Online Psychiatric Mental Health Program Information
The field of psychiatric mental health is experiencing steady expansion as medical research reveals more and more information about the causes of mental illness and effective ways of treating it. Registered nurses who want to specialize in mental health have options for psychiatric mental health programs at both the master's degree and doctoral degree level. Programs at both degree levels are available online.
Overview of an Online Master's Degree in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
Online master's degree programs in psychiatric mental health nursing are best suited for registered nurses. These programs review the present state of medical research into mental illness and provide training in the treatment of patients with mood and personality disorders.
Students enhance their existing communication skills and knowledge of diagnosis and treatment protocols. Practicum courses prepare students to work in a variety of medical settings. A bachelor's degree, preferably in nursing, and a 3.0 or better grade point average are the minimum academic requirements to enroll in a master's degree program.
Program Information and Requirements
Psychiatric mental health nursing online programs are generally hybrids of online and traditional instruction. Clinical practicum credits must be completed on-site. Many schools will either have an affiliated hospital or partnerships with independent clinics. A master's degree is typically earned in 2-3 years. For online classes, students may access readings, lectures and other materials 24 hours a day through a school's website.
Participation in an online program requires a relatively new a personal computer, Internet access, word processing and presentation software. Schools may use a proprietary content management system or a commercial system such as Blackboard.
List of Common Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Master's Degree Courses
Master's degree programs in psychiatric mental health nursing are organized into core course, advanced practice courses, seminars and clinical rotations. Students begin clinical rotations after declaring their concentration or specialization.
This course focuses on applications of biostatistics to advanced practice and mental health nursing. Selection, analysis and interpretation of data and its contribution to decision-making are a primary emphasis.
Research Methods Course
Students in this course develop their skills at uncovering medical information and applying it to nursing practice. Course work emphasizes qualitative and quantitative methods.
Psychiatric Assessment Course
This course focuses on the process of evaluating patients, identifying patterns of behavior that indicate the presence of a mental disorder and applying treatment. Topics covered include standards of medical practice, medical ethics and treatment modalities used in different psychiatric settings.
Career Information for Master's Degree Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Graduates
Graduates of an online master's degree program in psychiatric mental health nursing are qualified for positions as psychiatric nurse practitioners. Further specialization into gerontologic-psychiatric nursing, child and adolescent mental health nursing or substance abuse nursing are possible depending on education and training. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) predicts employment of psychiatric nurse practitioners over the years 2008-2018 will grow 20%. As of May 2009, psychiatric nurse practitioners earned a median salary of $63,750.
Continuing Education Information
Doctoral programs in psychiatric mental health nursing are available for advanced practice mental nurses who want to assume leadership positions in the field. A handful of schools offer Doctor of Nursing programs online.
Overview of an Online Doctor of Nursing Program in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
Online Doctor of Nursing degree programs in psychiatric mental health nursing are designed for registered nurses and advanced practice nurses. Program content addresses the evolving roles of nurses in a multifaceted health care system, engages with the findings of new and ongoing mental health research and attempts to translate research into practice.
Students gain experience and insight into the duties associated with leading a nursing staff in caregiving and clinical research settings. Admission to a doctoral degree program requires a bachelor's degree or master's degree in nursing. Applicants with a bachelor's degree who are accepted into a program may have to complete supplementary graduate-level courses.
Program Information and Requirements
Because clinical practice requirements, online Doctor of Nursing programs offer a combination of traditional and online instruction. Students have 24 hour access to medical research and lectures for their online courses through the school's website, and opportunities to interact with instructors and other students in online forums.
A personal computer and Internet access are required to participate in an online program. Depending on prior education and time availability, a Doctor of Nursing program can be completed in 2-3 years.
List of Common Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Doctoral Degree Courses
The initial year of a Doctor of Nursing program is likely to emphasize classroom study. Latter years are devoted to research, a clinical residency and completion of a culminating project.
Health Assessment Course
This course combines classroom, laboratory and evidence-based approaches to assessing and diagnosing physical and mental health conditions. Course work surveys common health problems in various groups.
Individual Psychiatric Care Course
The extant theory and research into mental illness treatment as practiced with individual patients is the focus of this course. Diagnostic assessment, the mental illness pharmacopeia, and mental illness prevention are among the topics covered.
Family Psychiatric Care Course
Students in this course survey current theoretical concepts and research into aberrant family behavior and coping mechanisms. Course work examines strategies for guiding families to healthier relationships.
Career Information for Doctoral Degree Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Graduates
Nurses who graduate from an online Doctor of Nursing program in psychiatric mental health nursing are qualified for leadership positions. They may become senior medical researchers, professors or administrators at hospitals, agencies or graduate programs. They may also continue caring for patients as the head of a staff of mental health nurse practitioners. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), employment of medical administrators will grow 16% over the years 2008-2018. The median salary of medical administrators as of May 2009 was $81,850.
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