The College of Nursing at South Dakota State University is now offering a postgraduate certificate program in psychiatric mental health. The certificate program, which was approved earlier in February, will begin courses in Fall 2019.
“We know family nurse practitioners assess for mental-health needs across the life span but are limited in treating the needs without the specialized certification,” Mary Minton, associate dean of graduate nursing for SDSU’s College of Nursing, told the SDSU Collegian. “The proposed certificate prepares graduates to provide much needed high-quality mental-health care in a variety of settings in rural and urban South Dakota. It increases much-needed access to psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners in our state where a serious shortage currently exists.”
The certificate was created to help with the shortage of psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners in South Dakota. A publication from the South Dakota Center for Nursing Workforce reports that while the state has over 1,100 certified nurse practitioners, only 3.3 percent of them are working in psychiatric mental health.
“This certificate will enhance the scope of practice for the nurse practitioner to provide more holistic health care,” Kay Foland, an SDSU College of Nursing professor, shared with the SDSU Collegian. “Persons needing health care more than likely to have a number of health concerns, including emotional and mental health issues. Completing the psychiatric mental health certificate will better prepare the family nurse practitioner to provide a more comprehensive, competent and evidenced-based practice level of care.”
There is a great need for psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners, in addition to more healthcare workers as the U.S. continues to suffer a nursing shortage. SDSU approved this certificate program to help address the shortage, so more nurse practitioners can work in outpatient clinics, primary-care units, private practices, community health and community mental health centers, and hospitals. They may also provide services in substance abuse programs, high-risk pregnancy centers, schools, prisons and trauma centers.
The certificate program is a part-time, 18-credit online program designed for advanced practice registered nurses, and family nurse practitioners, to complete in four semesters. For more information on the program, visit www.sdstate.edu/nursing/graduate-nursing/.