The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is accepting applications for its new online psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner post-master’s certificate program.
The deadline to apply is Aug. 1. Courses for the 20-credit-hour graduate program will begin on Monday, Aug. 21. With courses scheduled year-round, students, who will enroll as a cohort, can complete the certificate program in as few as four semesters. The curriculum will also include clinical training.
Nurses who have earned a master’s degree in nursing from a nationally accredited graduate nursing program and national certification as an adult nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, geriatric nurse practitioner, acute care nurse practitioner or women’s health nurse practitioner are eligible to apply. Applicants must also hold an APRN, or Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, license in Louisiana.
Dr. Lisa Broussard, interim dean of the College of Nursing & Health Sciences, said the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner post-master’s certificate program is a strategic addition. “It’s designed – as with all of our degree offerings and programs – to help prepare our students for the jobs and careers they want and to advance in those jobs and careers,” she said.
The certificate program is also in place to address current workforce needs in the region and the state. All 64 parishes in Louisiana have been designated as shortage areas for mental health professionals, according to the Bureau of Health Workforce, Health Resources, and Services Administration.
Projections for the shortage to increase in Louisiana and in many regions of the country can be attributed to several factors, said Dr. Jennifer Lemoine, the college’s interim associate dean and professor in the LHC Group · Myers School of Nursing.
Chief among them “is an aging workforce of psychiatrists, coupled with an increasing focus on mental health and wellness, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners are uniquely qualified to close the gap,” Lemoine explained.
The online psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner post-master’s certificate program’s curriculum is structured to prepare graduates to sit for the national certification exam.
Certified psychiatric mental health certified nurse practitioners assess, diagnose, and develop treatment plans for patients across the lifespan. “They also provide treatment that includes therapy and medications through hospitals, treatment centers, or their own clinics as well as telehealth services,” Lemoine said.
Photo caption: UL Lafayette is accepting applications for an online, 20-credit hour psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner post-master’s certificate program. Photo credit: Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette