Radford opens critical certificate program for advanced practice nursing professionals

DNP Program announced
Radford University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program prepares registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree in nursing science (BSN), a master’s degree or a master’s degree in nursing science for advanced nursing practice.

To meet a dire shortage, Radford University is now offering a Post-Master's Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate.

The innovative online program will prepare advance practice nurses to treat behavioral health issues and acute and chronic mental illness across the life span, using psychotherapy and medication. The program will provide post-master’s nurse practitioners with a foundation of knowledge and skills built upon theory, clinical reasoning and research.

The first cohort will begin with the opening of the fall semester. The 23-credit hour certificate can be completed in 18 months and will require 540 clinical hours.

Two years in development, the program is part of a $750,000 Advanced Nursing Education Grant from the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and a series of Waldron College of Health and Human Services programs focused on improving regional health care.

“The certificate will prepare health care professionals to meet the needs of a population in great need,” said Assistant Professor of Nursing Victoria Bierman '77, B.S.N. '98, M.S.N. '04, the grant’s primary investigator. “We can help alleviate a lot of patient suffering and prepare nurses to be more successful at managing a challenging situation for all - clients, families and providers.”

According to Bierman, the shortage of behavioral health nursing professionals impairs patient outcomes and hampers patient-centered care of those suffering from mental health issues that are compounded by chronic diseases, such as diabetes. In 2014 there were 133 licensed psychiatric nurse practitioners in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Only 106 were then practicing.

The program was approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) in March 2016 and enrollment is underway now. The PMHNP certificate program will be one of only three in the state.

For more information on the PMHNP certificate program, contact Bierman at vbierman@radford.edu or 831-7671. To begin an application, visit the Radford University College of Graduate Studies and Research at http://www.radford.edu/gradcollege.

Jun 3, 2016