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 Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program is designed to prepare the advanced nurse practitioner with leading knowledge and skills in the provision of mental health services across the lifespan for all communities in need.

Graduates are prepared to:

  • Deliver collaborative, culturally competent, family-centered care to diverse patient populations.
  • Address the mental, and social healthcare needs of patients across the lifespan.
  • Handle complex monitoring and ongoing management of intensive therapies.
  • Lead healthcare delivery and quality improvement efforts that positively influence the healthcare outcomes of patients.
  • Graduates are eligible for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification.

Join the Fall 2023 Cohort

Applications are now open for the new DNP - Psychiatric Mental Health
Nurse Practitioner program

Application deadline:  March 1, 2023*
Do you have questions about the program or the application process? Contact Kristin Williams, Office of Student Services Director, at [email protected]

Preference given to those who apply by March 1, 2023.  All other KCON Graduate Program Applications will be considered if seats remain.


Psych/Mental Health Course Progression Plan

Fall Year 1:

  • STA 610 - Applied Statistics for Health Professions: 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 608 - Leadership Roles in Complex SystemsIn this course, students analyze and evaluate theories and research that influence leadership in complex systems. Leadership is explored in complex system domains. Core competencies for leadership effectiveness are examined and evaluated, with application in an experiential field experience.
  • NUR 631 - Human Development Across the Lifespan Exploration of concepts and advanced nursing strategies related to human development across the lifespan. Provides the theoretical basis for advanced nursing practice.

Winter Year 1:

  • NUR 698 - Scholarly Inquiry and Evidence-Based PracticeThis course focuses on the review and synthesis of literature to improve health care practice. Methodologic considerations and variable measurement are explored along with ethical considerations in human subjects. It is in sequence with statistics and quality improvement theory.
  • NUR 605 - Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice This course focuses on the formation and cultivation of a sustainable professional identity. Emphasis is on theoretical underpinnings of the profession, professional communication and Integration of diversity, equity, and inclusion as core to one's professional identity through self-reflection and a commitment to life-long learning.
  • NUR 621 - Clinical Pathophysiology   -  Exploration of concepts and advanced nursing strategies related to human development across the lifespan. Provides the theoretical basis for advanced nursing practice.

Spring/Summer Year 1:

  • NUR 704 - Quality and Management in Healthcare - This course examines advanced pharmacology principles for drug therapy in the management of common clinical conditions experienced by various patient populations. This content will provide a pharmacotherapeutic foundation necessary for advanced practice nurse practitioners to safely and ethically prescribe in clinical APRN nursing practice.
  • NUR 620 - Clinical Pharmacology This course examines advanced pharmacology principles for drug therapy in the management of common clinical conditions experienced by various patient populations. This content will provide a pharmacotherapeutic foundation necessary for advanced practice nurse
    practitioners to safely and ethically prescribe in clinical APRN nursing practice.
  • NUR 625 - Health Issues in Vulnerable PopulationsThis course examines and incorporates epidemiologic methods and theories in the assessment of health disparities in vulnerable populations. Course content will explore issues in health access, disparities in U.S. populations, and examine current trends, societal consequences, and contributory cause(s).

Fall Year 2:

  • NUR 750 - Mental Health for Nurse Practitioners Mental health conditions that are typically identified and often treated in primary care will be explored. Mental health conditions that also require comprehensive primary care management will be examined. Integrated behavioral health and primary care models will be analyzed. Current best practices and evidence-based treatment methods will be investigated.
  • NUR 610 - Advanced Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning 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.
  • NUR 628 - PsychopharmacologyTherapeutic 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. 

Winter Year 2:

  • NUR 676 - Theoretical Perspectives of Mental Health Exploration of theories related to mental health (MH) of individuals and families. Application of clinical practice theories of MH care. Psych/MH nurse practitioner students will examine biopsychosocial theories which provide explanation for human responses that affect health across lifespan. Diagnosis and treatment of complex MH issues will be addressed.
  • NUR 746 - Procedures and Simulations for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses I: th health promotion and risk management content in an advanced practice nursing course. Intentional simulations involving standardized patients focus
    on building foundations for quality advanced nursing practice. Simulated experiences support competency assessment.
  • NUR 709 - DNP Scholarly Project IIn this course, the student begins enactment of advanced practice nursing role through organizational and system leadership theory, knowledge, and skills to improve and transform healthcare for a population of interest. Students are prepared to integrate clinical knowledge and skills, building
    upon earlier learning with application in experiential field experience.
  • NUR 703 - Healthcare InformaticsThis course provides a detailed introduction to information systems and technologies that support systems of practice in healthcare. Relevant theories, as well as issues and standards including ethical and privacy concerns, are addressed. Strategies for building and managing information
    system components will be incorporated, with an opportunity for application in field experience.

