Ukamaka invited me to co-author an editorial with her, while Dr. Newton continues to mentor me in leadership and academic presentations. I even had the honor of co-chairing the Southeastern region with Dr. Newton. Dr. Pesut has strongly supported my academic pursuits: He sponsors me and mentions my name in rooms filled with opportunities. Furthermore, the dedication of ISPN's staff and leadership to their members and the organization's mission and vision has streamlined my involvement in ISPN leadership roles. At ISPN, leaders don't hinder the growth of emerging psychiatric nurses; instead, they nurture, mentor, and sponsor them, often advocating for them in rooms filled with opportunities.

 My advice to any psychiatric nurse seeking to supercharge their career, make a lasting impact, and find dedicated partners in their journey is simple: ISPN is the place to be. ISPN is an inclusive and supportive community that has cultivated an environment where practitioners, researchers, and academicians can thrive and truly feel at home. The ISPN community is expansive, with something valuable for everyone to discover and engage with. For me, ISPN is more than just a professional organization; it's my home and family and will always hold a special place in my heart.

PhD Student at the University of Pennsylvania

As a graduate student at the School of Nursing and Human Physiology at Gonzaga University, I learned about the International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses (ISPN) from one of my mentors, Dr. Michael Polacek. He encouraged me to expand my professional network and become an active member of professional nursing organizations like ISPN, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, & Sigma. In 2022, I was able to attend my first ISPN conference virtually. That is where I first met Dr. Beth Bonham, who has become a wonderful mentor and friend. She has encouraged me to pursue publication opportunities and has shared opportunities of ways to get involved and truly make a difference. As a graduate student, having access to a student discount for ISPN membership and conferences is immensely helpful. ISPN has offered me exceptional benefits with continuing education webinars, conferences, networking and more. Once I've finished graduate school with a specialty as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, I'm looking forward to utilizing networking through ISPN to find career opportunities and ensure I stay engaged as a lifelong learner. I highly recommend ISPN to any psychiatric nursing professional and can't wait to attend my first ISPN conference in person, hopefully soon! :)

~ Ruthy Lindvall, BSN, RN, PMH-BC



My relationship with ISPN began in 2017, when I was awarded a student travel scholarship and attended the 2017 conference in Tempe, Arizona. Even at my first conference, I was astounded by how “at home” I felt. ISPN members were warm, welcoming, and always quick to encourage newcomers to become involved in the organization. Since then, I have attended the conference annually, and have increased my involvement in ISPN.

Currently, I serve on the membership committee, and have been involved in abstract review for the annual conferences. It is so rewarding to give back to ISPN, as it is a professional organization that truly cares about and is supportive of individual members. While a graduate student, ISPN was willing to collaborate with me regarding the development of educational modules involving the opioid epidemic, and graciously distributed these modules to their members. This is a great example of ISPN’s willingness to collaborate with and support individual member endeavors. It became obvious that ISPN truly values the experiences, ideas, and values of their members. Truly, I have never felt more welcomed by a group of like-minded, enthusiastic, and energetic psychiatric-mental health nurses! For this reason, I cannot strongly enough recommend ISPN membership. In addition to the “tangible” benefits, like the conference, subscription to Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, newsletters, and continuing  education opportunities, the “intangible” benefits are invaluable. These benefits include networking, support, encouragement, and opportunities for professional development.

~ Brayden Kameg, DNP, PMHNP-BC, CARN, CNE


I have been a registered,  Mental Health Nurse in the UK for the past 23 years where much of my clinical background has been working with those with long term, serious mental health conditions both in high secure settings and in the community.  Since 2011, I have been a Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing at Cardiff University in Wales, UK and I am also a final year Doctorate student.  My interests are around education and working with those with serious mental illness and their families; my research area is on the experience of Mother’s who have adult children with Schizophrenia.

I became involved with ISPN in 2019 following an abstract submission for the 2020 annual conference in San Antonio, Texas.  Being from the UK, I was especially pleased and excited to have been accepted to present my Doctorate work, visit the US and meet with like-minded Psychiatric - Mental Health Nurses.  I was also lucky enough to be awarded an ISPN Student Travel Scholarship to help with costs incurred.  Due to COVID-19 however the conference in San Antonio was cancelled but took place virtually instead, and although I was not able to visit it was a great platform to meet others and hear about the great work going on across the profession and the services we work in.

At the conference I attended the student meeting and was introduced to other student members.  The meeting was so motivating, and it was great to hear and talk about work we were all involved in with such enthusiasm.  The energy at the meeting was tangible and led to a desire and willingness from many of us to take this forward in to a regular student meet up.

