DNP - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner


Two nurse practitioners talk in a hallway

You have recognized the chronic lack of access to mental health treatment in your patients and you have seen this need highlighted in local, state, and national news. This is a major health care crisis and you are ready to be part of the solution. The DNP - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program will prepare you to fill this gap, enabling you to provide physical and mental health care for your patients in need.

Several issues affect the need for better mental health treatment access including limited trained health care professionals, the need for policy changes, lack of patient financing, and cultural stigmas that keep patients silent. The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree with a specialization in Psychiatric and Mental Health prepares advanced practice nurses to respond to this need while also addressing the other systemic issues that impact their patients. 

Advanced practice psychiatric nurses (psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners [PMHNPs]), are prepared to provide advanced mental health treatment across the lifespan to individuals with mental health disorders and are certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Advanced care includes the capacity to use at least two treatment modalities (individual, group, family, or couples counseling) and prescribe and manage psychiatric medications. These advanced mental health treatments are built on a foundation of advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, and physical assessment.

The DNP degree enables nurse practitioners to directly address care gaps within the mental health system by utilizing evidence-based practice and system interventions. 

Join the Fall 2022 Cohort

Applications are now open for the new DNP - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program. 
Submit your materials by May 1, 2022, to jumpstart your career this Fall 2022 semester.
Do you have questions about the program or the application process? Contact Kristin Norton, Office of Student Services Director, at nortonkr@gvsu.edu.

Meet the Faculty

Our faculty are leaders in their fields and bring an interprofessional perspective to our DNP courses. In addition to our exceptional Doctor of Nursing Practice faculty and faculty from the School of Public Health, these nursing faculty members teach our psychiatric mental health-focused courses. 

Dr. Karyn Butler
Adjunct Faculty

Donna Rinker
Affiliate Faculty

Richard Myers

Dr. Richard Myers
Adjunct Faculty

Kristine Niemeyer

Kristine Niemeyer
Adjunct Faculty

Corrine Overmyer

Corrine Overmyer
Adjunct Faculty

Graduate Student Course Progression Plan

Fall 1st Year  (9 credits)

  • STA 610 - Applied Statistics for Health Professions (3 credits)
    • Project-oriented overview of major statistical techniques commonly used in problems encountered in health professions. Students will learn to use a major statistical computing package. Hypothesis testing, t-tests, regression, analysis of variance, analysis of covariance, categorical data analysis, and nonparametric statistics. 
       
  • NUR 690 - Introduction Scientific Inquiry (3 credits)
    • An in-depth examination of the research process in health care. Includes the use of quantitative and qualitative methodology to explore researchable problems. Students use a systematic approach to develop a clinical research or project proposal and acquire competencies to evaluate the scientific and clinical merit of published research reports.
       
  • NUR 607 - Health Care System,  Policy, and Politics (3 credits)
    • This course focuses on policy decisions related to the organization, financing, and delivery of health care in the global community. It provides a basis for understanding political and social forces that shape nursing practice and health care delivery. Ethical dimensions of public policy formulations and implementation will be highlighted.

Winter 1st Year  (10 credits)

  • NUR 608 - Leadership Roles in Complex Systems (3 credits)
    • In this course, students analyze and evaluate theories and research that influence leadership in complex systems. Leadership is explored in complex system domains. Core competencies and strategies for leadership effectiveness are examined and evaluated.
       
  • NUR 621 - Clinical Pathophysiology (4 credits)
    • This course utilizes the scientific underpinnings of the biologic basis of disease to understand the pathophysiology, clinical assessment and treatment of clinical conditions across the lifespan. Content includes: cellular injury, inflammation, immunity, genetics, and various disease states in oncology, endocrinology, cardiovascular, pulmonary, neurology, gastroenterology, hematology, nephrology, and gynecology. 
       
