This track prepares nurse practitioners to care for individuals across the life span who have mental health disorders.
Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs) typically practice in primary care settings, such as:
- Private practices
- Mental health institutions
- Community health centers
- 78 credits
- 1,000 hours of practicum experience
- Average completion time: 5 years
- Online courses
- Minimum of 7 on-campus immersions. The average is 1 per semester from your 5th - 12th semesters. Students participate in the Culminating Objective Structured Clinical Evaluations or OSCEs
- Faculty will make site visits each semester to evaluate students in their practicum settings
- DNP project
At the completion of the program, students are eligible to take the national certification exam, which, if passed, makes them eligible for advanced practice licensure.
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NURS 561: Information Technology & Data Management - 3 credits
This course explores the many uses of information technology and data management. The course provides learners with the knowledge and skills in information and healthcare technology needed to enhance communication and inter-professional collaboration in the current healthcare environment. The process of locating, accessing, and analyzing information and data is applied to advanced practice roles, enhancing patient safety, quality and outcomes, and improving population health.
NURS 562: Theoretical Foundations for Healthcare Improvement – 3 credits
This course provides a theoretical orientation to become change agents in a variety of healthcare settings and diverse practice populations. The online master’s degree in nursing course provides learners with a foundation in theories significant to nursing practice such as complex adaptive systems, organizational and change theory, leadership and team-building models, and quality improvement and care models needed to assess, design, plan, implement, and evaluate a quality improvement project to promote patient-centered care and improve program outcomes.
NURS 563: Evidence-Based Practice for Quality & Safety - 3 credits
This course provides learners with a theoretical and practical foundation for identifying and critically appraising evidence from qualitative and quantitative research traditions. The emphasis is on the examination of the essential elements of evidence-based-practice, including the formulation of answerable questions to address quality improvement and safety in a variety of advance practice roles and the systematic search for research evidence that can be used to answer researchable questions.
NURS 564: Contemporary Healthcare Environment – 3 credits
This course explores the ethical and legal principles of healthcare and their impact on accessible, affordable, and quality care. This course provides learners with a framework for discussing ethical and legal issues with an emphasis on the ethical delivery of care to individuals, families, and populations. The scope and standards of advanced nursing roles will be examined along with current issues and policies that address health care disparities, health care organizations, financing, and quality. Strategies for analyzing and influencing public, professional, and institutional policies related to health care and its delivery will be considered.
NURS 565: Clinical Prevention for Diverse Populations – 3 credits
The focus of this course is on the development of health promotion and disease prevention programs for diverse groups and populations. Selected concepts of epidemiology, broad determinants of health, population health, clinical prevention and cultural competence will be examined as they relate to the design and delivery of equitable clinical prevention and health promotion interventions and/or services to individuals, families, communities, and aggregates/clinical populations.
NURS 523: Advanced Pathophysiology - 3 credits
This course seeks to assist learners to understand the cellular pathophysiological basis of disease. The content emphasizes cellular, genetic, and biochemical processes. Pathophysiological and physiological concepts form the basis for critical thinking and decision making when assessing and treating individuals with various disease processes.
NURS 524: Advanced Pharmacology - 3 credits
The course is designed to prepare the learner for an advanced practice role with prescriptive authority. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic principles will be applied to the pharmacotherapeutic treatment of disease. Medications will be studied according to therapeutic categories and drug classes within the framework of organ-based pathophysiologic disease state processes. Emphasis will be placed on the medications that are commonly used (top 200 drugs) in primary care settings with special attention given to evidence-based medication selection, patient education, and medication monitoring. Prerequisite: NURS 523
NURS 670: Psychopharmacology - 3 credits
This course focuses on the principles and theories of psychopharmacology. Epigenetics, genetics, neurochemical communication, and circuits in psychopharmacology are explored. The course examines the actions and uses of specific psychotropic medication, the required monitoring, and the management of behavior and mental illness. Prerequisites: NURS 523 and NURS 524
NURS 600: Advanced Health Assessment - 3 credits
This course is designed to extend and refine the assessment skills of the Registered Nurse in preparation for an advanced clinical practice role. The student will learn to perform physical, developmental, mental, emotional, cultural, social, and family assessments. Students will review anatomy and physiology related to each biological system being studied. The course emphasizes in-depth techniques for assessing each body system in individuals throughout the life span. Lectures will focus on the use of a variety of health assessment techniques, including history taking skills, physical assessment, and other diagnostic assessment tools. Application of diagnostic reasoning and patient education to the assessment process will be included in the content. Two, 2-day, on-campus immersions required. Prerequisites: NURS 523 and NURS 524 Corequisite: NURS 6XX Adv Health Assessment Practicum
