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Ursuline College to offer mental health program

June 12, 2017 | By Karen Farkas

In response to the growing need for mental health care providers, Ursuline College is launching a post-master’s degree Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification program in August.

Open to certified nurse practitioners, the three-semester program prepares students to provide clinical management to patients with coexisting medical and mental illnesses. A minimum of one year of experience working as a family nurse practitioner is required for admission.

“For a number of different reasons, the demand for mental health care is growing dramatically in the United States,” Patricia Sharpnack, dean of Ursuline’s Breen School of Nursing, said in a statement. She said millions of Americans gained coverage – including mental health care coverage – under the Affordable Care Act. The opioid crisis and the surge in need for psychiatric care for veterans are also straining health systems.

Sharpnack, president of the Ohio Board of Nursing, said the college spent more than a year developing a program with input from several mental health practitioners.

Students in the new program will be prepared to effectively care for patients with complex psychiatric and physical health needs. This program will also provide nurse practitioners with the advanced psychiatric skills of therapy, psychiatric medication prescription, and clinical management needed to treat underserved patients with mental illness.

Advanced practice psychiatric nurses work in settings such as acute care, outpatient clinics, schools, prisons, health homes and behavioral health homes, long term care, and private practice. They conduct assessments and provide treatment, including therapy and medication prescription and management.

The Ursuline program will be offered year round. Students will complete 500 clinical hours working with patients.

Interested nurse practitioners are encouraged to apply at ursuline.edu/apply. Application fees are waived through June.

cleveland.com

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