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Johns Hopkins School of Nursing to train NPs in mental health

Thursday May 15, 2014
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To prepare primary care nurse practitioners to care for patients with mental health problems, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing will offer an intensive one-year post-master’s online course in integrative mental health care. The psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner certificate program will train students working in underserved areas to provide mental health services, including assessment, diagnosis and prescribing medications.

It will include clinical training partnerships with facilities in underserved areas of Maryland. One of the program’s goals is to keep the nurse practitioners practicing in those areas while they earn the certificate. Students will complete core courses in the first semester and devote the remaining two semesters to practice.

“People are going to go where they’re comfortable, which usually means their primary care provider,” said Karan Kverno, RN, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, PMHNP-BC, who spearheaded the program along with Deborah Finnell, RN, DNS, PMHNP-BC, CARN-AP. “Instead of having them shuttle between healthcare systems, we want to have nurse practitioners who can provide integrated care for physical, social and mental health across a range of settings and services. The focus on integrated care is new and relevant to the healthcare system today.”

The curriculum launches in May with 10 students in its first cohort and an anticipated 15 per year after that.

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