What is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner?
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with an advanced practice graduate degree. A psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) can assess, diagnose, treat and prescribe medications to individuals with psychiatric or mental health problems. Some PMHNPs earn doctoral degrees such as a DNP, EdD or PhD. Thus there are "Dr." nurses, just as some psychologists, social workers, pharmacists and other professions are called doctor. In North Carolina a PMHNP must be nationally board certified in their specialty area and licensed by the state. In North Carolina, if they are prescribing they will have a collaborating/supervising psychiatrist who serves as a resource for them.
What is my background?
- More than 35 years of experience as a nurse practitioner and more than 13 years as a PMHNP
- Board certified (BC) as a PMHNP through the American Nurses Certification Corporation (ANCC)
- Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP)
- Associate Professor emerita (retired) from UNC in Chapel Hill
- Book author (with A. Fournier) of How Change Happens in Equine-Assisted Interventions: A Theory of Horses, Humans and Psychotherapy
Training & Certification
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) training: 2-day training; 10-day intensive training; active participation in a weekly DBT consultation team, individual DBT and skills group
- Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) training: Advanced certification through EAGALA (equine assisted growth and learning association)
- ARCHES Arenas for Change
- Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) through Unyte ILS
- Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders (PMAD): Postpartum Support International (PSI) Certificate
- Certificate in Traumatic Stress Studies through the Trauma Research Foundation
Professional Degrees & Certificates
- MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) Women's Health Nurse Practitioner: SUNY Stonybrook
- EDD (Doctor of Nursing Education): Columbia University in the City of New York
- Post Masters Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner: University of South Florida
- Post Masters Certificate: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
I have been a registered professional nurse for many years. Originally trained in a 3-year diploma program at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, I later earned a bachelors (Excelsior College) then a masters degree in 1988 (SUNY Stony Brook) as a women's health nurse practitioner (WHNP). I went on to earn a doctoral degree in nursing education (EdD) in 1993 from Columbia University in New York and then completed a two-year postdoctoral program in research through the Veteran's Administration. I have a postmaster's certificate as a family nurse practitioner (FNP) and worked as a WHNP/FNP in primary care for many years. My concern for the mental health and wellness of clients throughout my career and my belief in the mind/body connection led me back to school once more. I earned a second post masters certificate as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) from the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill which included a focus on women's mood disorders. I completed a DBT "Intensive," through Behavioral Tech of Seattle I am a member of a DBT consultation team, am part of the Triangle Area DBT (TADBiT). I have Advanced Certification through EAGALA (equine assisted growth and learning association) as a mental health professional provider for equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) and a founding member of Arenas for Change. I have training in polyvagal therapy, SSP, trauma and internal family systems.