In a move to address the shortage of mental health care providers in the United States, the MSOE School of Nursing has partnered with Rogers Behavioral Health to launch a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program (PMHNP). The university is also adding a Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing and a Post-Master’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate. Classes will begin in Fall 2020 for these programs, while a new Gerontology Certificate launches this spring.  

Students enrolled in the PMHNP program are expected to complete 57 credits and 600 practicum hours. Students can complete MSOE’s program in just two years, if enrolled full-time (2 days per week). As with its other programs, MSOE guarantees clinical placement and works with a number of health care organizations to place students. The unique partnership between Rogers Behavioral Health and MSOE gives students the opportunity to receive some of their required practicum hours at Rogers’ locations. Several faculty members will hold joint positions with MSOE and Rogers Behavioral Health to coordinate the students’ practicum experiences, and teach specialized content in the program.  

“Less than half of those with mental health and addiction challenges actually get the help they need, and one of the biggest barriers is the shortfall of qualified mental health professionals. It’s gratifying to be part of this innovative new program that increases the pipeline of psychiatric nurse practitioners, who have a growing role of importance in care delivery. Most importantly, this program will ultimately help thousands of additional people get access to life-saving treatment,” shares Paul Mueller, CEO, Rogers Behavioral Health Hospital Division.  

The program is for those who have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and an interest in providing holistic care to clients who have a mental or behavioral health challenge. Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners are licensed to diagnose, treat and prescribe care for patients.  

MSOE anticipates a minimum of 15 students will enroll in the PMHNP program in its first year, including five nurses from Rogers Behavioral Health. The PMHNP program is a specialization within MSOE’s Master of Science in Nursing degree. In addition, currently licensed nurse practitioners may take PMHNP courses at MSOE to achieve a post-master’s certificate in psychiatric mental health nursing.  

The U.S. has the highest rates of mental health disease (27%) as compared to any other industrialized country. One in five adults suffer from some sort of mental health illness and 3.3 million children ages 6-17 receive treatment or counseling for emotional or behavioral issues. In the U.S. 60% of psychiatrists are 55 or older, and by 2025, the demand for mental health services will outpace supply by 10,000.  

Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) 

MSOE also announced a new Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). The program will admit students who have a bachelor’s degree in another discipline to enter the nursing profession with seamless progression to a Master of Science in Nursing. Students can choose from one of two paths of specialization: Leadership/Management or Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Graduates of this program are not nursing generalists who remain practicing at the bedside; with their chosen specialization they can move into nursing leadership or provide mental health care.  

The Direct Entry MSN is the fastest growing track in nursing nationwide. Students enrolled in the Direct Entry MSN will spend the first 18 months completing courses for an Accelerated Second Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing. They will take the NCLEX exam, and after passing can practice as a registered nurse while completing their course work for the MSN. As a result, students who graduate from MSOE’s Direct Entry MSN program also will receive two degrees: Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing.  

Gerontology Certificate  

The new Gerontology Certificate at MSOE offers registered nurses the opportunity to increase their knowledge, skills and confidence in caring for the older adult population. Through a series of four courses over an eight-month period, students will be prepared to provide front-line health care for older adults in a variety of settings, including preventative care in primary care offices and the community, acute care in hospitals and long-term care in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. This certificate will assist nurses in preparing for the ANCC Gerontological Nursing Certification (RN-BC). Courses begin March 2020.