The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is providing millions of U.S. citizens access to health care. The ACA builds on the parity law passed by prior legislation, allowing citizens with mental illness and substance abuse access and equal treatment with other health conditions.
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs) are mental health providers filling the gap and providing access to people in need of mental health services. Here at Gonzaga we prepare PMHNPs at both the masters and doctoral levels. Over the last three years we have experienced a tremendous increase in demand and growth in this specialty. We are excited to see this growth because we know PMHNPs are prepared at the highest level of nursing practice and have the knowledge and skills to assess, diagnose and treat individuals and families using a variety of modalities, including medication management and psychotherapy. Our students are educated in several areas of science including nursing, medicine, neuroscience, psychiatry, and psychotherapy. At the end of their education they take a national board certification exam and are then eligible for licensure to practice. PMHNPs in Washington State have full prescription authority, allowing them to practice independently.
Our graduates work in a variety of settings including inpatient psychiatry hospitals/units, outpatient psychiatric and substance abuse clinics. We have graduates who own and operate private practices and community mental health clinics. Other graduates are working with marginalized populations providing care to the poor, homeless, and people in jails and prisons.
Our goal for PMHNP students during the time at Gonzaga is that they experience transformation, self-discovery and personal growth. In addition, we prepare our students to be the voice for people suffering with chronic mental illness by advocating for policy changes to protect their rights and dignity as a human beings.
Furthering the health sciences through applied research and compassionate caretaking. Please click here and select SNHP Excellence Fund as your Gonzaga Will priority to support the SNHP.
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