Indexed on: 17 Nov '06Published on: 17 Nov '06Published in: Perspectives in Psychiatric Care
The prevalence of anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation is significant in primary care settings across the country. Nonpsychiatric nurse practitioners must be able to recognize symptoms of common psychiatric disorders, know how to treat less complex mental illnesses, and know when to refer to psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs).This article describes the course content, assignments, and teaching strategies used in a clinical core course in the nurse practitioner (NP) curriculum that is required for all NP majors at the University of Texas at Arlington. Psychiatric Management for Advanced Practice provides the foundation for later PMHNP major specific clinical courses.Development of the course content was based on NONPF Domains and Competencies for the NP, input from graduate NP faculty using a modified Delphi approach, NP student feedback, review of curriculum from other schools, and review of the literature on depression, suicide, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders in primary care settings.Since 1999, students from the eight different NP programs at the University of Texas at Arlington have been required to take this course. Student, faculty, and graduate feedback about this course have been consistently positive. Many NP students comment on feeling much more comfortable assessing for depression, suicide, and substance use.