NURS 601: Advanced Health Assessment Practicum - 1 credit
This course is the practicum course paired with NURS 600 Advanced Health Assessment. The focus is on the practice of advanced assessment skills within a primary care setting. Students must complete 60 clinical hours in an approved clinical setting while supervised by a nurse practitioner, physician or physician assistant (unless in a state that requires the preceptor to be either an NP or MD). Co-requisite: NURS 600
NURS 652M: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Concepts I - 3 credits
This course is designed as an introduction to advanced practice psychiatric-mental health nursing with emphasis on application of concepts to practice. The scope of practice and standards of the psychiatric nurse practitioner are analyzed. Major emphasis is placed on building a therapeutic relationship. Assessing and diagnosing major psychiatric disorders, mental health promotion/prevention strategies, and diagnostic decision-making are stressed (differential diagnosis). Risk assessments, formulating diagnoses using DSM 5, and clinical interventions considering variations across the lifespan are emphasized. Selected theories of interpersonal psychotherapy, human development, recovery, trauma-informed care are analyzed. The biological bases of psychosocial behavior and their implications in psychiatric care are explored. One, 2-day, on-campus immersion required. Prerequisites: NURS 523, NURS 524, NURS 600
NURS 653M: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Concepts II - 3 credits
The focus of this course is on the diagnosis and management of acute and chronic mental health issues. Emphasis is on individual and group psychotherapy across the lifespan. Development of therapeutic relationships and interpersonal processes in psychotherapy are examined. Continued development of therapeutic relationships, self-awareness, and skill in assessment, diagnosis, and care formulation are emphasized. One, 2-day, on-campus immersion required. Prerequisite: NURS 652M Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Concepts I
NURS 654M: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Concepts III - 3 credits
This course will examine various theories of care for vulnerable populations across the lifespan suffering from mental and emotional distress, including co-occurring disorders. The most common psychiatric disorders within these populations as well as various psychotherapeutic approaches and the most common psychiatric medications used to manage the illnesses to restore health will be examined. One, 2-day, on-campus immersion required. Prerequisite: NURS 652M Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Concepts I
NURS 661M: Psychiatric Mental Health Practicum I - 1-3 credits
This clinical course is paired with the didactic course Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Concepts I. Emphasis is on utilizing the theories, concepts, and skills necessary to assess and diagnose acute and chronic psychiatric disorders and intervene using evidenced-based approaches.
NURS 662M: Psychiatric Mental Health Practicum II - 1-4 credits
This clinical course is paired with the didactic course Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Concepts II. Emphasis is on the application of treatment interventions including medication management and individual and group psychotherapy for the adult clients with acute, chronic, and co-occurring disorders.
NURS 663M: Psychiatric Mental Health Practicum III - 1-4 credits
This clinical course is paired with the didactic course Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Concepts III. Emphasis is on the application of treatment interventions including medication management and individual and group psychotherapy for the child/adolescent and elderly client with acute, chronic, and co-occurring disorders.
NURS 705: Introduction to the DNP Role - 1 credit
This on-campus “immersion” must be completed by all DNP students during the first semester of enrollment in DNP-level courses. This course serves as the orientation to the DNP role. The Gonzaga mission, along with Jesuit values and principles are discovered and experienced. The DNP project is described and potential projects are delineated. Available resources are identified and explored.
Prerequisite: NURS 563. Concurrent: NURS 711.
NURS 708: Inferential Statistics (if not taken within previous 5 years) - 3 credits
The purpose of this course is to review statistical concepts such as descriptive statistics, probability distributions (binomial and normal), sampling distributions, inferences (point estimates and confidence intervals), hypotheses testing (one-sample tests, two-sample tests), Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), as well as simple linear regression and multiple regression analysis. The course emphasizes the application of statistical concepts to analyze research for best available evidence to support quality nursing practice. The course also provides students with hands-on experience in using statistical software (Mega Stat) to assist in making effective decisions.
NURS 711: Quality Improvement and Leadership in Healthcare - 3 credits
This course emphasizes strategic planning and management, systems and organizational theories, quality improvement, and information management. It acquaints students with the process, tools and techniques of strategic planning that will enable them to manage patient populations and to contribute effectively to strategic thinking and action in health systems. The course focuses on leadership and the process of health care delivery from a systems perspective, emphasizing continuous process improvement as crucial to achieving high quality outcomes. Prerequisite: NURS 563. Concurrent: NURS 705.
