AANA Updates

Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Psychiatric Disorders Position Statement Issued by American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and American Psychiatric Nurses Association

  • Aug 28, 2019

For Immediate Release: August 28, 2019
For more information, contact: AANA Public Relations

The two nursing organizations have partnered to issue a statement defining the roles that nurse anesthetists and psychiatric-mental health nurses play in ketamine infusion therapy for psychiatric disorders.

Ketamine infusion therapy is increasingly being used to treat illnesses such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, treatment resistant depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are educated and trained to provide ketamine infusion therapy services to individuals with chronic and medication resistant mental health disorders, collaborating with professionals such as Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses (PMH nurses) who specialize in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of psychiatric-mental health disorders.

To support implementing this therapy with a focus on patient safety, positive outcomes, and general well-being, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) have issued a joint position statement. This statement outlines the important roles of PMH nurses and CRNAs in providing ketamine infusion therapy for psychiatric disorders and provides crucial resources to support each provider. By leveraging the scope and standards of practice of both PMH nurses and CRNAs, these professionals collaborate to provide ketamine infusion therapy in a manner that promotes safe and effective treatment for patients.

“Psychiatric-mental health nurses play a vital role in the assessment, referral to treatment, and ongoing monitoring of patients receiving ketamine infusion therapy for psychiatric disorders. Through their nursing expertise in psychiatric-mental health, they ensure that patients who receive ketamine infusion therapy achieve the best possible mental health outcomes in a safe and therapeutic manner that promotes their long-term recovery,” says APNA President Gail Stern, RN, MSN, PMHCNS-BC. “We are fortunate to be able to collaborate with our CRNA colleagues in providing this emerging treatment which holds promise for so many individuals with psychiatric disorders.”

“The use of ketamine infusion therapy to help treat psychiatric disorders is a godsend for many patients, particularly for those patients where standard treatment has not worked,” says AANA President Kate Jansky, “CRNAs and PMH Nurses complement each other’s unique expertise in the delivery of ketamine infusion therapy with a shared focus on improving patient safety and outcomes. We are grateful for the opportunity to work closely with our psychiatric-mental health nursing colleagues to bring comfort and quality of life to patients in need of this new therapeutic treatment.”

“APNA is proud to partner with AANA to provide a joint statement that will help guide nursing professionals as they provide this therapy,” say APNA Executive Director Nicholas Croce Jr., MS. “Providing evidence-based resources and promoting collaboration amongst professionals will only serve to enrich the safe and effective care patients receive.”

“It has been an honor and privilege to work in partnership with the APNA to develop this important position statement defining the roles and responsibilities of these exceptional nursing professionals in the administration of this new and effective therapeutic treatment,” says AANA CEO Randall Moore, DNP, MBA, CRNA.

Founded in 1931 and located in Park Ridge, Ill., and Washington, D.C., the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) is the professional organization representing nearly 54,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and student registered nurse anesthetists across the United States. As advanced practice registered nurses, CRNAs are anesthesia experts who administer more than 49 million anesthetics to patients in the United States each year and are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America. For more information, visit https://www.aana.com and http://www.future-of-anesthesia-care-today.com.

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is a national professional membership organization committed to the specialty practice of psychiatric-mental health nursing and wellness promotion, prevention of mental health problems and the care and treatment of persons with psychiatric disorders. APNA’s membership is inclusive of all psychiatric-mental health registered nurses including associate degree, baccalaureate, advanced practice (comprised of clinical nurse specialists and psychiatric nurse practitioners), and nurse scientists and academicians (PhD). APNA serves as a resource for psychiatric-mental health nurses to engage in networking, education, and the dissemination of research. For more information visit http://www.apna.org.