College of Nursing program to address increased need for clinicians
A mental health and addiction crisis has plagued the nation in recent years, requiring an influx of highly trained clinicians. To that end, the University of Rhode Island’s College of Nursing will introduce a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner master’s program in the fall.
The program’s purpose is to educate psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners capable of providing psychiatric care to individuals and families in a variety of health care settings. Partially funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the program will make students eligible to take the American Nurses Credentialing Center certification exam.
The program, based at the Rhode Island Nursing Education Center in Providence, will offer such classes as psychiatric assessment and diagnosis, neuro-psychopharmacology and integrated treatment for older adults, along with clinical practice in local hospitals, community health centers and private practices. Additionally, the new graduate-level concentration will give students extra course work in the pharmaco-therapeutics of psychotropic medications, according to Denise Coppa, associate dean of the College of Nursing graduate programs.
“We have a huge mental health and addiction crisis across the country,” Coppa said. “We need more people who are clinically trained and can handle working with mental health patients. The students will come out of the program certified to deliver mental health counseling and therapy, and will be licensed to prescribe psychotropic medications.”
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