NURS 712: Translational Research in Advanced Practice - 3 credits
This course will address the DNP role in translational research with emphasis on the examination of knowledge transformation. The course includes conducting a systematic search for research evidence to answer researchable questions and the synthesis of evidence for knowledge translation across a body of research in both qualitative and quantitative traditions. Prerequisite: NURS 563. Prerequisite or Concurrent: NURS 705 and 711
NURS 713: Population Health Outcomes - 3 credits
This course will explore utilization of information technology and data management for measuring and attaining population health outcomes. The DNP student will be prepared to use epidemiological data to identify the causes of disease and to evaluate health services for quality, safety and efficacy. Prerequisites: NURS 563, 705, 711, 712
NURS 714: Theoretical Underpinnings of Advanced Practice - 3 credits
This course provides an overview of both general theoretical knowledge and specific theoretical perspectives. The emphasis is on the application of frameworks for advanced nursing roles such as nurse clinician and leader. The course particularly emphasizes selecting, analyzing, and applying nursing and integrative middle-range theories to efforts to improve population health and health care delivery. Prerequisites: NURS 563. Prerequisite or concurrent: NURS 705, 711.
NURS 715: Health Policy, Ethics and Advocacy - 3 credits
This course focuses on the leadership role of the DNP in influencing health policy makers and health policy development emphasizing interprofessional collaboration. The effect of nursing scholarship on health policy and advocacy will be explored. The regulatory and ethical environments that impact DNP practice are examined considering Ignatian values and social justice principles. Strategies for designing and leading the implementation of public, professional, and institutional polices relating to local, regional, national, and international health care and its delivery are considered.
NURS 760: DNP Project Readiness - On-Campus Immersion - 3 credits
This course will serve as the vehicle to ensure readiness for beginning the DNP project and practicum courses. Prerequisite NURS 705, 711, 712, Prerequisite or Concurrent: NURS 708 or equivalent.
NURS 761: DNP Project Seminar I - 2 credits
This is the first of a series of three seminars that provide the DNP student with mentored opportunities to identify a practice issue and develop, implement, evaluate, and disseminate an independent, analytic DNP project focusing on problems of advanced nursing practice within specific populations. Each seminar course builds on the knowledge and practice expertise of the DNP student, culminating in the completion of a final DNP project that demonstrates clinical scholarship. The range of projects will be varied as they related to the DNP student’s unique area of nursing (e.g., quality improvement, policy analysis, designing and using databases, designing and evaluating new models of care, collaboration with researchers to answer clinical questions, program development/implementation/evaluation. Prerequisites: NURS 700 Corequisite: NURS 701.
NURS 762: DNP Project Seminar II - 1 credit
During this course, the student implements the DNP project specific to a population of interest within a designated practice setting. Change management principles, leadership skills and interprofessional collaboration are emphasized. The student applies and integrates elements of the DNP Essentials. Prerequisites: NURS 761 and 701, Corequisite: NURS 702.
NURS 763: DNP Project Seminar III - 1 credit
In this final seminar course, the student will present the final defense of his or her DNP project through an oral presentation that addresses the topic of interest, the development and implementation of the project, how it addressed the needs of a selected population, and an evaluation of the project and outcomes. Prerequisites: NURS 762 and 702, Corequisite: NURS 703.
NURS 701: DNP Practicum I - 1 - 3 credits
This practicum course provides the student an opportunity to work within a practice setting to begin to design his or her DNP project. The student also begins to establish the expanded advanced nursing DNP role focusing on a population of interest. The student is required to submit an individualized practicum proposal and objectives for the practicum experience.
Prerequisites: NURS 760, Corequisite: NURS 761.
NURS 702: DNP Practicum II - 1 - 3 credits
This practicum course provides the student an opportunity to work within a practice setting to implement his or her scholarly project. Emphasis is on intra- and interprofessional collaboration, demonstrating competency in the DNP Essentials, teamwork, and project management. The student is required to submit an individualized practicum proposal and objectives for the practicum experience. Prerequisites: NURS 761 and 701, Corequisite: NURS 762
NURS 703: DNP Practicum III - 1 - 3 credits
The practicum course focuses on evaluating and disseminating the results of the student’s DNP project. The student continues to focus on the advanced nursing DNP role for a population of interest. The student is required to submit an individualized practicum proposal and objectives for the practicum experience. Prerequisites: NURS 762 and 702, Corequisite: NURS 763.
Program information is subject to change.