Annie Grummel Ward, PMHNP, is a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who has been in private practice in Portland, OR since 2004. Annie offers psychotherapy, medication management, and integrative psychiatry consultation for individuals over the age of 18 who struggle with issues related to life challenges, pregnancy, postpartum, bipolar, depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
Annie participated in the Psychiatry Redefined Fellowship program in 2019. She has continued to remain active in the program and today, she supervises other NP’s in the program.
We often get asked what type of impact the Fellowship can have on the career trajectory of an NP so we reached out to Annie to get her perspective on the impact of integrating the Fellowship learning into her practice.
How Psychiatry Redefined’s Fellowship Program Benefits NPs
“I invested in the Psychiatry Redefined Fellowship with Dr. Greenblatt during the summer of 2019.
Pretty quickly after joining the Fellowship and gaining some basic knowledge, I realized Functional and Integrative Mental health care was exactly the change needed. I was amassing a whole new tool kit to work with. I was also engaging regularly with other like-minded medical professionals who were equally frustrated with the traditional approach of poly pharma models for psychiatric treatment and who were as committed to changing the trajectory of patient care as me. Hearing about the success stories of patient care from others was impactful and career-altering.
I quickly gained the confidence to begin testing all my patients before setting the treatment path. It didn’t make sense to not put into practice the new tool kit I was amassing.
Testing before determining a treatment path changed everything. I had some patients who had been treated with multiple medications for long-term mental illnesses for years with little change. Once I began testing, I learned how small adjustments, adding in needed nutrients and supplements could mean big changes for my patients.
In nursing school, you are taught how to prescribe meds but you are never taught how to de-prescribe. What I have learned during this Fellowship has helped me shift the focus of prescribing medicine first to testing first and layering in medicines if and when needed. It has meant that oftentimes patients are able to avoid multiple medications and the side effects associated with multiple drugs. I feel empowered to be able to confidently say I am giving my patients the very best treatment and all the advantages possible.
I now participate in peer supervision with Psychiatry Redefined and I am active on the listserv. The listserv is an invaluable resource and it provides a deep bench of support for you and your practice.
When I first began integrative and functional psychiatry with the Fellowship, I was constantly seeking information from others on the listserv and now I am often providing recommendations to newer Fellows who are seeking help with a complicated case.
Should NP’s invest in the Fellowship? I say absolutely, YES if you are committed to a new and better way of treating patients who are expecting more from us.”