Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program is designed to prepare advanced practice nurses in the assessment and treatment of mentally ill patients over the lifespan.

The underlying assumption is that the psychiatric nurse practitioner is a therapist first, providing holistic care and conducting psychiatric assessments to create a treatment plan that they may include medications, but also use a variety of other common, effective therapeutic modalities.

While being exposed to theoretical content, across the lifespan, students are encouraged to select clinical specialization with children, adolescents, adults, or elderly patients and families. Theory and supervised clinical experience form the foundation for practice with individuals, groups, and families. The program draws on psychodynamic, developmental, neurobiological, and family systems theoretical models. Attention is given to issues of ethnicity, gender, race, and culture.

The program is sensitive and responsive to the complex and diverse needs of a growing population of children, adolescents, adults and elderly in acute, chronic and community settings. Emphasis is placed on the comprehensive assessment of patients and families and the provision of treatment including crisis intervention, medication management, psychotherapy, education, and referral.

Graduates of the program practice in varied and diverse settings including acute care settings, community mental health centers, day treatment programs, substance abuse programs, shelters for women and children, liaison settings, and private practice. Clinical sites are available in the tri-state area and beyond and are arranged with students according to their learning needs. View the list of clinical sites.

Graduates are eligible to take the certifying exam offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and are eligible for licensure in New York State as Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners.

Curriculum

Post BSN Doctor of Nursing Practice

Students will complete approximately two years of coursework to complete degree requirements. Courses will include lecture, clinical, simulation, and final intensive practicum.

The curriculum is provided to specify the academic requirements of the program. Please be advised that this program plan is a sample, and individual plans of study may vary and are reviewed and approved by the program director. Progression in the program is contingent upon meeting academic policies.

 

Request a Sample Academic Program Plan

What is it like to be a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner student at Columbia Nursing?

Columbia Nursing student Javier L. Aget-Torres sits on a park bench.
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Courses

Course ID
Course Name
Credits
Description
NURS8685N
Advanced Clinical Assessment
3

Utilizing a systems approach and a background in basic physical assessment, advanced physical assessment skills are studied. The identification and interpretation of abnormalities in the physical exam are emphasized in depth. The approach to the development of the differential diagnosis is introduced. The goal of this course is to provide the critical thinking necessary for the beginning advanced practice nursing student to analyze history and physical exam data.

NURS8792N
Advanced Health Assessment in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing I
3

The student is introduced to the signs, symptoms and DSM-5 classification of psychiatric disorders across the lifespan. Special emphasis is placed upon the ability of the student to conduct and record a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation to American Psychiatric Association (APA) standards in conjunction with instruction provided in the clinical practicum.

NURS8793N
Advanced Health Assessment in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing II: Clinical Simulation
1

This practicum is designed to provide an opportunity for students to learn how to interview psychiatric patients in order to formulate and record a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation.

NURS8102N
Advanced Pharmacology
3

The goals of this course are to provide students with a knowledge and understanding of the actions of drugs in order to enable them to use therapeutic agents in a rational and responsible manner in patients. Initially, basic principles of pharmacology will be reviewed (from N5375 course), including absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of drugs by the body. Drug-receptor interactions will also be presented and illustrated with appropriate examples. The focus of these lectures will be case-based whenever possible to demonstrate the therapeutic application of these pharmacologic principles and how this translates into efficacy and potential toxicity.

NURS7001N
Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan I
3

Part one of two. In this course we will examine the normal physiological function of organ systems, the mechanisms for the maintenance of health, and the pathophysiological alterations in body function that lead to disease. Each class will focus on a specific physiologic process or organ system. We will pay particular focus to diseases that commonly occur across the lifespan, examining common etiologies, pathogenic mechanisms, clinical manifestations, and common treatments of each.

NURS7002N
Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan II
3

Part two of two. In this course we will examine the normal physiological function of organ systems, the mechanisms for the maintenance of health, and the pathophysiological alterations in body function that lead to disease. Each class will focus on a specific physiologic process or organ system. We will pay particular focus to diseases that commonly occur across the lifespan, examining common etiologies, pathogenic mechanisms, clinical manifestations, and common treatments of each.

