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Per Diem- Advanced Practice Specialist
NP and PA Positions - Telemedicine - Night Shift - Full time...
Mental Health Nurse Practitioner make 300K/ year, Partnershi...
Dr Yacoub Inc
Los Angeles, CA•Remote
Psychiatric Physician Assistant or NP (fully remote)
newPsych Nurse Practitioner
Skilled Physicians Group
Los Angeles, CA
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner - California
California Licensed Doctor/Physician Assistant/Nurse Practit...
EzCare Medical Clinic
San Francisco, CA•Remote
Nursing job: PMHNP Opening in San Diego, CA
Physician&Advanced Practice Specialist-GoStaffing
newPsychiatric Nurse Practitioner - California (100% Remote Opp...
Nursing job: PMHNP Opening Just North of Sacramento, CA
Physician&Advanced Practice Specialist-GoStaffing
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Advanced Practice and Public Health Nurse Certification
Senator Hill recently introduced Senate Bill 1480. The bill would, if approved, make changes to the Public Health Nurse (PHN) fees that are currently set forth in Business and Professions Code section 2815(o). At the Board of Registered Nursing public Board meeting held on March 29, 2018, the Board voted to enforce the $500 minimum statutory fee based on that which was previously approved by the Legislature. Please be advised that the proposed statutory fee changes will not become effective until January 1, 2019 if the bill is approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor. The language regarding the proposed fee changes is below. You are urged to follow the bill as it makes its way through the various legislative committees.
Introduced by Senator Hill
February 16, 2018
SEC. 5. Section 2816 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:
The nonrefundable fee to be paid by a registered nurse for an evaluation of his or her qualifications to use the title “public health nurse” shall be equal to the fees set out in subdivision (o) of Section 2815not be less than three hundred dollars ($300) or more than one thousand dollars ($1,000). The fee to be paid upon the application for renewal of the certificate to practice as a public health nurse shall be fixed by the board at notnot be less than one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125) and not more than five hundred dollars ($500). The penalty fee for failure to renew a certificate to practice as a public health nurse within the prescribed time shall be 50 percent of the renewal fee in effect on the date of renewal of the certificate, but not less than sixty-two dollars and fifty cents ($62.50), and not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250). All fees payable under this section shall be collected by and paid to the Board of Registered Nursing Fund. It is the intention of the Legislature that the costs of carrying out the purposes of this article shall be covered by the revenue collected pursuant to this section. The board shall refund any registered nurse who paid more than three hundred dollars ($300) for an evaluation of his or her qualifications to use the title “public health nurse” between April 5, 2018, and December 31, 2018.
The Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) certifies public health nurses and advanced practice nurses. Advanced practice nurses include nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse anesthetists. The BRN also maintains a listing of psychiatric/mental health nurses. In each of these categories, the individual must first have a California registered nurse license before obtaining the certificate.
Submission of Transcripts and Documents
Transcripts: Advanced Practice and PHN transcripts can be sent to our Board electronically from a certified third-party electronic transcripts vendor such as Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse, or directly from your school. Electronic transcripts must be sent to [email protected]
Required Documents: Additional required documents and forms will be accepted electronically. Required advanced practice and PHN forms and documents will not be accepted from applicants and will only be accepted from the appropriate school, national organizations, and associations electronically to the following Board email address: [email protected]
Clinical Nurse Specialist
The clinical nurse specialist is a BRN certified RN who is an advanced practice nurse providing expert clinical practice, research, education, consultation and clinical leadership with an identified patient population. The scope of clinical nurse specialist practice includes patients, nursing personnel and organization systems. Clinical nurse specialists work in direct patient care and indirect patient care activities that affect a broad range of patients.
There are three methods to qualify for certification as a clinical nurse specialist with the BRN. General reporting of prior disciplines are required for all methods.
The nurse anesthetist is a registered nurse who provides anesthesia services ordered by a physician, dentist, or podiatrist, and is certified by the BRN in this specialty.
The nurse-midwife is a registered nurse who, having received a certificate from the BRN, under the supervision of a licensed physician and surgeon, attends cases of normal childbirth and provides prenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum care, including family planning care for mothers and immediate care for the newborn.
There are three methods to qualify for certification as a nurse-midwife with the BRN. General reporting of prior disciplines are required for all methods.
Nurse-Midwife Furnishing Number
A furnishing number is issued by the BRN to a nurse-midwife which allows him or her to "order" or furnish drugs and devices to patients using approved standardized procedures. The nurse-midwife with a furnishing number may obtain a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration number if he or she wants to order controlled substances as needed for patient care.
The nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who possesses additional preparation and skills in physical diagnosis, psychosocial assessment, and management of health and illness needs in primary health care.
There are three methods to qualify for certification as a nurse practitioner with the BRN. General reporting of prior disciplines are required for all methods.
In order to furnish (prescribe) drugs and devices to patients, you must submit an application for a Nurse Practitioner Furnishing Number together with your Nurse Practitioner Application.
Nurse Practitioner Furnishing Number
The BRN issues a furnishing number to a nurse practitioner that allows him or her to "order" or furnish drugs and devices to patients using approved standardized procedures. A nurse practitioner with a furnishing number may obtain a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration number if they want to order controlled substances as needed for patient care.
Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse
Pursuant to Insurance Code Section 10176, the BRN maintains a listing of registered nurses who possess a master's degree in psychiatric/mental health nursing plus two years of supervised experience providing services as a psychiatric/mental health nurse and who have applied to the BRN to be listed. This voluntary listing enables the certificate holder to receive direct reimbursement from insurance carriers for counseling services.
There are two methods to qualify for listing as a psychiatric/mental health nurse with the BRN. General reporting of prior disciplines are required for both methods.
Public Health Nurse
The public health nurse is a registered nurse who has received a certificate from the BRN. He or she is an integral part of the public health community and provides direct patient care as well as services related to maintaining public health.
California To Widen Pipeline Of Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners
Jane Gunter, a nurse practitioner in Tuolumne County, California, has long wanted to specialize in mental health so she can treat patients who have anxiety, depression and more complicated mental illnesses.
Her county, a rural outpost in the Sierra Nevada foothills with a population of about 54,000, has only five psychiatrists — “a huge shortage,” she said.
But Gunter, 56, wasn’t about to quit her job at the Me-Wuk Indian Health Center in Tuolumne and relocate to some distant campus for two years to get certified as a psychiatric nurse practitioner.
Then, in February, she learned that the University of California was launching a new program to provide that certification online in just one year. She fired off her application and, earlier this month, she received an acceptance letter.
“Sometimes I think, ‘What are you doing?’” Gunter said, referring to the online classes that will take over her nights and weekends once the program starts. “But I care about the community.”
The online certification program, conducted jointly by the nursing schools at the University of California-San Francisco, UCLA and UC-Davis, was scheduled to start in the fall, but it has been postponed until January because the on-site clinical hours required as part of the training are not possible during the COVID-19 shutdown.
Despite the delay, the potential expansion of psychiatric care is opportune given the expected increase in mental health problems due to the social isolation and financial stress stemming from the pandemic.
The need for more mental health nurses is about to be bigger than ever, said E. Alison Holman, a health psychologist at UC-Irvine who studies emotional responses to collective trauma.
“We now have 26 million Americans who have lost their jobs, who have no income — and how are they going to pay rent? How are they going to buy food?” Holman said. “And then you have to stay home. This event is rolling out like a long, chronic stressor.”
Even before the current crisis, California faced a serious shortage of mental health professionals, especially in rural areas. California’s psychiatrists and psychologists are approaching retirement age in large numbers, and a recent uptick in medical students choosing to specialize in psychiatry isn’t enough to offset the drain.
A UCSF study projected that the state would have 41% fewer psychiatrists than needed by 2028. More than half of Californians with mental illness receive no treatment, according to a February 2019 report by the California Future Health Workforce Commission.
UC’s online mental health nurse practitioner program is one of the solutions recommended by the commission, a statewide, multisector panel that created a master plan to address the Golden State’s shortage of health care workers.
The program is expected to put 300 more mental health NPs into California communities, particularly rural ones, over the next five years. Applicants such as Gunter, who live in underserved rural areas, will be given priority in the hope that they will stay in their communities upon completion of the training, said Deborah Johnson, a UCSF nursing professor who is co-director of the program.
Forty spots are available for the class that begins in January, and not all have been filled yet, Johnson said. Applications are being accepted until June 1, and 65 additional spots will open in fall 2021 and each fall thereafter for three more years, she said.
The UC system received a $1.5 million grant from the California Health Care Foundation to develop, design and launch it. But tuition is expected to make it self-sustaining. (Kaiser Health News, which produces California Healthline, is an editorially independent publication of the foundation.)
Applicants for the new program must already be advanced practice nurses, which means they hold either a master’s degree or doctorate in nursing. More than 27,000 NPs now practice in California, but only 1,200 are certified to treat psychiatric patients.