My involvement with ISPN also includes serving on the membership committee and more recently the newsletter editorial board.  I am also an active member of the regionalisation initiative.  Through ISPN’s IMIN mentoring program I have been paired with Professor Steven Pryjmachuck, a seasoned ISPN member and mentor based at The University of Manchester here in the UK which provides me with the opportunity to meet up with and be supported by a previous President of ISPN.

Joining ISPN has been one of the most rewarding, inspiring and motivating experiences I have had in my career to date.  The opportunities to get involved across all levels of the organisation, join committees, and make a valued contribution to its on-going success are plentiful – it opens doors, not only within the organisation but globally throughout Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing Practice. 

~Alicia Stringfellow – MSc, RN (Mental Health), PGCE, PG Cert CBT, PGDip THORN



Hello! My name is Beth Bonham. I am a founding director of ISPN and have been a member for over 20 years. One of the remarkable benefits I receive from being an ISPN member is the implementation of my leadership skills, culminating in being elected president in 2015. A close tie to that reason is the relationship and networking I have had with many ISPN members. Attending an ISPN Annual Conference is like homecoming for me – I am surrounded by like-minded souls who are passionate about psychiatric nursing practice, education, and research.

~ Beth Bonham, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN




I am a psychiatric nurse practitioner and a social and health psychologist.  I have been engaged in the mental health field for approximately 25 years.  I have been a part of large organizations focused on mental or behavioral health, including the American Psychological Association, the Society of Behavioral Medicine, the American Association of Psychiatric Nurses, and the International Society of Psychiatric Nurses (ISPN). ISPN the most unique and personally rewarding organization with which I hold membership.  ISPN is what we refer to as a niche organization, as it focuses on Advanced Practice Psychiatric-Mental Health nursing, internationally. As a result, our organization is tight-knit, purposeful, and powerful.  Advanced practice psychiatric and mental health nurses have a laser sharp focus on providing care for all populations of mental health consumers, including those who are underserved, those in remote or rural locations, and those from diverse populations (e.g., racial/ethnic minority groups, LGBTQIA groups, veterans, children and adolescents, and older adults). It is completely amazing to work with fellow ISPN members each year to focus on education, research, and practice issues that can improve mental healthcare for individuals, families, and communities.  We prioritize advances in psychopharmacology and psychotherapy to provide quality care and education.  In addition, we value best practices for integrating mental health care, substance abuse prevention and treatment, and primary care. The members of ISPN lift up one another and provide excellent opportunities for leadership and professional development. Our IMIN program is designed to continue the pipeline of nurses who pursue careers and leadership in psychiatric nursing.  We focus on the latest evidence-based practices and research methods to improve outcomes for our consumers, practitioners, and educators.  I personally have had the opportunity to serve in leadership roles in ISPN.   Through this, I have developed strong and trusted relationships with my colleagues and friends in psychiatric nursing.  There is so much that can be done by such a mighty group through continued support.  Our impact can be felt across the nation in the United States and across the globe through our members who live all over the world and will only grow with additional support and resources.   I plan to be a lifelong member of this exceptional organization. I will do all that I can to continue to support its growth and to solicit support from generous individuals and groups who are as passionate about advancing mental health around the world as we are!

~ Cheryl Woods Giscombe, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, FAAN


It has been my great privilege to be a founding member of ISPN. My membership in this wonderful organization has afforded me so many opportunities. By serving on various committees over the years, I have been able to get to know many of the leaders of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing. The networking opportunities have been extremely valuable to my own career. By finding others with special interests and knowledge, I have been able to tap in to resources through these great colleagues that I would never have known about otherwise. The opportunities to build leadership skills have also been invaluable. I would encourage everyone who is looking for a friendly, active professional organization to join and get involved. Great opportunities await you!

~Peggy Dulaney, MSN, RN


Sometimes you see most clearly in retrospect, and now that I have been long retired, I see the powerful influence ISPN had on my professional career.  All of us have been inspired by extraordinary individuals in our lives, but the influence of a significant group or organization is often overlooked.  For me, ISPN is that organization.

I was fortunate to have been part of the early group that built a coalition between three separate psychiatric/mental health nursing organizations.  It was hard work, but we were determined to create a larger professional group that could speak for psychiatric nursing as a whole.  We persisted—and ISPN was born.

Become an active ISPN member if you value any of the following:

  1. A forum in which to share and compare ideas, challenges, and new directions.
  2. A way to network and collaborate with colleagues across the nation and other parts of the world.
  3. Opportunities to participate in research and policy development.
  4. A place to form lifelong friendships that support and sustain you and your work.


~Gretchen E. LaGodna, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor Emerita, University of Kentucky