NURS8594N
Advanced Practice in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing I
4

This course is designed to integrate foundation skills and strengthen the student's clinical practice in a variety of psychiatric mental health settings. The practicum is the first of two consecutive courses. Expectations of the clinical experience are direct patient contact (assessment, diagnosis, and treatment including medication management) and therapeutic interaction with staff, families, and systems. The student will develop a knowledge base and skills essential to the role of the advanced practice psychiatric nurse practitioner. Details of the practicum will be coordinated with the agency by faculty in line with courses objectives, agency objectives, and student education goals.

NURS8595N
Advanced Practice in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing II
4

This course is designed to advance the student's clinical practice with patients in a variety of psychiatric mental health settings.  The practicum is the second of two consecutive courses. Expectations of this clinical experience are direct patient contact, therapeutic interaction with staff, families, and systems, as well as medication management. The student will function in the role of the advanced practice psychiatric nurse practitioner.  Details of the practicum will be coordinated with the student, preceptor/agency, and faculty based upon course objectives, clinical objectives, and student educational goals.

NURS8562N
Clinical Practice and Supervision with Families
2

This clinical practice course is designed for students to develop clinical skills in family therapy based on Structural, Bowenian and Multicontextual Family Therapy models. It consists of clinical practice and supervision.

NURS9730N
DNP Intensive Practicum
5 – 6

The DNP intensive practicum focuses on the delivery of fully accountable scope, health care across the continuum of sites and patient needs. This practicum requires students apply knowledge of:

1) diagnosis and management of ambulatory patients with complex diagnoses and comorbid conditions in the context of family, community and culture,

2) diagnosis and management of patients requiring interventions available in acute care settings, and

3) diagnosis and management of patients who are unable to function independently due to age alterations and/or deficits in mental or physical status, developmental, perceptual and physical disability and chronic, degenerative illness.

Sites include hospital based clinics, ambulatory centers, private offices, emergency rooms, walk-in clinics and acute/critical care units, labor and delivery suites in the hospital facilities and settings which provide hospice care, supportive care, home care, nursing home care, rehabilitative care, technologically dependent care and assisted living services. The DNP student will demonstrate an integration of comprehensive assessment, advanced differential diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and evaluation of care for patients and synthesis of evidence-based practice with patients with a variety of conditions. In this context, the DNP student will organize and develop a professional portfolio.

NURS9735N
DNP Portfolio Advisement
3

The DNP residency and portfolio is designed to demonstrate that the DNP graduate possesses the advanced knowledge of clinical management to provide high quality care. The components of the residency are scholarly activities across settings combined with documented outcomes achieved in multiple sites of care. The DNP resident, in varied settings, assumes an expanded scope of practice for a panel of patients with the principles of continuity based care as paramount. Gaps in clinical experience opportunities are identified at regularly scheduled meetings with the advisor and arrangements are made to enhance the practicum as indicated.

NURS9116N
Fundamentals of Comprehensive Care Across the Lifespan I: Seminar (Psychiatric-Mental Health)
1

Using standardized case scenarios that represent common acute and chronic disease processes that are seen across the lifespan and across settings, students will work in groups to discuss the case, identify factors that impact the case, analyze clinical decision-making, and apply best evidence.

NURS6000N
Global Health Experiences
0 – 8

This global health experience is designed to diversify the students’ knowledge base on healthcare, health policy, cultural values/beliefs, political systems, infrastructure and the clinical arena abroad. Provides a direct orientation to culture, diversity and healthcare.

NURS8588N
Group Theory
2

This seminar course is designed to increase the student's understanding of the key concepts, the dynamics, and development of psychotherapy groups. Students are encouraged to explore the theoretical issues inherent in group practice and their relationship to psychiatric nursing theory and practice. Finally, students will address the developmental needs of clients as they relate to the group experience.