  • NUR 691 - Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing (3 credits)
    • This course focuses on the review, analysis, synthesis, and application of scientific evidence for nursing and health care. Emphasis is placed on integrative and systematic reviews as tools to achieve evidence-based practice. Consideration is given to the ethical, legal, cultural, and financial implications of evidence-based advanced nursing practice.

Spring/Summer 1st Year  (10 credits)

  • NUR 605 - Theoretical Perspectives in Nursing (3 credits)
    • This course focuses on applying theory in nursing practice. Emphasis will be on the structure, types, and levels of theory, along with the use of theory in clinical situations, organizational change, implementation projects, and research.
       
  • NUR 620 -  Clinical Pharmacology (3 credits)
    • Explores pharmacological categories of drugs used by practitioners with a variety of patient groups. Selected drugs within categories are presented and compared on parameters such as indications, therapeutic and/or adverse effects, monitoring, doses, and common drug interactions. (3-0-0-0) Numbers in parentheses indicate the number of classroom-seminar-skills laboratory-clinical laboratory hours per week. 
       
  • NUR 625 - Health Issues in Vulnerable Populations (4 credits)
    • This course incorporates epidemiologic methods in addressing health disparities in vulnerable populations. Course content will explore issues in health access and disparity in U.S. populations and examine current trends, societal consequences, contributory cause(s), and potential advance practice nurse roles.

Fall 2nd Year  (10 credits)

  • NUR 704 - Quality Management in Healthcare (3 credits)
    • This course provides knowledge and expertise in the application of key concepts from quality improvement (QI), implementation science (IS) and project management as a foundation for the development of the D.N.P. Scholarly Project. A project plan will be designed integrating key course areas of emphasis, including outcomes for project evaluation.
       
  • NUR 628 - Psychopharmacology (3 credits)
    • Therapeutic use of psychotropic medications including biological mechanisms of action, safety issues, advanced treatments, as well as common side effects and adverse reactions, will be explored. The neurobiological components important in understanding symptom etiology and effective treatments of commonly occurring mental health conditions across the lifespan are incorporated.
       
  • NUR 610 - Advanced Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning (4 credits)
    • Students will demonstrate advanced assessment skills to detect and differentiate abnormal findings and to generate potential diagnoses. Through case study analysis and use of simulation with standard patients, students will use selected theoretical frameworks to guide clinical decision-making for patient encounters.

Winter 2nd Year  (11 credits)

  • NUR 676 - Theoretical Perspectives – Mental Health (3 credits)
    • Theoretical concepts related to the health of individuals and families. The focus is on the application of theories to the clinical practice of mental health. Students will examine psychosocial theories that provide explanations for individual and family responses that affect health. (2-0-0-0) Numbers in parentheses indicate the number of classroom-seminar-skills laboratory-clinical laboratory hours per week. 
       
  • NUR 753 - Primary Care for Mental Health Providers (4 credits)
    • Prevention and treatment of health issues encountered by the psych/mental health nurse practitioner will be discussed and analyzed in the context of the interplay between primary care and mental health settings. Integrated behavioral health and primary care models and best practices from an interdisciplinary perspective will be investigated.
       
  • NUR 631 - Human Development Across the Lifespan (3 credits)
    • Exploration of concepts and advanced nursing strategies related to human development across the lifespan. Provides the theoretical basis for advanced nursing practice. Offered winter semester. 
       
  • NUR 792 - Scholarly Inquiry I (1 credit)
    • This course offers an immersive, scholarly experience linking practice and scholarship for the D.N.P. student. Identification of a project is required for the translation of evidence into practice. This course is taken for three consecutive semesters and prepares students to complete the scholarly project in NUR 793

Spring/Summer 2nd Year  (8 credits)

  • NUR 703 - Health Care Informatics (3 credits)
    • This course provides an in-depth introduction to information systems and technologies that support systems of practice in health care. Relevant theories, as well as informatics issues and standards including ethical and privacy concerns will be addressed. Tools and strategies for building and managing information system components will also be incorporated. Offered fall semester. 
       
