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The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing and Children’s of Alabama recently partnered on a new one-year residency program for Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner graduates to meet the growing need for mental health care providers for children and adolescents in the state.

Children’s of Alabama Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Deb Wesley tells UAB.edu, “Children’s needs more practitioners to cover the volume of patients we have in psychiatry. The demand for services far exceeds our capacity, and how to meet this need has been an ongoing discussion. This residency is an example of the power of the partnership between Children’s and the UAB School of Nursing, and the impact, working together, we can have on children and families in Alabama.”

UAB’s nurse residency program has two main goals: to improve the quality and quantity of clinical experience for new Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner graduates and current students, and to increase access to care. Improving the post-graduate experience for nurse practitioners makes them more likely to transition to the demands of practice with increased competency.

Residents in the program will spend a year being mentored by Durand and Children’s of Alabama Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Residency Program Co-Director Shelley Lauterbach while also seeing and treating patients. They will receive an enhanced interprofessional practice experience by working with psychiatrists, psychologists, neurologists, pharmacists, and case managers, making them better prepared to address child and adolescent mental health needs after residency.

To learn more about the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s partnership with Children’s of Alabama to offers a nurse practitioner residency program to improve access to mental health for children and adolescents, visit here.

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