NURS7005N
Health and Social Policy in the Context of Practice
3

This core course examines contextual contributors to health status and the current social, legal, and political determinants of healthcare systems, emphasizing the U.S. system. Issues are explored to understand their impact on current and future delivery of health care, in particular on advanced practice nursing. The class focuses on how to bring the professional values of nursing to bear in policy debate and how nurses partner in the policy process to improve health outcomes of populations and quality of the healthcare delivery system.

NURS9481N
Health Policy and Advocacy
2

The purpose of this course is to critically analyze healthcare policy in the US. Included is a focus on the advanced practice nurse role in shaping and influencing policy through advocacy and leadership to improve patient outcomes.

NURS7003N
Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
3

This course is designed to provide the student with a systematic approach to the delivery of health promotion and disease prevention in primary health care to individuals, families, communities, and aggregate populations.

NURS9290N
Incorporating Genetics and Genomics in Advanced Practice Nursing
3

This course is intended to provide a strong foundation in the concepts of genetics and clinical applicability of genomic concepts commonly seen in advance practice nurses’ clinical practice. Both classical Mendelian and molecular genetics will be examined, in order to provide a knowledge base that will enable the advanced practice nurse to integrate genetic and genomic knowledge into clinical practice. Using a case discussion approach, clinical issues of genetics testing, genetic exceptionalism, individualized risk assessments and predictions are explored throughout their life span.

NURS9412N
Informatics for Practice
3

This course is designed to provide the student with the knowledge and skills regarding the uses of information technology to support evidence-based practice. The course will provide an overview of informatics topics of most relevance to evidence-based practice including: computer systems and system development; standardized clinical terminology; informatics standards; electronic health records; retrieval and critical analysis of digital data, information, and knowledge; clinical decision making; decision support; decision analysis; shared decision making; and computer aided instruction.

NURS6680N
Introduction to Addictive Behaviors
2 – 3

This foundational course provides an understanding of addictive behaviors. Current theories regarding the development of addiction will be identified. Evaluation and assessment skills will be taught based on these theoretical models. Physiological, behavioral, emotional, and societal responses to addiction will be explored. Implications for nursing research are considered.

NURS7000N
Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice
3

This course is designed for graduate nurses to provide them with the skills to understand and utilize research evidence in decisions about clinical practice. The course is designed to help graduate nurses articulate relevant practice-based questions, search the literature to identify relevant evidence, evaluate the quality of research on which the evidence is based, and discuss the application of the evidence in clinical practice to improve quality of care.

NURS6940N
Management and Advanced Practice Nursing
1

This course focuses on advanced practice issues not usually familiar to the average nurse. It explores the dimensions of independent advanced practice nursing (APN) in our challenging and constantly changing health care environment. Legal issues, regulation, reimbursement, practice management concerns, and development of a comprehensive view of the APN’s role in the current health care environment are stressed.

NURS9405N
Practice Leadership and Quality
3

This course is designed to provide the student with the knowledge and skills necessary to serve as a member and lead interdisciplinary groups in organizational assessment to identify systems issues and facilitate organization-wide changes in practice delivery utilizing quality improvement strategies. Course content focusses on understanding systems concepts and thinking to achieve results in complex health care delivery systems. Frameworks, approaches, and tools that foster critical thinking are examined as mechanisms to formulate vital questions, gather and assess relevant information, develop well-reasoned conclusions, test conclusions against relevant standards, compare conclusions with alternative systems of thought, and communicate effectively throughout the process.

NURS9672N
Principles of Epidemiology and Environmental Health
3

 

This course addresses the application of epidemiology and environmental approaches to inform the clinical practice of health care of individuals. An understanding of health sciences based on groups of people, including environmental health, occupational health, and some aspects of genetics, can orient the practitioner with an individual patient. These external influences are modified through social, cultural, and behavioral factors. Addressing these factors should help to anticipate and improve patient outcomes.

