Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


A Curriculum Model for Advanced Practice Nurses to Respond to Critical Mental Health Needs




Kirkhof College of Nursing

Date Range



The presentation's focus is the specific content throughout a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program of mental health strands to maximize health outcomes for marginalized populations. The treatment of mental health in primary care has increased with the availability of the newer psychiatric medications, the recognition of co-morbid conditions with physical illnesses, and the increased acceptance of diagnoses such as depression and anxiety. At the sametime, the availability of psychiatric medications has made the treatment of people with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder more community based. The latter group further suffers under burdens of behavior, life-style, medication side effects, and stigma that have caused their lives to be shortened by as much as 25 years compared to the general population. The preparation of all individuals who provide primary health care should include the best treatment of mental illnesses, the optimum use of psychoactive drugs, and the critical need to incorporate physical health care for those who have been primarily treated within a separate mental health system. At the Kirkhof College of Nursing (KCON) the curriculum developed for the DNP incorporates several courses to address these needs. The foundational mental health topics include the definition and identification of vulnerable populations, psychopharmacology, mental health theories for diagnosis and treatment, and a practicum focusing on basic counseling techniques for primary care professionals. The anticipated outcomeis for primary care professionals to better serve the wholistic needs of all clients either through direct intervention or through proper referral.

Conference Name

6th International Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Nursing Network Conference

Conference Location

Brisbane, Australia

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