Three hundred more psychiatric NPs won’t completely fill the growing mental health care need, but they are expected to treat nearly 400,000 patients over a five-year period.
Though the online program means working nurses won’t have to leave their jobs and their lives to relocate, they will still face challenges.
For one thing, their certification will require 500 hours of supervised clinical training with patients in hospitals, jails or schools. And some applicants live in communities where such opportunities may not be available, which could require them to commute long distances to meet the requirement.
Another challenge is that, even after nurse practitioners are certified, state law requires they find a medical doctor to supervise them. Havilyn Kern, a school nurse in Nevada City, California, quit her job two years ago so she could spend three days a week at UCSF — 155 miles away — to train as a psychiatric nurse practitioner.
She graduates in June, so the new online program occurs too late for her. Kern, who plans to work in her own community, hopes she will find a psychiatrist in the Bay Area willing to tele-supervise her.
“It shouldn’t have to be this way,” said program co-director Johnson. “California is so archaic. It’s the most restrictive state in the western portion of the country.”
Twenty-eight states plus Washington, D.C., allow nurse practitioners to work autonomously. Santa Rosa Assembly member Jim Wood, a Democrat, has introduced a bill, AB-890, that would allow California NPs to practice without doctor supervision. It passed the Assembly in January and is pending in the Senate.
“If AB 890 passes, it will certainly help fill the loss of specialty physicians such as psychiatrists everywhere, including in underserved areas,” Wood said.
But that’s a big “if.”
California’s powerful doctors’ lobby, which has repeatedly scuttled similar legislation, is aggressively fighting it again. They argue that letting NPs order tests and prescribe medications independently would “dilute care.”
Doctors also have a financial incentive to keep things the way they are. It restricts competition, and they bill NPs between $5,000 and $15,000 a year to review their charts and prescriptions every few months, according to a report by the California Health Care Foundation and UCSF.
Johnson suggested it is time for a change.
“We are the workhorses,” she said. “Oh, my God, there is so much need. This new program could not come at a more important time.”
Best Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Programs in California - 2021
Following Are The 11 Best Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Programs In California (Online & Campus) For 2021
1. University of California San Francisco, San Francisco
If you’re looking for the best psychiatric nurse practitioner programs in California, San Francisco is a great city from which to start. By enrolling in one of UCSF’s PMHNP programs, you are not only attending one of America’s oldest public universities in the country but also one of the best, as it ranks among the US News & World Report’s top universities. Here, you can take the MSN or Post-Master’s Certificate track to further your career in becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner in California.
MSN:If you hold a BA in nursing or are a Registered Nurse already, the MSN degree is a good choice. This two-year program requires a minimum GPA of 3.0. You will also need to have taken and passed a college-level Statistics class within five years of entering the program. A valid RN license for the state of California is required, as you will be completing direct patient care during your time of study. For this PMHNP degree specifically, no relevant experience is required, though they prefer candidates with at least one year’s experience. This program is two years long, including a summer quarter for the first year of study.
Post-Master’s Certificate:This program is available as a one-year certificate or a two-year certificate. A one-year certificate is a good option for those interested in online psychiatric nurse practitioner programs in California with a shorter timeline. This certificate program for a total of 31 credits, works together in conjunction with the nursing schools from UC Davis and UCLA. This is a newer program that has the goal of preparing 300 students to become mental health practitioners in California by 2025. The two-year certificate program is a better option for those who are not Nurse practitioners but who have a master’s in nursing that is not clinical, as it includes 500 hours of clinical work. If you choose to apply to these certificate programs, you are exempt from the Statistics requirement.
2. University of San Diego, San Diego
The University of San Diego is a part of the well-known University of California system. Academic excellence, innovative learning, and a dedicated faculty are some of the reasons for this program to be counted among the best psychiatric nurse practitioner programs in California.
BSN to DNP:To qualify for this program, you will need a current RN license that is valid in the state of California, a minimum GPA of 3.0 earned during your BSN degree, and at least one year of acute-care experience as an RN. They also require that you have taken and passed a basic Statistics course. The admissions process for this program requests three professional or academic references, and completion of an interview. With 83 credit hours, if you enroll full-time, you can complete this program in three years; whereas part-time takes between four and five years to complete. This is a campus-based program, and perhaps not so suitable, especially if you are interested in online psychiatric nurse practitioner programs in California.
