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Texas State University

Regents approve Psychiatric Mental Health certificate for Nurse Practitioners via distance learning

Inside TXST

Jayme Blaschke | May 21, 2020

nurses gathered at a table

The Texas State University System Board of Regents has authorized Texas State University to offer a new Post-Master’s Certificate in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program via distance education. 

The board approved the new program during its quarterly meeting May 21. The certificate program is expected to start in spring 2021.  

“Since the Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) degree with a major in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner started in spring 2019, many nurse practitioners have inquired about the possibility of enrolling in the psychiatric specialty courses in order to be eligible to sit for the certification licensure exam and practice as psychiatric and mental health practitioners,” said Gene Bourgeois, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “The profound need and demand for psychiatric mental health care in Texas supports the development of additional educational opportunities to increase resources and services.”  

The new certificate program will allow nurses to advance their career opportunities and help fill the gap for professionals working in the psychiatric, mental and behavioral health care settings. The program will be based on the Round Rock Campus and will consist of online classes and clinical practicums to accommodate the needs of working professionals.

“The College of Health Professions has a long history of responding to the healthcare needs of our community,” said Marla Erbin-Roesemann, director of the St. David’s School of Nursing. “Now more than ever we have a significant need for Psychiatric and Mental Health providers. 

“There are over 4,000 areas in the U.S. designated as shortage areas for mental health providers, with Texas being 50/51, second only to Alabama, with a rate of one provider to 990 people with psychiatric and mental health disorders,” she said. “This program will provide current advanced practice nurses the opportunity to become certified as psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioners and help fill the gap in mental health care.” 

According to the U.S. Health Resources and Service Administration, there are more than 4,000 areas in the United States designated as shortage areas for mental health providers. Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners in primary care provide one way of addressing the mental health workforce gap. 

The certificate program will prepare advanced practice nurses to build on the core competencies identified for all nurse practitioners and develop competencies in the full range of psychiatric services, including the delivery of primary mental health care. 

The Texas State University System Board of Regents is the governing body for Texas’ oldest university system, which comprises seven flagship institutions: Lamar University; Sam Houston State University; Texas State University; Sul Ross State University; Lamar Institute of Technology; Lamar State College-Orange; and Lamar State College-Port Arthur.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922