Psychiatric Nursing Workforce Summit


The 2017 planning committee (pictured above) is continuing the momentum from the summit by identifying key areas of opportunity and developing strategies and metrics to move forward.

Strengthening the Psychiatric Mental Health Workforce: Practice, Education and Policy Considerations

BHECN and UNMC College of Nursing hosted the 2nd Annual Psychiatric Nursing Workforce Summit on Nov. 1, 2017 at the Scott Conference Center with nearly 100 stakeholders in attendance.

Presentations focused on best practices and emerging trends in practice, policy and education related to psychiatric nursing in Nebraska, and breakout sessions to guide workforce development from the student to practitioner levels. View presentation videos and slides here.

The keynote presenter, Gail Stuart, Ph.D., dean of the College of Nursing at the Medical University of South Carolina, is a leader in the field of psychiatric nursing with clinical and research interest involving the study of depression, anxiety disorders, clinical outcomes and mental health delivery systems.

Dr. Julia Houfek, Professor of Nursing at UNMC commented, “This year’s summit builds on the momentum generated at our first event. The Summit provides an exciting opportunity to bring nurses together to consider and discuss important issues and topics that impact psychiatric mental health nursing practice and education as well as the current and future psychiatric nursing workforce in Nebraska.”

"Developing Nebraska's psychiatric nursing workforce is of critical importance in addressing behavioral health workforce shortages in our state,” said BHECN Director Howard Liu, M.D. “We look forward to sharing strategies and new ideas to advance workforce development in this area.”

View 2017 Summit Presentations:

State of Nursing Education & Practice Update
Brigette Vaughan, MSN, APRN-BC, Nurse Coordinator, Department of Psychiatry, and
Developmental and Behavioral Nurse Practitioner, Munroe-Meyer Institute, UNMC

Keynote Address:
The Psychiatric Mental Health Workforce in Nebraska: Progress and Potential
Gail Stuart, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, Medical University of South Carolina


Collaborations in Undergraduate Education & Practice: DEU Model
Moderator: Robin Conyers, MSOP, BAN, RN, CHI Health Lasting Hope Recovery Center
Panelists: Louise LaFramboise, PhD, RN, CNE, Associate Professor and
Director, BSN Program, UNMC College of Nursing
Jacque Miller, MSN, RN, Creighton University College of Nursing
Tiffany Lofgren, BSN, RN; Benn Rayment, BSN, RN & Elysse Wendell, RN,
CHI Health Lasting Hope Recovery Center

Looking Ahead: Nebraska Unicameral 2018 Session
State Senator Tony Vargas

Establishing Educational and Work Experiences
Therese Mathews, PhD, APRN-NP,
Associate Professor, UNMC College of Nursing and Munroe- Meyer Institute;
Sara E. Banzhaf, DNP, APRN-NP, PMHNP-BC, Assistant Professor, Track
Lead – Accelerated Nursing Program, Creighton College of Nursing

Handout - Undergraduate Focus

Handout - Graduate Focus

Transition to Independent Practice
Tina Vest, MSN, APRN, BC, PMHNP, Family Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner/Private Practice, Vest Psychiatric Services, LLC


Motivational Interviewing
Tom Guck, PhD, Professor, School of Medicine, Creighton University


Emerging Trends in Nursing Education & Practice
Moderator: Cathy Phillips, APRN, Mary Lanning Healthcare
Panelists: Sheri Dawson, RN, Director, Division of Behavioral Health, DHHS
Julie Houfek, PhD, RN, APRN-CNS, Professor, UNMC College of Nursing
Howard Liu, MD, Director, BHECN, Child Psychiatrist
Tina Vest, MSN, APRN, BC, PMHNP, Family Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner/
Private Practice, Vest Psychiatric Services, LLC
Joe Evans, PhD, Clinical Director, BHECN


Nebraska's Outlook: Emerging and Salient Trends
Sheri Dawson, RN, Director, Division of Behavioral Health, DHHS


Closing Remarks - Mary Kunes-Connell, PhD, RN, Assoc. Dean for Academic Affairs,
Professor, Creighton University College of Nursing 

View 2016 Psychiatric Nursing Workforce Summit Presentations