3. Cal State LA, Los Angeles
Cal State LA consistently ranks nationally as one of the top PMHNP programs. For the past two decades, since 2000, this program has held a spot in the top ten best psychiatric nurse practitioner programs in California. Its city-based location allows for more accessibility if you are planning on commuting to classes with public transportation. This is a public university that ranksninth in Top Public Schools and eleventh in Best Value Schools. If you are still in the process of completing your undergraduate coursework or applying for your California RN license, the college allows you to begin the application process, provided you successfully complete the process by the time you begin your program.
MSN:This is a two-year PMHNP in California, made up of 44 credits and 540 hours of clinical experience. When you register for this program, you will have to choose between a Thesis/Project-based completion or a Comprehensive Exam. The thesis/project path requires you to have a minimum GPA of 3.5, a two-faculty-member committee, and to have received an A in the class NURS 5900. Conversely, for the exam track, you will take the comprehensive exam once you have completed all of your coursework in your final term of study.
Post Master's Certificate:If you already have your MSN degree, this post master’s certificate has a total of 23 credits and 540 clinical hours to be completed in one year. If you are a current, practicing NP, you may be able to use previously completed clinical hours towards your final count, depending on the decision of your advisor or the faculty. To be eligible for this program, you will need to have completed your first-year prerequisites at the advanced tier. If you have not yet done so, this program will take two years to complete instead of one year.
4. University of San Francisco, San Francisco
This PMHNP program in California offers both a DNP and a Post-Doctoral Certificate track. These two program tracks are offered in a hybrid format so that you can take classes both in-person and online. The hybrid design is ideal for those looking to pursue higher education as a PMHNP while also working. This format combined with the high ranking of this university makes this an excellent choice for those interested in pursuing their education from one of the best hybrid psychiatric nurse practitioner programs in California.
DNP:This hybrid program includes Teaching Weekends with an in-person schedule of 8 AM to 9 PM on Fridays and 8 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays. These teaching weekends allow you to access in-person study and experience for part of your program while keeping the rest of your weeks more flexible with online study so that you can work or pursue other avenues. As part of this program, you will be required to complete approximately 1200 supervised clinical hours. The graduation requirement for this program post an MSN includes 54 units. The coursework and hours you complete here will make you eligible for the AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice. If you only have a bachelor’s degree, this program will take four years to complete. If you have already completed your MSN, it will take three years instead.
Post-Doctoral Certificate:This online psychiatric nurse practitioner program in California can be completed in one year, and its classes are offered year-round with starts in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. You will need between 35 and 38 credits to graduate. This program also encompasses Teaching Weekends with the same hours as those listed above and distance learning outside of those days. You will complete at least 500 hours of direct patient care while being supervised throughout your course of study. To apply, you will need to have completed your DNP degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, one recommendation from an academic source, and a valid RN license.
5. California State University Long Beach, Long Beach
California State University Long Beach is widely regarded to be the best nursing degree program in California and the second-best program in the country. If you are interested in the best psychiatric nurse practitioner programs in California, this university is a great place to start when you are considering your options. This university offers both an MSN and a Post Master’s Certificate as pathways to becoming a PMHNP.
MSN:This Master of Science in Nursing helps you become a psychiatric nurse practitioner in California through both theory-based and clinical courses. To be eligible for this degree program, you will need a bachelor’s degree in nursing, an RN license valid in the state of California, and a GPA of over 3.0. You will also need to have completed a Statistics course, a Physical Assessment course that included clinical practice, and a graduate Pathophysiology course. If you do not have a BSN, you will also need to have completed an upper-level course in community health nursing. This is a program made up of between 30 and 48 credits, and you will need a GPA of 3.0 or higher to successfully graduate.
Post-Master's Certificate:To be eligible for this certificate program, you will need to have completed an MS degree in Nursing and already be a certified Nurse Practitioner. You will also need to have completed courses at the advanced level in Physical Assessment, Pathophysiology, and Pharmacology. This program is made up of between 18 and 21 credits and requires a GPA of 3.0 in order to graduate.
6. California State University-San Marcos, San Marcos
Among the best psychiatric nurse practitioner programs in California is the program found at California State University-San Marcos. This school’s offerings for a PMHNP program in California include an MSN and a Post-Master’s Certificate, both designed to suit the individual needs of different students.
MSN:Created for those wishing to complete their MSN on a part-time schedule, this program was made for Registered Nurses desiring to work and study at the same time. With this schedule, you can advance your career and practice medicine concurrently, building towards your future goal of becoming a PMHNP in California. This fall-start program is designed as a cohort degree, enabling students to benefit from peer-to-peer support, small class sizes, guaranteed completion time, and placement in the courses you need to graduate. This program was designed to be finished within a two and a half year period completed on a part-time schedule, with around 42 credits and 500 clinical hours.
