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The Society of Psychiatric 
Advanced Practice Nurses

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The Society of Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurses
Honors Two At Annual Awards Dinner

October 2011 Shrewsbury, NJ 

Advanced Practice Nursing is undergoing revolutionary changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act of 2010, the Consensus Model (L.A.C.E.) and the IOM report. Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nursing is no exception. Each year, the Society of Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurses of the New Jersey State Nurses Association provides an opportunity to formally recognize outstanding contributions made by New Jersey Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurses and those who support their evolving mission. This year, SPAPN held its annual fall awards dinner at the Shadowbrook CC in Shrewsbury. Following a business briefing, awards were presented to two individuals for their significant contributions in advancing mental health care in New Jersey.


Ever mindful of trends in nursing, SPAPN President Candice Knight PhD, EdD, APN anticipated changes ahead for psychiatric advanced practice nursing. Without delay, she boldly catalyzed the creation of the first Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Program and Post-master’s Family Psychiatric Nurse practitioner Program in NJ. In keeping with Nursing’s overall vision, Dr. Knight facilitated Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialists in obtaining the appropriate course curriculum within a university program to enable them to sit for the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner exam. Obtaining the nurse practitioner credential is now pivotal, as ANCC recently announced its move to eliminate the CNS credential.

On a national level, Dr. Knight had input into the L.A.C.E. Report regarding curriculum recommendations for the Advanced Psychiatric Nursing Programs and was instrumental in adding psychotherapy back into the CNS/NP curriculums. In true mover and shaker fashion, these accomplishments were achieved posthaste.

For her exemplary vision and willingness to take necessary risks, The Society of Psychiatric APNs awarded her the 2011 Leadership Award. Referring to her own heterodox style, in her acceptance, Dr. Knight quoted Laurel Thatcher Ulrich: “Well behaved women seldom make history”.

Outstanding Service

Above and beyond, Carolyn Pierce Buckelew, APN is the Society’s Gem. She has been the SPAPN Treasurer for over a decade. While she has attempted to retire from the position several times, she has cheerfully stepped back in when her successors surrendered the office after brief tenure. A wise and talented money manager, she handles her position like a Fortune 500 CFO. Ms. Buckelew is often asked “do we have the money for this?” Not only can she report the balance, she offers sage advice as to the prudence of the expenditure. Her investment strategies have defied a down market and have resulted in a financially robust and healthy organization.

A SPAPN member for 15 years, Ms. Buckelew has been steadfastly committed to SPAPN. She has given generously of her time and energy despite bearing chronic illness. She has consistently demonstrated responsibility, organization, flexibility, and openness to change without complaint during the terms of at least three SPAPN presidents. Her pleasant and encouraging style, and wonderful sense of humor add warm layers to her competence and dedication to inspire others to contribute more. In essence, Carolyn’s leadership activities on the Board exemplify her generosity, integrity, and commitment. She was thus presented the 2011 Outstanding Service Award.


Society of Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurses

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