Rockhurst University

Rockhurst University’s Online PMHNP Program Equips Nurses to Fill the Mental Health Care Gap

Rockhurst University launches an online MSN-PMHNP program to address the US mental health care gap. Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs) will receive training to provide evidence-based care, medications, and therapy, improving accessibility and affordability, especially in underserved areas.

Kansas City, MO, United States – August 28, 2023 —

The United States is currently facing a significant mental health care gap, with a shortage of qualified providers to meet the growing demand for services. Despite 56% of Americans actively seeking help, mental health services in the United States remain inadequate, characterized by limited options and extended waiting periods.

Barriers to Accessing Timely and Appropriate Care

Many individuals across the nation, particularly in underserved communities, face barriers to accessing timely and appropriate mental health care. The ratio of mental health providers to individuals in the U.S. is estimated to be approximately 1:350. In fact, these figures potentially exaggerate the accessibility of active mental health professionals, as they may include providers who are no longer actively engaged in practice or accepting new patients. However, there are encouraging signs of progress, as 76% of Americans now recognize the importance of mental health on par with physical health, offering a glimmer of hope in an otherwise challenging landscape.

Bridging the Gap: The Role of PMHNPs

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs) can play a crucial role in bridging this gap by providing accessible and comprehensive mental health care. With their advanced training and expertise in psychiatric assessment, diagnosis and treatment, PMHNPs are uniquely positioned to deliver evidence-based care, prescribe medications, provide therapy and coordinate holistic treatment plans.

By expanding the mental health workforce and working in diverse settings, including primary care clinics, community health centers and telehealth platforms, PMHNPs can improve access to mental health services and positively impact the well-being of individuals and communities in need. Their role in bridging the mental health care gap is vital in ensuring that all individuals have access to the support and treatment they require to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

Announcing the Launch of the MSN-PMHNP Program

The Rockhurst University Saint Luke’s™ College of Nursing and Health Sciences is proud to announce the launch of its new online Master of Science in Nursing Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (MSN-PMHNP) program.

According to recent research, more Missourians in rural areas reported having 14 or more poor mental health days in a month than those in urban areas. Further, Kansas ranks among the lowest on insurance rates and mental health care affordability. Approximately 18% of adults with mental illness in Kansas had no insurance, and only 7% of youths with severe depression received consistent treatment (compared to the 28% national average). The Rockhurst University Saint Luke’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences is helping to increase the accessibility and affordability of critical mental health care in these areas.

Dr. Barbara Ludwig’s Vision for Change

Rockhurst University is taking a proactive stance to train a new generation of nursing professionals capable of effecting positive change in mental health care accessibility. This program isn’t just about education; it’s about empowerment and creating a tangible impact on individuals and communities in need. Dr. Barbara Ludwig, Director of Graduate Nursing Programs at Rockhurst, expressed enthusiasm about the launch of the MSN-PMHNP program:

“We are excited to introduce this transformative program that empowers nurses to become agents of change in the mental health care landscape. With our MSN-PMHNP program, we are equipping nurses with the specialized skills they need to make a tangible difference in the lives of those struggling with mental health issues. This program aligns perfectly with Rockhurst University’s mission of service and community engagement, and we are eager to see the positive impact our graduates will make. In an era when mental health is gaining the recognition it deserves, the MSN-PMHNP program emerges as a beacon of progress, promising a brighter and more accessible future for mental health care across the nation.”

As the program unfolds, the vision of a healthier and more inclusive mental health care landscape becomes clearer. Rockhurst University’s dedication to providing a top-tier online education in this crucial field stands as a beacon of hope, addressing the glaring disparities in mental health care, particularly in underserved areas. By extending this opportunity to aspiring PMHNPs, Rockhurst is taking a significant step toward ensuring that every individual has the chance to access the support and treatment they require to lead fulfilling lives.

Rockhurst University Launches a Comprehensive Online MSN-PMHNP Program

The Rockhurst University Online MSN-PMHNP Program offers nurses a flexible and convenient pathway to advance their careers and make a significant impact in the field of mental health care. This comprehensive program provides in-depth education and training in psychiatric assessment, diagnosis and treatment, enabling nurses to deliver high-quality, evidence-based mental health care to diverse populations across the lifespan.

Rockhurst University’s Online MSN-PMHNP program is delivered by its Saint Luke’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City ranks No. 2 in Missouri, and No. 2 in the Kansas City metro area, and is the third largest employer in the Kansas City area. Saint Luke’s East Hospital in Lee’s Summit is tied for No. 3 in the Kansas City metro and No. 8 in Missouri. Both are recognized among the Best Hospitals in northwestern Missouri.

The Online MSN-PMHNP Program features a dynamic curriculum delivered by experienced faculty members who are leaders in the field of mental health care. The program uses advanced online learning technologies and its clinical placement team to ensure students receive a comprehensive education that combines theoretical knowledge with hands-on practical skills.

Applications for the Online MSN-PMHNP Program are now being accepted. Nurses interested in advancing their careers in mental health care and positively impacting their communities are encouraged to visit the program website page for more information and to start the application process.

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