Psychotropic Medications: Essentials for Practice

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Program Description

Psychotropic medications, ubiquitous in all areas of nursing care, are powerful agents that save and improve lives, but also can have serious and dangerous adverse effects. This two-day program is designed for nurse practitioners and registered nurses wanting a greater understanding of the common pitfalls in prescribing and managing psychotropic medications, and the adverse reactions that critically require nursing assessment and intervention.  This conference will provide the latest information regarding the role of inflammation in psychiatric disorders and why this is important, the best evidence-based strategies for treating anxiety, mood, psychotic and other disorders, for effectively tapering patients off benzodiazepines while improving collaboration, managing adverse metabolic impacts of antipsychotic medications, and utilizing complementary agents for various psychiatric and emotional conditions.    This information is set within the context of holistic care and evidenced based strategies that improve patient outcomes.

Who Should Attend? Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (ARNP, APRN), Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS), Registered Nurses, and Other Health Sciences and Mental Health Professionals seeking to improve their knowledge about psychopharmacology.

Desired Learning Outcome: Psychotropic Medications: Essentials for Practice will provide you the skills in assessment, identification, and management of commonly prescribed psychotropic medications.

At the conclusion of this educational activity, you will be able to:

  • Discuss 4 commonly made “pitfalls” of prescribing and monitoring psychotropic agents and how to prevent adverse outcomes for your patients
  • Describe psychopharmacological considerations in adolescents, elderly, and pregnant patients.  
  • Describe how inflammation impacts neurological function and how this impacts nursing practice to improve patient outcomes.
  • List the “best evidence” strategies for treating unipolar and bipolar mood disorders.
  • Discuss state of the science use of antidepressants in patients with bipolar disorder.
  • Describe an effective strategy for improving point-of-care collaboration with other providers involved in a patient’s care.
  • Summarize how to prescribe antipsychotic agents to minimize adverse metabolic impacts.
  • Choose appropriate evidence-based agents for various anxiety disorders.
  • Compare and contrast psychopharmacological treatments for various eating disorders.
  • Identify 5 critical drug interactions when psychopharmacological agents are prescribed.
  • Describe how to effectively taper patients off benzodiazepines, while maintaining provider-patient collaboration.
  • Discuss evidence-based use of psychopharmacological agents to assist patients with substance use disorders.  
  • Analyze complementary and “alternative” agents which have an evidence-base for effectiveness in various psychiatric and emotional conditions.

Program Agenda  / Day 1

7:45 am – 8:00 am      Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 am – 8:10 am      Welcome and Announcements
8:10 am – 9:30 am      Understanding Psychotropics in 2018
9:30 am – 9:40 am      Break
9:40 am – 11:30 am    Best Evidence for Treating Mood Disorders
11:30 am – 12:15 pm  Buffet Lunch
12:15 pm – 1:45 pm    State of the Science Treatment of Bipolar Disorder
1:45 pm – 1:55 pm      Break
1:55 pm – 3:15 pm      Antipsychotics:  Improving Outcomes

Day 2

7:45 am – 8:00 am      Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 am – 9:30 am      Treatment of Anxiety Disorders, PTSD and OCD
9:30 am – 9:40 am      Break
9:40 am – 11:20 am    ADHD,  Eating Disorders & Neurocognitive Disorders
11:20 am – 12:05 pm  Buffet Lunch
12:05 pm – 1:35 pm    Managing Benzodiazepines:  The Double Edged Sword
1:35 pm – 1:45 pm      Break
1:45 pm – 2:45 pm      Treating Substance Use Disorders,  Complementary and Alternative Agents
2:45 pm – 3:05 pm      Online Evaluation


Date/Time Program Location Contact Hours Fee Registration

September 10-11, 2018

8:00 am – 3:15 pm

Acute Care Education
7200 NE 41st Street, Suite 206
Vancouver, WA 98662
12.0 $379.00

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More Program Details


Susan Marie, Ph.D., PMHNP, CARN-NP, BC

susan_marieSusan Marie, Ph.D., PMHNP, CARN-AP, BC, licensed Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and certified in Addictions, brings over 30 years of clinical experience treating adults with diverse mental illnesses, specializing in serious mental illness, trauma and substance use disorders.  She is noted for her “pitfalls” and “pearls” of psychopharmacology. Her passions are “radical respect” for people with serious mental illnesses and addictions, excellence in psychopharmacology, and integrating psychotherapeutic interventions for clients with PTSD, addictions and chronic pain.

Dr. Marie is an Associate Professor at Oregon Health & Science University where she teaches graduate psychiatric mental health nursing students. She is the Medical Director for Behavioral Health at Old Town Clinic, in Portland, Oregon where she maintains a practice specializing in diagnostic evaluation, psychopharmacology for complex patients and psychopharmacology consultation to other professionals. Dr. Marie’s work developing integrated behavioral health within primary care settings was noted in the Robert Wood Johnson LEAP initiative and awarded by the Oregon Primary Care Association in 2013.

“I could never quite keep all this straight-  I wish I had heard her years ago!”

“Thank you so much for such a wonderful presentation and insightful information. I am taking this to my whole team.
I have attended seminars for many years and you are the best.”


Registration includes:  Attendance at program, downloadable program handouts, all day coffee, tea, water, continental breakfast, and lunch buffet.  Please specify in your profile any dietary needs.  Wi-fi is available in the conference center. 

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