Nursing Professor Elected to ISPN Leadership Role

April 29, 2013 - A Georgetown University nursing faculty member has been elected to a leadership role with the International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses.

In addition to her academic role at the School of Nursing & Health Studies, Edilma L. Yearwood, PhD, RN, PMHCNS, BC, FAAN, associate professor of nursing, will serve a two-year term as division director for the society’s Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nurses.

“At this time of global interconnection, we face unprecedented societal violence, stigma against mentally vulnerable individuals, uncertainty, and scarce resources,” she says. “Given this context, I plan to push the mental health needs of youth to the forefront.”

Highly Regarded Expert

Yearwood is a highly regarded expert in the field. Last year, she won the society’s President’s Award for her service to the organization and the field of mental health and psychiatric nursing.

“Edilma is an inspiration to all of us – poised, yet ready to take action when needed,” ISPN President Victoria Soltis-Jarrett, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, FMHNP-BC, said about the 2012 award. “She is a true leader in her field, and we should all feel honored to have her as a colleague.”

In addition, Yearwood recently co-edited Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health: A Resource for Advanced Practice Psychiatric and Primary Care Practitioners in Nursing (Wiley-Blackwell, March 2012).

‘A Resource for Youth’

With her election to this leadership role, Yearwood will also serve as a member of the governing board of ISPN.

She plans to promote child and adolescent mental health policy, practice, and research with multiple constituencies; foster public awareness of critical issues impacting this population; and advocate for the advanced practice role of this nursing specialty.

“I will work to develop partnerships with other groups interested in advocating for vulnerable at-risk youth and increasing the visibility of the organization as a resource for youth,” she says.

Focus areas, she says, include participating in written and public forum venues to provide education about key mental health needs of youth and outreach to the United Nations, World Health Organization, and policymakers to help increase awareness.

By Bill Cessato