The University of Arizona

UA College of Nursing Launches New Mental Health Specialty Option

By Chad Jeffry, College of Nursing | August 13, 2012

The new family psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner specialty option will meet need for behavioral health professionals, especially in rural areas and among underserved populations.

Nursing students conduct physical assesments on each other as part of their training at the UA College of Nursing. Elisa Bresadola (left) examines a fellow nursing student.
Nursing students conduct physical assesments on each other as part of their training at the UA College of Nursing. Elisa Bresadola (left) examines a fellow nursing student.

The University of Arizona College of Nursing will offer a family psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner, or PMHNP, specialty option beginning in the 2012 fall semester.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than one in four Americans have some degree of mental health disorder, and less than half of them receive treatment.

“There is a critical shortage of mental health providers in America, especially in rural areas and among underserved populations,” said Kate Sheppard, head of the PMHNP specialty option program. An estimated 96 percent of counties across the country have an unmet need for behavioral health professionals.

“By starting the PMHNP certificate program, Arizonans will benefit from additional mental health providers and services,” said Terry Badger. As with all programs through the college, the PMHNP specialty option will serve and fill shortages locally. Students will conduct clinical training at sites throughout Arizona.

The PMHNP specialty option is available to students as a post-masters certificate, or within the college’s doctor of nursing practice academic program. After certification, the family psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner will be able to provide comprehensive assessments based on biological, psychological and social factors; diagnoses; necessary prescriptions; and additional treatments for individuals, families and groups across their lifespan.

Faculty at the UA College of Nursing envision, engage and innovate in education, research and practice to help people of all ages optimize health in the context of major life transitions, illnesses, injuries, symptoms and disabilities. Established in 1957, the college ranks among the top nursing programs in the United States.

Contacts

Media Contact

Chad Jeffry

College of Nursing

520-626-5391

cjeffry@nursing.arizona.edu