Post-Master's Certificate:Made up of 38 units, this certificate program is designed to be completed on a part-time basis over the course of a five-semester period, so that you can study and work or focus on your family life, as needed. To apply, you will need an RN license valid in California, two references- one academic, one professional- as well as a grade of a minimum grade of C in the following courses: Advanced Health Assessment, Advanced Pathophysiology, and Advanced Pharmacology.
7. California State University, Fresno
In Fresno, a city known for its metropolitan feel in a small-town atmosphere, you can find California State University’s PMHNP program that stays consistently in the rankings of best psychiatric nurse practitioner programs in California for its commitment to excellence. Because it first began as a teacher’s college, it has held onto its high standards for professors and staff members.
Post-Graduate APRN Certificate:This one-year PMHNP program in California is designed for those who have already earned their MSN degree. At California State University, the nursing school is within the College of Health and Human Services department. This program requires two separate applications to be completed: one graduate student application and one to the School of Nursing. A written essay and three letters of recommendation are required for the application process. This program only begins in the fall semester. The application fee for this school is $140 if you are a United States resident. There are ten full-time faculty members in this program, and class sizes are kept small and personal to provide more individualized attention.
8. Azusa Pacific University, Azusa
Azusa Pacific University is consistently recognized as one of the top nursing colleges in the nation by leading American online publications. Among the many psychiatric nurse practitioner programs in California, this one stands out for its reputation and diverse learning experiences. Azusa University has made a name for itself for its unique campus atmosphere and eye-catching outdoors.
MSN:This 54-56 credit hour program applies theory and clinical work in its courses and is designed to make you eligible for the advanced practice certification for the state of California by taking the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner National Certification Examination. Students are admitted two times a year for this program.
Post-Master's Certificate:This non-degree course credit track was created for those already holding an MSN degree. Part-time study is an option in this program, as are summer courses for a more flexible study schedule. A 43-credit program, you will need to have completed these courses before applying: Health Assessment at the graduate and undergraduate levels, Nursing Leadership, Pathophysiology, Statistics, Nursing Research, and Community Health Nursing. You will additionally need a valid RN license and a written statement, along with two professional or academic references. Generally, students complete this program within a year to two years.
9. Brandman University, Irvine
If you’re interested in online psychiatric nurse practitioner programs in California, Brandman University has a long history of high-ranking, successful online programs. Consistently rankedamong the top online programs, this program offers a high level of student satisfaction as well as the diversity of hybrid learning. Located in Irvine, this school has offered online learning for more than 20 years. It has focused on veteran and military partnerships since it was founded, so if you have ever served, this could be the school for you! Brandman offers three separate tracks to becoming a PMHNP in California.
BSN to DNP:This hybrid program utilizes online lectures paired with in-person immersion days, where you will travel to the Irvine campus for exercises, practice, and active demonstrations. You can earn your degree as a Nurse Practitioner in 36 months, with around 88 credits, if you study full-time, and upon completion will become eligible for the certification exam for the American Nurse Credentialing Center.
Post-Masters to DNP:With this PMHNP program in California, you can complete your DNP within 20 months. It offers a hybrid format, with lectures you can access online paired with in-person activities and demonstrations on campus in Irvine. To qualify, you will need valid RN and APRN licenses in the state in which you will be completing your clinical project residency hours, an accredited MSN degree, and additionally, to complete an interview with the director of the program. This program comprises around 33 credits.
Post-Doctoral Certificate:If you already have a nursing doctorate and are searching for psychiatric nurse practitioner programs in California, this may be the program for you. With a six-month completion timeline for 27 credits, this hybrid program offers virtual and in-person sessions paired with practice in health centers, clinics, or hospitals in your preferred location. You’ll need to be certified as either an APRN or a CN with a valid APRN license in your current specialty and an RN license for the state where you will be completing your clinical practice hours.
10. Loma Linda University, Loma Linda
Loma Linda University hosts one of the best psychiatric nurse practitioner programs in California. This is a Seventh-Day Adventist school, and so it does integrate faith-based teachings as well, into its nursing education. The university emphasizes mission-based learning, offering community and global outreach opportunities to its students.
