Last year Calleran submitted her very first abstract. It was selected by the Scholarly Review Committee for presentation at the APNA 31st Annual Conference in 2017. The resulting presentation, New York Presbyterian’s Nursing Suicide Risk Inventory (NSRI): A Daily Nursing Suicide Risk Tool for the Inpatient Psychiatric Setting, was one of the most highly rated concurrent sessions at the conference. Here, she talks about the experience.
Stepping Outside of Her Comfort Zone
I wanted to become more actively involved with APNA and challenge myself by stepping outside of my comfort zone to submit an abstract for the annual conference. I had never submitted an abstract before, nor had I ever attended a national conference. It seemed like an incredible opportunity for both personal and professional growth. From a nursing practice standpoint, I was proud of the work that we were doing at my hospital surrounding inpatient psychiatric nursing suicide risk identification. I was passionate about the
project and believed it was valuable work worth sharing with colleagues at the national level.
Sharing an Innovative Tool
My abstract topic was the development of our hospital's Nursing Suicide Risk Inventory (NSRI) tool. At the time, I was a clinical nurse spearheading the tool's design as chair of our hospital's Psychiatric Nursing Practice and Nursing Informatics Committee. I knew that APNA's Essential Competencies in the Assessment and Management of Suicide Risk had been instrumental to our tool's development. Bringing the tool to the APNA Annual Conference seemed like the natural "next step". Though the NSRI was still in production
the month before the abstract deadline, the work we were doing was innovative and I felt inspired to complete the abstract proposal.
A Presentation that Spoke to a Clinical Priority
As psychiatric nurses we can all agree that suicide prevention is one of our most important - if not most important - clinical priorities and that suicide prevention is uniquely challenging given suicide risk's dynamic, fluid, and unpredictable nature. We developed the NSRI because, at the time of the project's initiation, there were no daily, evidence-based, nursing-specific suicide risk tools for the inpatient psychiatric setting. That was both shocking and frustrating for us. We passionately aspired to take a first step in addressing that gap through the NSRI's creation - and I believe attendees respected the initiative.
Prompting an Important Conversation
My hope is that the session triggered an important conversation about what more we can be doing to improve the integration of technology, research, and practice. We are living through a big moment in psychiatric nursing. There is so much room for innovation. APNA took on an incredible amount of initiative and responsibility when they developed the field's first-ever set of evidence-based psychiatric nursing competencies in suicide risk assessment and management. Our vision behind the NSRI was to develop our field's first-ever electronic risk identification, documentation, and communication tool. If anything, my sincere hope is that the session inspired nurses to return to their organizations asking
"what more can we do?"; "what can we create?". Because we are all change agents.
A Professionally Transformative Experience
Presenting in Phoenix is a memory that I will never forget. It is an experience that has changed me personally and professionally. Admittedly, I was incredibly intimidated going
into my first conference presentation. However, once you arrive, you realize you are surrounded by so many like-minded, passionate nurses who share your enthusiasm for making patients' lives better. It is a supportive, innovative, energizing, academically stimulating, and inspiring community.
One of the Best Decisions You Can Make
We are the future of our field. And we each have important experiences to bring to the table that are uniquely ours. Submitting abstracts and engaging in the APNA community at the conference-level is an opportunity to share in the success and growth of psychiatric nursing. Last year, albeit somewhat terrified, I submitted my first abstract. It was undoubtedly one of the best decisions I have made in my career thus-far. I cannot encourage members enough to feel similarly empowered! You will not regret it!
Learn more about submitting an abstract for the APNA 32nd Annual Conference at www.apna.org/CallforAbstracts. Submission Deadline: Monday, March 5