Psychiatric Nurses to Bring Annual Convention to Hartford in 2016

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association 30th Annual Conference will take place next October at the Connecticut Convention Center.  It is the first time that the organization will hold its annual event in Connecticut.  This year’s program was held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Florida, where attendees had the opportunity to earn up to 29.5 continuing education contact hours onsite and an additional 100 plus contact hours online afterwards.  The 2016 APNA Annual Conference will be held October 19-22 in Hartford. nurses logo The APNA Annual Conference delivers more than 100 varied educational sessions and invaluable networking opportunities to the more than a thousand psychiatric-mental health RNs and APRNs who attend each year. The organization has more than 10,000 members nationwide.

Last month, the APNA joined a White House initiative to address the ongoing epidemic of prescription drug abuse and heroin use across the nation. With organizations from both the public and private sectors participating, the effort seeks to train health care providers, improve access to treatment, and raise awareness of the risks of prescription drug misuse.CShDUVLWoAAGIc9

Approximately 2.3 million US citizens aged 12 and older have opioid use disorder, and most states have higher rates of treatment need than capacity to treat. In this context, educating health professionals and encouraging them to apply best-treatment practices is critical to improve the health of the nation. APNA is one of 8 nursing groups to pledge to be a part of the solution over the next two years.

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) was founded in 1986. In the ensuing 28 years, APNA has grown to be the largest professional membership organization committed to the specialty practice of psychiatric-mental health (PMH) nursing and wellness promotion, prevention of mental health problems, and the care and treatment of persons with psychiatric disorders.

The APNA Annual Conference is held in a new location every year to encourage regional participation, add adventure, and provide a venue to connect with other psychiatric-mental health nurse professionals from across the globe, officials point out.

Plans for the convention in Connecticut include programs designed to “advance the profession through networking and education” and opportunities to “celebrate psychiatric-mental health nurses’ outstanding contributions” through the presentation of the APNA Annual Awards.

psych nurse 2In Florida last month, more than 1,800 attendees were on hand for a program “packed with psychiatric-mental networking, updates, and continuing education targeted to psychiatric-mental health nurses.” Session recordings from the Annual Conferences are made available in the APNA eLearning Center in podcast form, along with up-to-date session slides and other relevant materials.

APNA is the only PMH nursing organization whose membership is inclusive of all PMH registered nurses (RN) including associate degree (ADN), baccalaureate (BSN), and advanced practice (APN) comprised of clinical nurse specialists (CNS), psychiatric nurse practitioners (NP), and nurse scientists and academicians (PhD). The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on

The Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (JAPNA), with more than 10,000 subscribers, provides quality, up-to-date information to promote PMH nursing, improve mental health care for culturally diverse individuals, families, groups, and communities, as well as shape health care policy for the delivery of mental health services.



Volleyball to Overrun CT Convention Center Twice in 2015; New Event Coming to Hartford

2015 is shaping up as a banner year for the Connecticut Convention Center.  For the second time in the span of a few weeks, the convention center  has announced a new event will be coming to town.  The New England Region Volleyball Association (NERVA) will bring its first-ever Northeast Junior Championships to Hartford over Memorial Day weekend in 2015.

The tournament, featuring junior teams from throughout the Northeast, is expected to bring over 2,000 players, 400 coaches, 75 officials and volunteer tournament staff, and 3,500 family members and fans downtown, from Friday, May 22 through Monday, May 25, 2015.

Better yet, NERVA has committed to holding the event at the venue for the next three years, through at least 2017, with over 3,000 overnight rooms and 1,100 rooms anticipated for the new annual event. 2013 CTCC NERVA Winterfest

Tournament organizers are planning to fill the facility with 200 teams playing on 25 courts set up inside the Convention Center’s exhibit halls. They have experience in turning the space into an enormous multi-court facility, having held its annual Mizuno New England Winterfest at the facility in January over the long Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, for each of the past five years.

Also on the docket at the Connecticut Convention Center in 2015 is the Museum Store Association national conference, to be held in Hartford for the first time next April.  It is the organization’s first conference in the Northeast in a decade.  They met in 2003 in Philadimage_logo1elphia, and will meet next month in Houston.

Other multi-year contracts continue.  ConnectiCon, which has been hosted at the Connecticut Convention Center since 2005, will return this year and next.  Mary Kay will return to the facility in 2015 and 2016.  And the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA), which has gathered at the Convention Center annually since 2007, will do so again this year and in 2015. The STITCHES-East regional knitting enthusiasts will be back every year through 2017.

“We have always valued our partnership with the Connecticut Convention Center and the Connecticut Convention and Sports Bureau,” states David Peixoto, NERVA Commissioner. “Our partnership has grown to develop Winterfest as the Premier Volleyball tournament in the Northeast. We look forward to making the Northeast Junior Championship just as successful.”6

The new four-day event does not require teams to qualify to participate. While it will serve as a season-ending tournament for some, the event will allow for additional preparation to teams continuing on to nationals. Participants are 12-18 years old, as NERVA follows USA Volleyball age guidelines.

Winterfest, which is the largest volleyball tournament held in New England, is designed to showcase female high school volleyball players to college coaches and recruiters from throughout the Northeast.  The event brings in around 6,000 visitors to the area every year.

The New England Region is one of many Regions in the United States that aid in the governing of the sport of volleyball. Regional Volleyball Associations (RVAs) are member organizations of USA Volleyball (USAV). The RVAs serve as the grassroots function for the USAV and individually and collectively serve as a catalyst for USAV functions.

The Connecticut Convention Center is the state’s premier meeting venue and the largest full-service convention facility between New York and Boston. Overlooking the Connecticut River, it features 140,000 square feet of exhibition space, a 40,000-square-foot ballroom and 25,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as ample sheltered parking.