Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Programs
Where are psychiatric nurse practitioner programs located?
According to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), there are over seventy-five accredited psychiatric nurse practitioner programs located through the country. These programs predominantly exist in graduate schools within colleges and universities in the following cities and states: Alaska (Anchorage), Alabama (Mobile), Arkansas (Little Rock, Conway), Arizona (Tempe, Tucson), California (Long Beach, Los Angeles), Colorado (Aurora), Connecticut (Fairfield, West Hartford, New Haven), Florida (Boca Raton, North Miami, Gainesville, Coral Gables, Tampa), Iowa (Iowa City), Illinois (Chicago, Kansas (Kansas City, Wichita), Kentucky (Richmond, Highland Heights, Lexington, Louisville), Louisiana (Lake Charles), Massachusetts (Westin, Amherst, Lowell), Maryland (Baltimore), Maine (Bangor, Portland), Michigan (Allendale, Flint, Detroit), Minnesota (Duluth), Missouri (St. Louis, Columbia), Mississippi (Hattiesburg), North Carolina (Chapel Hill), North Dakota (Grand Forks), Nebraska (Omaha), New Hampshire (Nashua), New Jersey (Newark, Teaneck), New York (New York, Rockville Centre, Pleasantville, Troy, Stony Brook, Rochester), Ohio (Cleveland, Akron, Cincinnati), Pennsylvania (Pittsburg), South Carolina (Charleston, Columbia), Tennessee (Johnson City, Knoxville, Nashville), Texas (Arlington, Houston, San Antonio), Virginia (Charlottesville, Richmond), Vermont (Burlington), Washington (Seattle, Spokane) and Wyoming (Laramie).
Since many of these AANP-approved psychiatric nurse practitioner programs offer distance-learning options, students do not necessarily need to commute or relocate in order
What kind of an education can students expect from psychiatric nurse practitioner programs?
The exact education and training requirements between programs will vary depending on which school and degree-level a student decides to participate in. However, since most psychiatric nurse practitioner programs are specifically designed to prepare graduates to qualify for national certification, students can expect some similar educational features across all programs.
For example, most programs award students master's, post-master's, or doctorate degrees and certificates. In addition, psychiatric nurse practitioner programs will instruct students in the various aspects of psychiatric nursing theory including advanced pathophysiology, disease management, health promotion, pharmacology, health assessment, disease prevention, and diagnosis.
In terms of clinical training, most programs are likely to consist of at least 500 hours of supervised practical experience. This applied clinical training is often completed at local off-campus health care settings where psychiatric nurses are employed. Students that are enrolled in online programs may be responsible for locating their own clinical training sites. Also, all programs familiarize students with two or more different psychotherapeutic treatment approaches for patients.
Here are some examples of actual courses found in psychiatric nurse practitioner programs throughout the United States: Group Psychotherapy in Psychiatric Nursing, Addiction Perspectives, Theoretical Foundations of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, Family Therapy, Psychiatric Issues within Specialty Populations, and Health Promotion and Illness Prevention across the Lifespan.
Finally, some programs will require students to complete pre-requisite coursework in subjects such as: Human Pathophysiology, Nutrition, Physical Assessment, Statistics, Advanced Practice Nursing Role, Pharmacology, Computer Literacy, and Advanced Health Assessment.
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What are the academic degrees offered by psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner programs?
All psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) programs are at the graduate level. The two most popular degrees awarded by PMHNP programs are a Master of Science in Nursing: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and a Doctor of Nursing Practice: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. However, students that already hold a Master of Science in Nursing, but need to earn specialized education and training in psychiatric mental health nursing without completing another graduate degree program, could choose to earn a Post-Master's Certificate in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, which typically only takes one year to complete.
Sometimes students opt to focus their scope of practice by earning additional education in sub-specialties of PMHNP. Sub-specialties often pertain to particular age populations such as pediatric, child, adult, and geriatric populations. Some colleges and universities may offer degrees and certificates that cater to sub-specialties in psychiatric mental health nursing.
Students that want to enroll in a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program in order to earn a graduate degree or certificate must first satisfy a series of admission requirements including but not limited to: Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, registered nurse license, criminal background check, drug screening, immunization history, physical examination, CPR certification, interviews, academic and professional references, and clinical experience.