MSN - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Our online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Program will prepare you to:

  • Provide the services that comprise primary mental health care in diverse settings with a variety of clients/patients
  • Provide clinical and professional leadership
  • Facilitate system improvements
  • Clinical practice focuses on persons of all ages with diagnosed psychiatric disorders and individuals, families, or populations at risk for mental illness.

Program facts:

  • 47 Credits
  • 660 Clinical Hours
  • Completion Time: 10 Semesters
  • Flexible Online Courses
  • 5 On-campus Immersions 

Questions?
Contact: 

Amy Smith
Call or Text (509) 313-6243 or (866) 380-5323
Email: smitha2@gonzaga.edu 

Courses

MSN Core Courses – 15 Credits

Courses are 8 weeks in length

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 interprofessional 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 and 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.

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Core Courses - 13 credits

Courses are 16 weeks in length

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. Prerequisites: NURS 523

NURS 670 – Psychopharmacology - 3 credits

The Psychopharmacology course is designed to prepare nurse practitioner students in the practice of prescribing psychiatric medications. The course reviews the principles and theories of psychopharmacology, the neurochemical communication circuit, and the effects of various psychotropic drugs. The course examines the indications and actions of specific psychotropic medications in the management of the behavioral effect of mental illness. Recommended and required monitoring of medication effects and adverse effects will be emphasized. Prerequisites: NURS 523 and NURS 524

NURS 600 – Health Assessment: Advanced Nursing Practice – 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. Online master’s degree in nursing 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. This course incorporates approximately 13 hours of supervised laboratory experience and 60 hours of precepted clinical experience. Laboratory and clinical components of the course focus on helping the student to develop communication, observation, and psychomotor skills and to document history and physical examination findings. Satisfactory progress in the clinical setting is required to pass the course. Two, 2-day, on-campus immersions required. Prerequisites: NURS 523 and NURS 524

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). Corequisite: NURS 600

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Specialty Courses - 9 credits

Courses are each 16 weeks in length

NURS 652M – Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Concepts – 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 INURS 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 653M Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Concepts

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Practicum Courses - 10 credits

Courses are each 16 weeks in length

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 - 1-3 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 683M – Psychiatric Mental Health Practicum Extension - 1-3 credits
May be repeated as many times as needed.

This course is an independent clinical course. It is not paired with a didactic course. It is designed to allow Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner students to continue to apply concepts of Advanced Practice Nursing in semesters when they are not enrolled in NP specialty didactic courses. Students will complete variable clinical clock hours in approved clinical settings while supervised by a nurse practitioner, physician, or physician’s assistant (unless in a state that requires the preceptor to be either a physician or NP). The focus of this clinical experience is on the continuing development and refinement of treatment interventions including medication management and individual and group psychotherapy for any population. One, 2-day, on-campus immersion required.

On-campus Immersions

5 On-Campus Immersions:

You are required to participate in a minimum of 5 on-campus immersions throughout their program. The timing of immersions is dependent on your course progression plan.  You will have at least three site visits from a clinical faculty during practicum courses. Additional site visits are arranged as needed.
During on-campus immersions, you will participate in Culminating Observed Structured Clinical Evaluations or OSCEs – a cornerstone for student success. In these structured scenarios, you will obtain a focused history and complete a focused exam of a scripted model patient, identify differential diagnoses and the most likely diagnosis, and determine a plan of care based on the most likely diagnosis. The OSCEs are led by practicing faculty who bring real-world scenarios and practical advice to life for the student.

Program information is subject to change.