Pocatello, Idaho (KIFI) – Idaho State University’s College of Nursing is seeing increased enrollment in the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program, easing the shortage of mental health professionals in the state.
The entire state of Idaho has been designated a Mental Health Provider Shortage Area. Typically, the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Doctor of Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program admits 6-7 students each year, but this year it has 15, including 11 Idaho residents. of students enrolled in the program.
“Increased enrollment, coupled with the fact that the majority of our graduates are staying and practicing in Idaho, will improve access to care for Idaho citizens,” said ISU’s Director of Research, Graduate School of Nursing. said Susan Tavernier, Ph.D. “PMHNP assesses, diagnoses and treats mental health disorders throughout life.”
Recognized with a 100% pass rate on the licensure exam, the program also admits the first cohort of home nurses into the certification program for PMHNP specialization.
PMHNPs treat many conditions, including substance use disorders, suicidal tendencies, eating disorders, and mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
“PMHNP also offers brief counseling to individuals, families, or groups and works collaboratively with other mental health professionals,” said Tavernier.
The FNP to PMHNP Certification Program provides experienced Family Nurse Practitioners with the clinical and classroom learning necessary to become dual licensed in FNP and PMHNP. This is designed specifically for his FNP in rural Idaho, often the only provider.
“This is another way Idaho is improving access to mental health care in Idaho’s rural and very remote areas,” said Dr. Tavernier.
This care also extends to Meridian Health Care Clinics, faculty-led clinics that provide primary health care for all ages, including preventive care, chronic disease treatment and management, women’s health, and pediatric care. . The clinic has access to mental health services and plans to use telemedicine to expand his PMNHP services to rural areas.