  • NUR 677 - Mental Health Practicum: Diagnosis and Treatment of Individuals (3 credits)
    • Prepares the advanced psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner student to care for individuals with mental health disorders. Explores the differential diagnoses and etiologies of mental illnesses across the lifespan. Examines selected theories of psychopathology and scientific findings. Integrates analysis and application of selected clinical modalities within a clinical practicum. 
       
  • NUR 710 - DNP Clinical Immersion I: Nurse Practitioner (1 credit)
    • Provides an opportunity for the enactment of the advanced practice role in the implementation of evidence-based strategies in the delivery of health care to the population of interest. Integration of clinical knowledge and skills as the student progresses through the curriculum. 
       
  • NUR 792 - Scholarly Inquiry I (1 credit)
    • This course offers an immersive, scholarly experience linking practice and scholarship for the D.N.P. student. Identification of a project is required for the translation of evidence into practice. This course is taken for three consecutive semesters and prepares students to complete the scholarly project in NUR 793

Fall 3rd Year  (10 credits)

  • NUR 678 - Mental Health Practicum: Group and Family Therapy (3 credits)
    • Exploration and application of advanced clinical nursing strategies in group and family treatment. The focus is on the development, implementation, and evaluation of the comprehensive advanced psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner role with individuals in groups and families experiencing acute or chronic disruptions in mental health across the lifespan. 
       
  • NUR 706 - Telehealth (3 credits)
    • This course prepares the interprofessional team in evidence-based design, telehealth technologies and etiquette to promote quality, safety and efficiency in health care processes, the patient-provider relationship, and population health.
       
  • NUR 711 - DNP Clinical Immersion II: Nurse Practitioner (2 credits)
    • Provides an ongoing opportunity for the enactment of the D.N.P. advanced practice role in the implementation of evidence-based strategies in the delivery of health care to the population of interest. Integration of clinical knowledge and skills as the student progresses through the curriculum.
       
  • NUR 792 - Scholarly Inquiry I (2 credits)
    • This course offers an immersive, scholarly experience linking practice and scholarship for the D.N.P. student. Identification of a project is required for the translation of evidence into practice. This course is taken for three consecutive semesters and prepares students to complete the scholarly project in NUR 793.

Winter 3rd Year (7 credits)

  • NUR 679 - Advanced Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Practicum (4 credits)
    • Students gain independence in managing selected acute and chronic disruptions in mental health using advance mental health treatment strategies (individual, group, and family). The focus is on the continued development, implementation, and evaluation of the comprehensive advanced psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner role in treating mental health disruptions across the lifespan.
       
  • NUR 712 - DNP Clinical Immersion III: Nurse Practitioner (1 credit)
    • Provides a continued opportunity for the enactment of the advanced practice role in the implementation of evidence-based strategies through the delivery of health care to the population of interest. Clinical knowledge and skills are integrated at the proficient level at this point in the curriculum.
       
  • NUR 793 - Scholarly Inquiry II (2 credits)
    • This course offers a culminating project-based immersion experience linking practice and scholarship for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) student. Implementation and completion of the developed D.N.P. project is required to exemplify the proficient application of the D.N.P. essentials.

Clinical Nurse Practitioner hours:

  • NUR 677 (150 hours)
  • NUR 678 (150 hours) 
  • NUR 679 (225 hours)
  • NUR 753 (75 hours)

Total clinical hours: 600

 

DNP Immersion hours:

  • NUR 792 (180 hours)
  • NUR 710 (45 hours)
  • NUR 793 (90 hours)
  • NUR 711 (90 hours)
  • NUR 712 (45 hours)

Total immersion hours:  450

Let’s talk about your academic goals today!

Contact the Office of Student Services to schedule an appointment with an academic advisor: 
kcon@gvsu.edu
(616) 331-7160



Page last modified January 6, 2022