Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Programs

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psychiatric nurse practitioner programs
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Programs. Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNP) focus on clinical work with patients suffering from mental illness or psychiatric disorders. PMHNP can work in mental health facilities, hospitals, community health centers, public policy organizations, or outpatient mental health clinics with many options to focus on underserved communities.

According to the National Nurses Organization of Nurse Practitioners (NONPF), the responsibilities of these interdisciplinary nursing professionals include a holistic approach to the diagnosis and treatment of illness, providing specific thoughts on the patient's mental health status; Thoroughly assess the patient's mental and physical health by using evidence-based approaches from medicine, psychiatry, sociology, and other related fields; Develop a multi-pronged care plan using treatment, psychotherapy, and / or other applicable interventions; And educate patients and their families about health conditions.

Please note that the scope of practice for PMHNP may vary by country. For example, the California Mental Health Planning Council reports that NP mental health requires the supervision of mental health professionals - usually a psychiatrist - in the provision of certain treatments. Other states, mostly concentrated in the midwest, grant more generous and autonomous practice rights to all NPs such as conducting and interpreting diagnostic tests, designing treatment plans, and prescribing medications without the supervision of other medical personnel. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP 2015) provides color-coded maps of the practice scope throughout the state. For details, please consult with a specific state personnel council, a list provided by the National Nursing State Council (NCSBN).

So how does one join this integrative nursing substructure? First, most of these professionals have at least a master's degree and some form of national certification. In fact, AANP (2015) reports that 95.1 percent of all NPs have college degrees, and 96.8 percent retain active certification. Although taking a two-year science degree (MSN) is a common route to becoming a PMHNP, an increasing number of NPs get disciplinary terminal levels: nursing practice doctors (DNPs). The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN 2015) notes that nursing is one of the last areas of health care covering practitioner-centered doctors, and recommends the DNP as "the demand for complex healthcare environmental change in the country requiring the highest levels of scientific knowledge and practice expertise Ensuring quality patient outcomes. "

PMHNP Prerequisites & Specialties

There are several routes to becoming a PMHNP, but many health care professionals start by taking a four-year bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) from a program accredited by the Collegiate Nursing Commission (CCNE) or the Commission for Accreditation for Education in Nursing, ACEN). This undergraduate program - like the one in the top rated U.S. nursing school News & World Report (2015) at the University of Pennsylvania (UPNN) - provides courses such as integrated pathophysiology and pharmacology; Scientific inquiry for evidence-based practice; The path to practice; Breastfeeding women & babies; And leadership in a complex system. At this stage, it is recommended that PMHNPs candidates take selected courses and seminars in mental health, psychiatry, or psychology.

One advantage to pursue BSN compared to an individual or non-nursing degree is that the BSN program fulfills many prerequisite programs for postgraduate PMHNP programs such as microbiology, chemistry, epidemiology, and general education (eg, broad requirements). That said, there are various graduate programs for candidates with an associate degree or a non-nursing undergraduate degree. Often referred to as bridges, acceleration, direct entry, or alternative entry programs, these schools generally require additional courses and / or clinical hours to complete the prerequisites, sometimes rewarding BSN on the way to MSN or DNP levels. For example, the BSN / MSN Direct Entry Program from UNCT provides a degree and is open to both RNs with associate degrees and non-nursing undergraduate degree graduates. The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) provides a list of RN-to-MSN degree programs, and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has a list of accelerated BSN and MSN programs for non-nursing post-baccalaureate nurses candidate.

As part of the BSN program or associate (ie, ADN), PMHNP candidates are ready to join the National Register for Licensed Nurses' (NCLEX-RN) License Test to become registered nurse (RN) and usually get one to two years of Experience before applying to the PMHNP program postgraduate.

There are two main program specializations for PMHNP: mental health of adult psychiatry and mental health of family psychiatrists. Specialists who last deal with patients throughout their lifetime and are generally referred to as "psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners." American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) provides separate certification for these PMHNP branches. Please refer to the "PMHNP Certification" section below for more information.

