School of Nursing Launches Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program

Duke University School of Nursing’s Master of Science in Nursing Program is now accepting applications for its new psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) program. The program will be directed by Pamela Wall, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, FAANP, assistant professor for the Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON). Wall is a psychiatric nurse practitioner who served the United States Navy for more than 20 years.

“An estimated 96 percent of counties in the United States have some unmet needs for psychiatric patients,” Wall said. “The burden of managing behavioral health disorders is estimated to cost more than $200 billion here in the U.S. Additionally, there are an estimated 222,000 licensed nurse practitioners (NP) in the U.S. but only 5.4 percent are certified in behavioral health care of the adult or family.”

Wall added: “Our PMHNP program will focus on developing the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver psychiatric mental health advanced practice nursing to all ages, especially to those in rural and underserved areas and vulnerable populations.”

The psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program offers intensives courses, state-of-the-art simulation techniques designed to prepare PMHNPs for telepsychiatry practices and immersion in clinical rotations from pediatrics to adults.

“The program’s curriculum is designed to be competency-based and includes the study of emotional intelligence and promotes the facilitation of biased-free perceptions,” said Michael Zychowicz, DNP, ANP, ONP, FAAN, FAANP, director of the Master of Science in Nursing Program for DUSON. “Graduates will be able to manage complex mental health patients and provide quality care.”

Graduates of the program will receive a level II professional training certification in telepsychiatry, allowing them to provide mental health care from a distance and establish a business model to set up their own practice. The program also includes electives in veterans’ health care designed to help trainees enhance their understanding of military culture, how that impacts health behaviors, and the unique considerations essential to providers who care for military and veteran patients and their families.

Students who enroll in the program will complete nine courses in psychiatric mental health nursing, and a minimum of 616 clinical hours. The PMHNP is distance-based and will use online learning programs as well as on-campus intensives.

For more information about the new psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program or to request to speak with an admissions officer, visit this page or contact the Office of Admissions and Student Services at 877-344-4680.

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