Educating integrated family/ psychiatric–mental health nurse practitioners: Program development and evaluation

Polly A. Hulme, Julia F. Houfek, Kathryn Fiandt, Cecilia Barron, Susan Muhlbauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: This article describes the development, implementation, and outcomes of an integrated family nurse practitioner/psychiatric–mental health nurse practitioner (FNP/PMH-NP) program. The program was designed to help alleviate health professional shortages in rural areas. Method: Faculty from both specialties developed a 3-year integrated curriculum, with attention to course sequencing and removing redundancies. Students completed all FNP and PMH-NP specialty courses and 855 clinical hours. Specialty integration occurred during the final semester through faculty-facilitated integrated case studies and clinical preceptorships with dual-certified rural nurse practitioners. Results: Thirteen students completed the program between 2006 and 2014. A survey of graduates (75% response rate) demonstrated that most were dual certified, and less than half practiced in rural areas. All were very satisfied with their nurse practitioner role. Conclusion: The program successfully prepared graduates to care for patients across the mind–body spectrum in integrated mental health–primary care positions. More work may be needed to market the integrated role and rural practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-499
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nursing Education
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Education


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