Female nurse sits alone in hospital hallway, suffers from burnout and depression. Nursing suicide prevention concept.

Nursing Suicide Prevention Program Promoted by AAN, Minority Nurse Publication Highlights Home Health Nurse, and More Nursing News

Female nurse sits alone in hospital hallway, suffers from burnout and depression. Nursing suicide prevention concept.

The American Academy of Nursing (AAN) has named a nursing suicide prevention program among its industry Edge Runners. Nurse Tina Seever is the most recent nurse to be profiled by Minority Nurse. An updated national HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) offered by the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care was recently reviewed. A podcast features U.S. nurses who are leading the profession in addressing environmental health issues. Read on for this week’s nursing news and insights.

Nursing suicide prevention program promoted by American Academy of Nursing

The American Academy of Nursing (AAN) has named a suicide prevention program for nurses among its industry Edge Runners – innovative, nurse-designed models of care or interventions that are deemed to have significant, demonstrated outcomes that improve health, costs, and policy.

The Suicide Prevention in Nursing: Breaking the Silence model focuses on critical mental health intervention and service, and was developed by an interprofessional team inspired by the first national longitudinal study of nurse suicide in the United States led by Judy E. Davidson, DNP, RN, MCCM, FAAN, a nurse scientist at the University of California, San Diego Health Sciences (UC San Diego Health).

The suicide prevention model is an evidence-based program for nurses that is supported by investigator-initiated research to quantify incidence and characteristics of nurse suicide in the U.S.

By increasing education and outreach to dispel the stigma around mental health, the program advocates for better resources to support the mental health of nurses and ultimately save lives at a time when nurses continue to serve the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic, said AAN officials.

Dr. Davidson collaborated with colleagues at UC San Diego Health on the project, including William Norcross, MD; Sidney Zisook, MD; Brittany Kirby, MSW; Gianna DeMichele, LMFT; Rachael Accardi, LCSW; Courtney Sanchez, LCSW; and Julie Kawasaki, LCSW to develop the program, which is said to be the first of its kind for proactive screening within the profession specifically for nurses.

In addition to filling this interprofessional gap, the model utilizes an interactive screening program (ISP) that offers nurses a safe, confidential way to conduct brief screenings and to connect with mental health services to receive support and access to treatment options anonymously. The ISP is a licensed program of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

“Proactive and personalized support for nurses protects our colleagues and gives them the tools to continue providing excellent care to others,” said Dr. Davidson in a prepared statement. “Our interprofessional model of care provides support to nurses while protecting their identity through the option of anonymous screening, treatment, and referral. One-on-one therapy, often through encryption, is coupled with group emotional process debriefings after crisis incidents to further encourage healing, self-care, and eliminating stigma surrounding mental health.”

In 2016, during the first year of the program’s launch, 40 nurses received counseling and 17 were successfully referred for continued treatment, according to the AAN. From 2016-20, Suicide Prevention in Nursing has identified and transferred close to 300 nurses into treatment.

Additionally, more than 1,000 nurses have benefited from group emotional process debriefings after critical events during its operation. These debriefings are interdisciplinary and all who have cared for a patient or were affected by an event are welcome. This support is integral to a team-based approach to healing and strengthens the caring community, according to the AAN.

The program has also reportedly been replicated by at least six other organizations and is a cost-effective strategy to overcome the stigma of seeking help for mental health issues, according to the AAN.

“The Suicide Prevention in Nursing program is paramount to fortify the mental health of the nursing profession, at any stage in their career, without stigma, given the emotional and moral distress nurses experience in their efforts to provide care – particularly during the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kenneth R. White, PhD, AGACNP, ACHPN, FACHE, FAAN, president of the AAN.

More information about the program and all AAN Edge Runner profiles are available online. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached by calling 800-273-8255.

Related: Management of Anxiety and Depression for Healthcare Professionals

Minority Nurse publication highlights home health nurse

Tina Seever, RN, DPCS, director of nursing at BrightStar Care, Miami, FL, is the most recent nurse to be profiled by Minority Nurse, an online publication that covers the careers of minority nurses and serves as an educational resource. Seever was interviewed as part of an ongoing article series that provides nurse readers with insights from peers working in various facets of the nursing field.

The interview with Seever can be found online.

Nursing profession encouraged to assist HIV/AIDS care and education efforts

A draft of an updated national HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and plans to attempt to end the HIV epidemic offered by the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care was reviewed this fall by a policy committee and other stakeholders who provided feedback.

Key questions and answers in the draft included:

1. What can nurses uniquely do to help end the epidemic?

Social determinants of health will need to be a focus, as well as ensuring that nurses are uniquely positioned through trusted relationships and open dialogue to identify and address social determinants that impact an individual’s health and wellness.

A comprehensive and repeated housing assessment can be incorporated into routine visits and interactions with nurses. Nurses can foster trust and promote a holistic viewpoint by leveraging the fact that they represent the most trustworthy profession and understand the complexities of people. Other considerations include:

  • Encouraging and supporting nurses to include sexual health as part of regular dialogue and assessments.
  • Developing campaigns in nursing education and professional development to increase awareness about the nurse’s role in sexual health education and assessment.
  • Assessing for and mitigating the impact of distrust in medical systems and treatment due to misinformation and fear of COVID management and COVID vaccines.
  • Providing staffing and reimbursements for home or community visits for nurses to follow up with people lost to care.

2. How can nursing roles be expanded in non-traditional settings?

Nurses should be placed in non-traditional settings such as pharmacies, minute clinics, health departments, schools, and colleges to improve HIV education, treatment accessibility, and prevention.

In these settings, nurses can provide education, services, direct referrals, and follow-up along the continuum of care and reduce stigma that may be associated with seeking care at an HIV-designated site.

  • Non-traditional settings for youth must include out-of-school settings such as recreation and sports centers in addition to school-based clinics in high schools.
  • Nurses’ roles in health departments, primary care, clinics, and mental health and substance treatment centers must be expanded to include HIV education, HIV testing, pre-exposure prophylaxis or rapid initiation, and referrals.

3. How can HIV content in nursing education be expanded?

Nursing curriculum should incorporate HIV into undergraduate courses and offer advanced degree specialty tracks in HIV that include not only pharmacology and prescriptive considerations, but also related factors to include trauma, stigma, social determinants of health, and inequities in outcomes.

  • Inter-professional courses to prepare nurses, physicians and other members of the healthcare team for team based-care as necessary for optimal HIV care should be encouraged and supported.
  • National Health Service Corps or loan-forgiveness programs can develop special tracks for HIV providers to include registered nurses, not just nursing faculty or nurse practitioners.

The full comments can be accessed online.

Related: HIV/AIDS 2021 Update: Prevention, Transmission and Treatment

Podcast spotlight: Nurses For Healthy Environments

Join environmental health nurse champion Beth Schenk, RN, as she talks with nurses from around the United States who are leading the profession in addressing environmental health issues.

The Nurses for Healthy Environments Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.

Views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Elite Learning or Colibri Group. Media referenced in this news round-up does not constitute an endorsement.