Advanced Practice Nursing, Psychiatric/ Mental Health Lifespan Nurse Practitioner Specialty

The Psychiatric/Mental Health Lifespan advanced practice nursing specialty prepares you to deliver advanced primary mental health care across the lifespan, in accordance with American Nursing Association's scope and standards of psychiatric and mental health nursing.

School of Nursing Programs Offering the Psychiatric/Mental Health Lifespan Specialty

With a collaborative model for providing holistic care, this specialty focuses on providing comprehensive physical and psychosocial assessment, diagnostic reasoning /differential diagnosis, psychotherapeutic interventions, and medication management of psychiatric disorders, in addition to health maintenance, including health promotion, risk analysis, and disease prevention.

The Psychiatric/Mental Health NP specialty option prepares you to work in settings that include inpatient and emergency psychiatric services, outpatient mental health clinics, community mental health centers, psychiatric home care, and programs with a substance abuse focus.

Core Competencies Developed

Knowledge and skills preparation include:

  • Health promotion and disease prevention (epidemiology/risk analysis and control, genetics, risk reduction, health behavior guidelines, biological considerations, growth and development, screening tests, wellness assessment)
  • Assessment of acute and chronic illness (epidemiology/disease risk and control, anatomy and pathophysiology, psychopathology, diagnostic reasoning – differential diagnoses, health assessment)
  • Clinical management (standards of practice, clinical guidelines, pharmacotherapeutics, clinical therapeutics, clinical decision-making, patient safety, application of theoretical models, and documentation)
  • Provide treatment (prescriptive practice of psychotropic medications, individual, group and family psychotherapy, crisis intervention, case management, consultation)
  • Practitioner-patient relationship (cultural and spiritual awareness, communication, teaching/coaching, patient advocacy)
  • Professional issues (health care/public policy, ethical standards, scope of advanced practice nursing, access to care, coordination of services, scholarly activities)
  • Research (research process, research utilization/evidence-based practice, continuous process improvement,outcomes evaluation, peer review)

Certification for the Psychiatric/Mental Health Lifespan NP Specialty

Upon completion of this course of study, graduates from the NP track are eligible to take the lifespan focused  Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) certification exam given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Psychiatric & Mental Health Specialty Coordinator: Susan Stevens, DNP, MS, MEd, PMHNP-BC

Additional resources for becoming an advanced practice Psychiatric & Mental Health nurse

American Psychiatric Nurses Association

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