Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing was the first specialty nursing group to develop within the context of graduate education. These early clinical nurse specialists in psychiatric mental health nursing emerged in the late 1950s and were prepared as nurse therapists who could assess mental health problems and provide individual, group, and family therapy. A paradigm shift in the understanding of mental health and psychiatric disorders--namely, the now established neurobiological basis of these conditions has transformed the practice environment and supported the evolution of and need for the PMHNP. PMHNPs who are currently in high demand--use both traditional therapeutic techniques and new pharmacological interventions to manage the mental health problems of their patients.
The UB Psychiatric Mental Health DNP program prepares graduates to provide the full range of primary mental health care services across the lifespan. Their focus is on individuals within the context of family who are at risk for or actually experiencing psychiatric disorders, addictions, and or other mental health problems. Primary mental health care includes the promotion of optimal mental health through assessment, prevention, treatment, and health maintenance in relation to psychiatric, mental health, and addictions disorders. PMHNPs are prepared to diagnose and prescribe various therapeutic interventions including the prescription of psychotropic medications and to monitor the effects of these treatments on their patients. The UB program also has a focus on individual and group counseling techniques that can feasibly be implemented to promote health and treat problems in a variety of healthcare settings. At UB, PMHNP students share some course offerings with Family Nurse Practitioners who also require a family focus for effective practice. PMHNPs are certified by New York State for practice that includes the prescription of psychotropic and other medications used in mental health and addiction treatments. Graduates are also eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Adult PMHNP certification exam. Students can also access addictions nursing specialty courses that can lead to certification by the Addictions Nursing Certification Board (ANCB) as a Certified Addictions Registered Nurse-Advanced Practice (CARN-AP).
Sample Program of Study
BS to DNP Program of Study
Patricia Nisbet, MS, PMHNP-BC
Janice Feigenbaum, PhD, RN
Yu-Ping Chang, PhD, RN
Kathleen A. Vertino, DNP, MS, RN, PMHNP-BC, CARN-AP
Clinical Assistant Professor
Nancy Campbell-Heider, PhD, FNP, NP-C, CARN-AP
Associate Professor and Acting Program Coordinator