An Innovative Approach for Graduate Education for Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners

Academic Article


  • A major transformation in nurse practitioner (NP) education is the emergence of post graduate residencies; their foci include (a) educating NPs in population health; (b) increasing clinical proficiency; and (c) incorporating quality and safety into practice. We describe a psychiatric NP residency program supported by an academic-practice partnership, known as the Veterans Affairs Nursing Academic Partnership for Graduate Education (VANAP-GE) between the Birmingham Veterans Administration Medical Center (BVAMC) and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing (SON) for a population of Veterans with complex mental and physical health needs. Topics which are covered include risks of suicide among Veterans, post-traumatic stress disorder, depressive and anxiety disorders, and substance use disorders. During this one-year traineeship during the first year after NP certification, residents engage in development of crucial skills for improving the future of U.S. health care. All residents are newly licensed PMHNPs, but some are also pursuing DNP degrees. For residents who are simultaneously enrolled in BSN to DNP programs, the additional clinical training afforded by NP residency education provides a natural laboratory for their projects with foci of quality and safety, leadership, and clinical scholarship. Reduction in NP turnover as well as cost savings of orientation and recruitment are significant benefits for the practice partner with zero vacancies since the partnership's inception. These multiple successes predict increased establishment of residencies as viable post graduate pathways for NPs.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • McGuinness TM; Shirey MR; Cleveland C; Richardson J; Campbell R; Harper DC
  • Start Page

  • 526
  • End Page

  • 530
  • Volume

  • 36
  • Issue

  • 6