Will We Be Ready? Preparing Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses for Future Practice

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To review the challenges and issues facing educators as they prepare the psychiatric-mental health (PMH) nursing workforce to meet the needs of future practice. METHODS: Based on the author’s 40-plus-year career as an educator, clinician, and researcher, combined with a review of the literature, this article analyzes the current educational milieu for undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, and continuing education of PMH nurses, including urgent educational priorities. It also offers recommendations to meet the needs of PMH nurses both in education and in clinical practice. RESULTS: PMH nursing education must evolve to provide nursing experiences in nontraditional as well as traditional clinical settings, and incorporate simulation and telehealth/digital/mobile platforms for delivery of content. Development of qualified faculty members and preceptors who represent the diversity of the American population must be addressed to adequately train PMH nurses to meet the demands of their future roles. Methods must also be created to define, teach, and evaluate PMH nurses’ clinical competencies pre- and postclinical experiences. CONCLUSIONS: PMH nursing education must evolve and transform to attract, appropriately educate and prepare students for practice, and meet the growing need for qualified practitioners as well as faculty members and preceptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-119
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3467-8587 Kaas Merrie J. 1 1 Merrie J. Kaas, PhD, APRN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA Merrie J. Kaas, University of Minnesota School of Nursing, 6-157B Weaver-Densford Hall, 308 Harvard Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. Email: kaasx002@umn.edu 10 2019 1078390319878767 © The Author(s) 2019 2019 American Psychiatric Nurses Association OBJECTIVE: To review the challenges and issues facing educators as they prepare the psychiatric-mental health (PMH) nursing workforce to meet the needs of future practice. METHODS: Based on the author’s 40-plus-year career as an educator, clinician, and researcher, combined with a review of the literature, this article analyzes the current educational milieu for undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, and continuing education of PMH nurses, including urgent educational priorities. It also offers recommendations to meet the needs of PMH nurses both in education and in clinical practice. RESULTS: PMH nursing education must evolve to provide nursing experiences in nontraditional as well as traditional clinical settings, and incorporate simulation and telehealth/digital/mobile platforms for delivery of content. Development of qualified faculty members and preceptors who represent the diversity of the American population must be addressed to adequately train PMH nurses to meet the demands of their future roles. Methods must also be created to define, teach, and evaluate PMH nurses’ clinical competencies pre- and postclinical experiences. CONCLUSIONS: PMH nursing education must evolve and transform to attract, appropriately educate and prepare students for practice, and meet the growing need for qualified practitioners as well as faculty members and preceptors. psychiatric-mental health nursing psychiatric-mental health nursing education psychiatric-mental health advanced practice registered nurse mental health service workforce development edited-state corrected-proof MJK was assisted in the preparation of this article by medical writer Nancy Monson. Author Roles This article is based on a presentation by MJK at an APNA workforce conference supported by Neurocrine Biosciences and held in Falls Church, Virginia, on February 20, 2019. Medical writer Nancy Monson (NM) created a first draft based on this presentation. MJK revised the article and NM reviewed it before MJK submitted it for publication. Declaration of Conflicting Interests The author declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. Funding The author disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This article was supported by the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. ORCID iD Merrie J. Kaas https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3467-8587

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.

Keywords

  • mental health service
  • psychiatric-mental health advanced practice registered nurse
  • psychiatric-mental health nursing
  • psychiatric-mental health nursing education
  • workforce development

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