Three Schools of Nursing within the University of California are pushing back the start date of a new online certificate program for psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In January, UC Davis, UCSF and UCLA launched the new online post-master’s certificate option for PMHNPs with the goal of preparing 300 providers by 2025. The online, post-master’s certificate program, the first of its kind in California, is expected to nearly double the state’s current pipeline of PMHNPs. Graduates are expected to serve as many as 378,000 patients over the next five years.
California was facing an urgent and growing shortage of mental health professionals before COVID-19 hit. More than 50% of people with mental illness in the state are not receiving psychiatric care — and many communities in the San Joaquin Valley and Inland Empire have only half as many psychiatrists as other parts of the state. The University of California recognizes that the coronavirus has the potential to make things worse. Its goal remains to lead the way in training PMHNPs to meet California’s urgent need for mental health professionals.
While the inaugural cohort will not start until January 2021, applications are due by May 1, 2020.
“This partnership draws upon the strengths and expertise of three UC nursing schools to advance mental-health services in California and beyond,” said Stephen Cavanagh, dean for the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. “Our goal is to prepare providers to meet the growing need for mental health nurse practitioners in our state.”
Once launched, the online program will enable nurse practitioners across the state to expand their certification without requiring relocation to a physical campus. Students can stay in their own communities to complete their training. Applicants will also be recruited from underserved rural and urban areas—so they can better serve their communities upon program completion.
About the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis
The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis transforms health care through interprofessional nursing education and research. Established in 2009 through a $100 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the school offers four graduate areas of study, including doctoral and master’s-degree programs in nursing science and health care leadership and master’s-degree programs for pre-licensure nurses, family nurse practitioners and physician assistants, with a focus on preparing primary care providers for rural and underserved communities. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing is part of UC Davis Health, an integrated, academic health system encompassing the UC Davis School of Medicine, UC Davis Medical Center and the UC Davis Medical Group. For more information, visit nursing.ucdavis.edu.