The College of Health Professions is on the leading edge in educating behavioral health providers, introducing a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Post Graduate Certificate that will prepare nurse practitioners to offer comprehensive mental health services to patients in primary care settings.
The program was designed partially in response to helping patients impacted by the opioid drug epidemic, says Dr. Melody D. Randle, chair of the MSN Nurse Practitioner program.
“We monitor the pulse of our community to develop programs that meet a growing demand,” she says, noting the college also gathers insights from a mental health advisory board. “We see more mental health facilities being built in the area, as well as increased demand for certified mental health nurse practitioners in the prison sector.”
The PMHNP track is the first all-online nurse practitioner program in the college. To be eligible, nurses must have a master’s degree and be nationally certified licensed family nurse practitioners.
A total of 18 students have been accepted into the program, which begins in the spring of 2018. Demand outstripped capacity for the inaugural class, Dr. Randle says, “and we had to turn some applicants down.”
WilmU will leverage its partnerships with mental health facilities in the communities so students can complete the 500 clinical hours required for the certificate.
“We are very excited about the program and expanding our ability to support the mental health community,” Dr. Randle says. “We’re meeting an important need that will make a positive impact for patients.”