DNP: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The DNP: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner option prepares graduates to function as doctorally prepared nurses at the highest level of clinical practice, to translate knowledge into practice, to apply policy, as well as design, implement and evaluate innovations to improve health care systems and patient centered outcomes. 

This option offers registered nurses the opportunity to expand their scope of practice to include the care of individuals, families and groups with psychiatric and mental health needs.

Our lifespan curriculum is a synthesis of knowledge derived from nursing science, neuroscience, behavioral change theories, motivational theories, learning theories and other psychotherapeutic frameworks to provide a holistic perspective from which to assess, diagnose, treat, manage and evaluate acute and chronic mental illnesses.

You will learn about neuropsychopharmacology, interprofessional collaborative practice, crisis intervention, trauma-informed care, health policy, family systems theory, psychotherapy, group therapy, care of vulnerable populations, promotion of mental health and prevention of mental illness, substance use and co-occurring disorders, and other mental illnesses across the lifespan.

Who Should Apply

If you’re already working as a nurse and are interested in achieving the highest level of nursing practice you should consider our DNP: Family Nurse Practitioner program.

 

Deadlines

Fall 2020 Applications
Priority: 10/15/2019
Final: 6/15/2020

Requirements

Overview

The DNP: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program is a practice doctorate program designed to prepare advanced practice nurses and nurse leaders as practice scholars to improve patient outcomes, systems change, and translate evidence into practice to improve safety and quality. The DNP graduate is prepared to apply evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems thinking to transform health care systems and improve patient care. Graduates are also prepared to lead inter-professional collaborative teams to shape policy, health care systems, and clinical and patient care innovations. The Post-BSN DNP graduates are further prepared as psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners to deliver and manage health care, health education, and health promotion to clients and families across the lifespan.

The DNP: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner option consists of 74 credit hours and a minimum of 1000 direct and indirect clinical hours. Questions about program requirements should be directed to the program director, Rhonda Schwindt or Assistant Dean of DNP Program, Mercedes Echevarria.

Programs of Study

Fall 2020 or Later Start

Courses
For full listing of courses and descriptions, please visit the University Bulletin.

New Student Orientation
This mandatory virtual orientation, held in the summer, gives you the opportunity to connect with your faculty and fellow students, consult with advisers and prepare for your program.

On-Campus Requirements

Campus Learning and Skills Intensive (CLASI)
You will come to campus during the semester in which you are enrolled in NURS 6222: Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning to participate in CLASI, which prepares you to perform a complete history and physical examination.

DNP Project Presentation
During the last semester students will present their work in an open forum to their faculty and peers.

Technology Requirements
Beginning fall 2018, each student admitted to the DNP program is expected to own and have ready access to a laptop or tablet with basic productivity software for classroom use. View Policy.


Complete applications that are submitted by the priority deadline will be reviewed first. Applications do not have to be verified by the priority deadline, only completed and submitted. Questions? Contact the Office of Admissions at [email protected].

A completed application includes the following components:

  • Bachelor's degree in nursing from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Preferred scholastic GPA of at least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Official transcripts (from all post-secondary schools)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Current resume
  • A personal statement describing your career goals relative to the doctoral study. You should include a general idea for your DNP project. Your vision for your post-DNP contributions to advance the nursing profession through scholarship and evidence-based practice must be emphasized in the statement Also, briefly describe your professional nursing practice and indicate any current or previous leadership roles. The applicants with a clear idea of a potential DNP project and the ability of the project to enhance/improve/contribute to nursing practice will be given preference for admission. 
  • Active and unencumbered nursing licensure

Note:

  1. GW Nursing is subject to state authorization requirements in order to offer an approved nursing curriculum. View available states.


None


You must record a minimum of 1000 practice hours with an approved preceptor. Practice hours consist of a minimum of 500 direct clinical hours and 500 indirect DNP practice hours. You are encouraged to find your own preceptor, but we can provide information on local clinical sites if needed.  A faculty member may conduct a site visit during your academic program progression.

Required Documentation

  • Current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certificate
  • Current advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS) certificate
  • Immunization records including vaccination or immunity to hepatitis B; measles, mumps and rubella (MMR); varicella; diphtheria; polio and tetanus
  • Documentation of negative test results for tuberculosis (purified protein derivative (PPD) and/or chest x-ray)

Questions about clinical placement requirements should be directed to [email protected].


3 Great Reasons to Choose GW Nursing

Online Learning
These specialties are delivered in a hybrid format with online courses and some on-campus experiences for testing and training.
Flexible Format
Some specialties require you to complete a set number of clinical hours to complete the curriculum.
Exceptional Faculty
Our faculty members are nationally recognized leaders in nursing who actively engage and inspire students to improve global health care for all.

Frequently Asked Questions

On-campus requirements vary by program and specialty. Students enrolled in our Bachelor of Science in Nursing program spend the duration of the program on our Virginia Science and Technology Campus (VSTC) in Ashburn, Virginia.

Most graduate programs are delivered in a distance format with online courses and some on-campus experiences for testing and training, which typically take place in our state-of-the-art simulation facilities at VSTC. For example, nurse practitioner students are required to come to campus for Campus Learning and Skills Intensive (CLASI) when enrolled in NURS 6222 and for Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) during their second clinical course. For specific on-campus requirements for graduate programs, please visit the webpage for your respective specialty area of interest.

All nurse practitioner students are also required to complete an end of program skills assessment. During this final on-campus simulation-based learning event, students have an opportunity to showcase their assessment, diagnostic reasoning, and patient management skills.

Students enrolled in our Accelerated or Veteran Bachelor of Science in Nursing program may only attend the program on a full-time basis due to its accelerated format.

Students enrolled in our RN to BSN or RN to MSN programs may only enroll on a part-time basis.

Students enrolled in a graduate program have the ability to enroll in most tracks on a part-time basis. To review your program of study options, visit the MSN, DNP or certificate webpage in the specialty area of your choice. PhD applicants should contact the program director directly.

Our clinical placement model provides students with faculty and staff support to ensure clinical sites align with clinical course objectives and nurse practitioner (NP) competencies. Our approach includes a clinical placement team dedicated to processing legal documentation required to clear students for clinical placement. Although we offer as much support as possible to students who are unable to locate a preceptor, our process is driven by student submission of a request for placement. We are dedicated to ensuring adequate and robust clinical experiences, however, GW Nursing is not required to locate clinical sites and preceptors for our NP students. 

Applicants with a direct-entry MSN and/or Clinical Nurse Leader degree are ineligible to apply to our Post-Master's DNP and our Post-Master's Certificate programs. However, you may submit an application to one of our MSN tracks, which are considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us at [email protected] if you need additional information.

At this time, the only program available to students needing an F-1 visa (student) is our Bachelor of Science in Nursing program taught in person in Ashburn, Virginia. International students who have permanent residence or are currently on a visa that allows them to study, in addition to holding a valid U.S. RN license, are eligible for any graduate program.