Competency-Based Training for PMH Nurse Generalists: Inpatient Intervention and Prevention of Suicide

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Abstract

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. Approximately 90,000 psychiatric mental health (PMH) nurse generalists work in hospitals in the United States, mostly on inpatient psychiatric units where the most acutely suicidal patients are hospitalized. Although competencies have been developed for mental health clinicians in assessing and managing suicide risk, there are no standard competencies for PMH nurse generalists. Widely accepted nursing practices do not meet suicide-specific standards of care or evidence-based criteria. Although both the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education Essentials for Baccalaureate Education and the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses competencies stress the necessity for comprehensive assessment, safe clinical practices, patient-centered care, evidence-based interventions, and interprofessional communication and collaboration, there are no specific requirements for suicide prevention training in educational and clinical programs. The American Psychiatric Nurses Association has an opportunity to provide leadership in developing, implementing, and evaluating competency-based training for nurses and partner with the national effort to increase the competencies in suicide prevention in the behavioral health workforce.

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