Spring/Summer Year 2: 

  • NUR 706 - Telehealth - 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 677 - Mental Health Practicum: Diagnosis and Treatment of Individuals - Prepares the Advanced Psychiatric Mental Health (MH) Nurse Practitioner student to care for individuals with mental health disorders. Explores differential diagnoses and etiologies of mental illnesses across the lifespan. Examines selected theories of psychopathology and scientific findings. Integrates analysis and application of clinical modalities with application in experiential field experience.
  • NUR 710 - DNP Scholarly Project II In this course, the student continues enactment of the advanced practice nursing role through organizational and system leadership knowledge and skills for the improvement and transformation of healthcare for a population of interest. An organizational assessment and literature review integrate clinical knowledge and skills building on theoretical and experiential learning.
  • NUR 747 - Procedures and Simulations for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses II:Concepts of clinical judgment and diagnostic reasoning are expanded in simulated clinical experiences and essential procedures that correlate with the management of common health problem content presented in advanced nursing practice courses. Intentional patient experiences focus on expanding foundations for quality advanced nursing practice. Simulated experiences will support competency assessment.

Fall Year 3:

  • NUR 678 - Mental Health Practicum: Group and Family TherapyPrepares the Advanced Psychiatric Mental Health (MH) Nurse Practitioner student to care for groups and families. Explores etiologies and management of mental illnesses across the lifespan. Examines selected theories of psychopathology and scientific findings. Integrates analysis and application of selected clinical modalities with application in group and family therapy practicum.
  • NUR 607 - Health Care System Policy and Politics  - This course focuses on policy decisions related to organization, financing, and delivery of health care in global communities. It provides a basis for understanding political and social forces that shape nursing practice and health care delivery. Ethical dimensions of public policy will be applied in field experiences.
  • NUR 711 - DNP Scholarly Project IIIStudents continue enactment of the advanced practice nursing role in the development of an evidence-based practice change project. The project plan is developed through the integration of clinical knowledge and skills applied in-field experience in the population of interest with progression through the curriculum towards doctoral project implementation and completion.
  • NUR 748 - Procedures and Simulations for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses III:Concepts of clinical judgment and diagnostic reasoning will be advanced in complex and transitional simulated clinical experiences. Essential procedures correlated with complex health problems in co-requisite advanced nursing courses will be presented. Intentional patient experiences focus on building foundations for quality advanced nursing practice. Simulated experiences will support competency assessment.

Winter Year 3:

  • NUR 679 - Advanced Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Practicum - Students gain independence in managing selected acute and chronic disruptions in mental health using advance mental health treatment strategies (individual, group, and family). Focus is on continued development, implementation and evaluation of the comprehensive Advanced Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner role treating mental health disruptions across the lifespan.
  • NUR 712 - DNP Scholarly Project IV Students conclude enactment of the advanced practice nursing role. Students demonstrate the integration of clinical knowledge, and organizational and system leadership knowledge and skills in the completion of implementation, evaluation, defense, and dissemination of an evidence-based project to improve and transform a healthcare issue in a population of interest.
  • NUR 749 - Procedures and Simulations for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses IV:Concepts of clinical judgment and diagnostic reasoning will be advanced in complex and transitional simulated clinical experiences. Essential procedures correlated with complex health and care transitions content will be implemented. Intentional patient experiences focus on advancing clinical judgment for quality advanced nursing practice. Simulated experiences will support competency assessment.

Clinical Nurse Practitioner hours:

  • NUR 746 (100 hours)
  • NUR 747-749 (50 hours each = 150 hours)
  • NUR 677 (225 hours)
  • NUR 678 (225 hours) 
  • NUR 679 (300 hours)

 

Total clinical hours: 1000

Total clinical and immersion hours: 1300** based on recommended credits sequencing

DNP Immersion hours:

  • NUR 607 (25 hours)
  • NUR 608 (25 hours)
  • NUR 703 (25 hours)
  • NUR 704 (25 hours)
  • NUR 709-712 (200 hours)

 

Total immersion hours:  300


Why GVSU?
  • Recognized excellence – KCON’s nursing programs are accredited through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and are highly respected by employers across the region.
  • GVSU has established partnerships with over 1,700 healthcare organizations.
  • Delivery format is ideal for working adults through online coursework and high-impact, action-focused in-seat classes at the DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health (DCIH) in downtown Grand Rapids.
  • A dedicated full-time placement coordinator manages all clinical and immersion experiences through your program of study.
  • Graduate assistantships, scholarships, financial aid, and Laker Lifetime Learning (L3) commitment available to those who qualify.
  • Top ranked, highly qualified faculty are invested in student success and relevant coursework.
  • State-of-the-art classrooms and Simulation Center provides opportunities for learning experiences that meet the needs of a diverse population of students.

Let’s talk about your academic goals today!

Contact Kristin Williams, Director of the KCON Office of Student Services at [email protected] to schedule an appointment.



Page last modified November 18, 2022