NURS8119N
Psychopharmacology for the Advanced Practice Nurse
3

This course is designed to build upon prior pharmacologic study to address advanced concepts in the clinical management of psychiatric symptoms. Students will critically analyze psychotropic interventions including but not limited to mechanisms of action, indications of use, dosing, side effects, drug-drug interactions, contraindications, and patient education. The use of psychotropic agents and complementary alternative medicine in relation to possible differential diagnoses is considered. Appropriate treatment across the patient lifespan, concurrent pathophysiology, chronic and acute medical conditions, multicultural influences, political and socioeconomic circumstances are also addressed.

NURS6593N
Psychotherapy: Theories and Techniques
2

This course is designed to present major theoretical systems of psychotherapy, with a special emphasis on how clients in therapy change and how to conceptualize clients' presenting concerns from theoretical points of view. Issues related to application of theory in practice, especially those related to individual/cultural diversity will be addressed and emphasized.

NURS9150N
Scholarly Writing and Dissemination I
1

This course is the first of two designed to introduce students to scholarly writing and dissemination for clinicians. The course provides students with practical information, exercises, and resources for successful clinical manuscript preparation and clinical conference poster and oral presentation. The course introduces students to fundamental skills for scholarly writing including familiarity with professional journals and conferences, utilization of electronic resources for literature searches and citation management, writing process and organizational skills, identification of predatory journal and conference enterprises, and academic integrity and the continuum of plagiarism. The course culminates in an annotated bibliography on a topic of the student’s choosing that allows for the synthesis and application of the skills and resources developed over the course. In conjunction with part two of the course, students are prepared for a lifelong approach to integrating scholarship into clinical practice.

NURS9151N
Scholarly Writing and Dissemination II
1

Continuation of N9150.

NURS8576N
Seminar in Advanced Practice in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing I
1

This course will introduce the student to the epistemology and scholarship of practice and to lifelong learning. Using the DNP Competencies in Comprehensive Care as the framework, students will analyze clinical decision-making and utilization of evidence for best clinical practices in a variety of mental health settings. Individual plans for guided study will be mapped for each student. Clinical review and discussion of interesting, complex cases from the practice environment will facilitate the students’ development of the knowledge base and skills essential to the role of the psychiatric nurse practitioner.

NURS8577N
Seminar in Advanced Practice in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing II
1

This course is a continuation of Seminar I. Using the DNP Competencies in Comprehensive Care as the framework, students will analyze clinical decision-making and utilization of evidence for best clinical practices in a variety of mental health settings. Clinical appraisal and critique of challenging cases from the practice environment will facilitate the students’ application of the knowledge base and skills essential to the role of the psychiatric nurse practitioner.

NURS8571N
Seminar in Family Therapy and Technique
2

This course focuses on an integrated systems approach, including Structural, Bowenian, and the Multicontextual Frameworks and is designed to assist the student in integrating the theoretical and practical aspects of the systems approach to treating families. The course will review the basic issues involved in psychiatric diagnosis and abnormal psychopathology from a systems perspective. Videotape review, didactic materials, class presentation, and discussion will provide a comprehensive theoretical basis for the understanding and development of more advanced clinical skills.

NURS8592N
Supervision and Practice in Group Psychotherapy
2

The student participates as a leader or co-leader in a psychotherapeutic group of 10-12 sessions. Weekly clinical supervision is focused on group dynamics and development.

NURS8589N
Supervision and Practice in Individual Psychotherapy
3

One to two patients are assigned according to the student's needs for a learning experience. Students arrange for clinical contact with the assigned patients at least weekly and more often if required. The student is responsible for assessing the biophysical, psychosocial, cultural, cognitive, and spiritual dimensions of the patients and planning appropriate interventions.

NURS9910N
Translation and Synthesis of Evidence for Optimal Outcomes
3

This course is designed to provide the tools for the doctorally prepared nurse to evaluate, translate and integrate published research results into clinical practice. During the course, students will learn how to conceptualize clinical practice problems and transform them into answerable clinical research questions, how to search for the best clinical evidence, and how to assess clinical evidence using basic epidemiological, biostatistical and scientific principles. The course will culminate in a systematic review or meta-analysis of a body of research relevant to advanced practice nursing.