Either pursue MSN or DNP in the PMHNP subspecialty, the admissions committee usually asks applicants for the following:
  • Resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Official university transcript with minimum GPA (e.g.> 3.0)
  • A personalized 1-2 page statement detailing the student's professional goals
  • Letters of recommendation from relevant mentors such as professors, clinical supervisors, and others who can speak with a candidate's competence.
  • Interview (in-person or web-based)
  • Proof of registered nurse licensing (RN) in the U.S., unencumbered or in certain circumstances
  • Evidence of immunization and / or drug screening
  • Graduate Exam Score (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) for native English speakers
  • Application fee

Program PMHNP Featured

There are many PMHNP programs across the U.S., both on campus and online, MSN and DNP. Here are four prominent choices for PMHNP candidates to consider:

  1. New York University (NYU) organizes a two-year MSN program, two years in mental health care involving 750 hours of clinical and strict didactic instruction through the class including clinical pharmacotherapy for all ages; Nursing issues & trends in health care delivery; And seven different mental health modules. Offering an internationally recognized faculty and the opportunity to specialize in substance-related disorders, the NYU program is committed to spurring social change.

  2. The University of Virginia (UvA) has a nationally renowned program tied to # 8 among the leading PMHNP schools in the US & World Report (2015). MSN over the past 20 months involved more than 500 clinical hours reported and 48 credits of comprehensive courses covering health policies (local to global); Epidemiology & world health; And the theoretical foundation of nursing. Please note that UVA also has a DNP program in this specialization.

  3. The University of Washington (UW) offers top ranked programs tied to # 8 among the best PMHNP schools in Indonesia and World Report (2015). The three-year DNP program of UW combines supervised clinical practice and practice such as social determinants of health & health justice; Assessment & evaluation of older mental health; Psychopharmacology & biological intervention; And psychiatric mental reflective psychiatric exercises. Please note that although some courses are available in distance-based format, students are still required to travel to campus at least twice for each course.

  4. The University of Tennessee Health Science Center provides a unique dual choice (mental health psychiatry and NP family). The DNP program has classes such as health care and leadership economics and health policy; Biostatistics & epidemiology for clinical practice; Advanced health assessment and advanced family pathophysiology and clinical practice; Mental health disorders mental and mental health care of children and adolescents; And practice evaluation. This full three-year full-time curriculum when entering this program as BSN for DNP combines 79 hours of study hours and 1,500 clinical hours, prepares students for the FNP and PMHNP certification exams. Other study plans are available to obtain a DNP degree with an initial or post MSN certificate second as a PMHNP. A part-time study option is also available.


PMHNP Professional Certification

Upon graduation from an accredited PMHNP graduate program, students may be entitled to seek national certification and licensing through the local nursing board.

There are two major national certifications for PMHNP offered through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC): adult PMHNP and mental health psychotherapy NP (for all ages). Prerequisites for this five-year certification include being an approved MSN or DNP graduate program; Become an RN; Provide evidence of at least 500 hours of supervised clinical faculty; And pass the test.

To maintain this certification, PMHNPs must show evidence of providing 1,000 hours of direct patient care and 75 hours of continuing education (CE). Opportunities for CE can be found through the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA).

Finally, all NPs should seek licenses through the local police force. Different procedures by country, and a list of contact information for the state nursing board can be found through the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP 2015).


PMHNP Program Accreditation

Prior to enrolling in undergraduate or graduate PMHNP programs, students are warned to verify their school's accreditation status. The accreditation process serves to ensure curricular consistency, the quality of education delivery, and the completeness of the course to benefit PMHNP candidates and their future patients.

There are two program accreditation organizations for nursing programs recognized by the U.S. Department of Education: the Commission for Accreditation of Education for Nursing, Inc. (ACEN) and the Collegiate Nursing Education Commission. These groups consider criteria such as school facilities (eg, laboratories, libraries); Faculty excellence; Student results; Institutional finance; And other factors to evaluate program quality.

In addition, there is an institutional accreditation organization that assesses and recognizes the university as a whole, including the College Commissions for Higher Education and Southern Colleges (SACS), Higher Learning Commission of the Higher Colleges and Universities Association (HLC-NCA), the High Commission on Higher Education The United States (MSCHE), the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the Northwest Commission for Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), and the New England School and Colleges Association (NEASC).
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Certification for Nurse Practitioners - Getting national certification is required by many states and employers for nursing practitioners and other advanced nursing practitioners. Credentialing is available at ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center) and the AANP (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners). Candidates are required to pass a certification exam in a specialized field to get certified. Typically, this area of specialization is equivalent to graduate degree programs who have completed their education.