BSN to DNP:To qualify for this program, you will need a GPA of 3.0 both in your nursing courses and in your degrees as a whole- both undergraduate and graduate. You will need to be an active RN in the state of California and to have completed your BSN from an accredited program. Additionally, the application requires three recommendations from professors or a current professional supervisor and to complete an interview with the School of Nursing faculty. For this application, you are not allowed to opt-out at the MS level. This school also offers distance-based learning, though it’s restricted to certain states. You can check and see if your state is eligible for distance learning through LLU. This PMHNP program in California offers distance learning that takes three years and nine months to complete if you study full-time to complete a total of 78-semester units. If you prefer, you can also opt for the part-time schedule and pace the program as per your convenience. This school promises clinical site options available to all of its students.
11. National University, La Jolla
Of the well-known psychiatric nurse practitioner programs in California, National University in La Jolla stands out for its high-quality online and on-campus programs. This university is the area’s largest private nonprofit university. To become a PMHNP, you can either opt for the MSN or the post-graduate certificate track, depending on your educational background.
MSN:This PMHNP program in California meets online monthly with limited requirements to attend events on campus. Designed to be completed in a period of between 12 and 18 months, each of its courses lasts 12 weeks. To graduate, you will need to complete around 49.5 credits. You will need to maintain a GPA of 3.0 cumulatively and a B average in your core and specialty courses in order to proceed with the program.
Post-Graduate Certificate:With four-week class sessions, this program is a non-degree, graduate-level that offers a PMHNP Certificate of Completion once you have completed your period of study. The credit requirements for graduation are based on a gap analysis, based on your previously completed coursework. You will need to have an MSN or doctorate in nursing with a valid RN license active in your state of residence. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required, though if you have a GPA of 2.5 to 2.99, the admissions committee will consider your application on a case-by-case basis. You will also need to have one year of clinical, professional nursing practice. Three professional recommendations are needed, preferably from people with either a graduate or a doctoral degree.
WesternU launches Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program
Western University of Health Sciences College of Graduate Nursing welcomed its first class of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner students this month, addressing a critical need for more mental health care workers in Southern California and nationwide.
Designed for nurses with a master’s degree in nursing, or nurses who are earning their Master of Science in Nursing degree, the hybrid Post-Master’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) certificate and PMHNP MSN degree programs integrate online learning with intensive face-to-face seminar weekends and clinical experiences in the students’ own community. Orientation for 18 PMHNP certificate students and nine PMHNP MSN students was held in early August and classes start Aug. 23.
“The Inland Empire consistently falls below the state average on the number of qualified mental health providers. In fact, the IE has about half of the number of providers needed to fully support the demands. The demands have steadily grown in this region due to COVID-19,” said CGN Dean Mary Lopez, PhD, RN. “The College’s efforts to provide more mental health providers is due to the general funding from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD). CGN was the innovator of distance-based nurse practitioner education more than 25 years ago. The new program follows such innovation.”
Christy Cotner, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BC, serves as CGN’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program Director. She brings a wealth of experience in internal medicine, family practice, mental health, and academia.
Dr. Cotner began her nursing career as a Registered Nurse 22 years ago. She then returned to school for her nurse practitioner degree because she wanted to better provide preventative care. While working in internal medicine, she became interested in the psychiatric field and she felt she needed more education to inform her practice. She earned master’s degrees as a family nurse practitioner and a psychiatric nurse practitioner, and then earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree with a focus on how mental illness affects chronic disease management.
Cotner guided the California Baptist University Family Nurse Practitioner program to accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and managed and developed the ER case management program and gastric bypass program at Riverside Community Hospital and the medical home model program at Riverside Medical Clinic. She has worked more than four years at Riverside Psychiatric Medical Group with Robert Summerour, MD.
WesternU’s PMHNP program includes counseling and pain addictions classes.
“I wanted to pull that medical piece into the psychiatric field. That’s really how I want this program to stand above other programs,” Cotner said. “A lot of times nurses will go into the psychiatric field having only been a psychiatric nurse. They really don’t have that medical piece, which you really have to be able to rule out those organic causes before you can even think about the psychiatric causes. So you always have to be thinking about those underlying problems that could also mimic mental illness when it is really more of an organic disease. I’m excited to really bring that piece into the mix.”
The wait to see a psychiatrist could be months, so there is a need for more providers, especially in remote areas, Cotner said. Having more PMHNPs can also help reduce the stigma of mental illness.
“The nurse practitioner really can play an important role in this field,” Cotner said. “We really look at the whole picture. Our training is holistic. And that’s really what we need for psychiatry. We need a holistic look at the patient.”
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