CON Receives $1.5 Million Grant to Support Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Education
Jun 29, 2015 1:00 PM
The University of Utah College of Nursing and Veterans Affairs (VA) Salt Lake Health Care System have been awarded a 5-year VA Nursing Academic Partnership for Graduate Education (VANAP-GE) grant to support psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) education. The goals of the VANAP partnership are to 1) develop a veteran-focused curriculum, 2) increase VA recruitment and retention of high quality psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners, and 3) establish a year long post graduate residency within the VA Salt Lake Health Care System.
The University of Utah College of Nursing and George E. Wahlens Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) have a long history of collaboration and in 2007 established one of the first VA Nursing Academic Partnerships for undergraduate education. This ongoing partnership established clinical rotations for the majority of undergraduate nursing students at the VAMC and a team of VA-based nursing faculty within the College of Nursing.
The program directors for this new VA Nursing Academic Partnership for Graduate Education are the College of Nursing’s PMHNP specialty director ElLois Bailey, MS, PMHNP and Nathan Askerlund, DNP, PMHNP from the VA Salt Lake Health Care System.
Veterans suffer from an array of mental health issues related to their service including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and addiction. These men and women often struggle to obtain care due to a nation-wide shortage of mental health practitioners within the VA system. This program will support the collaborative efforts of clinical and educational experts from the University of Utah and VA Salt Lake Health Care System to increase access to psychiatric and mental health care services for veterans throughout Utah and the Intermountain West region.
The establishment of the VA Nursing Academic Partnership in Graduate Education and the PMHNP residency in Utah will be a critical step toward addressing the shortage of psychiatric-mental health care providers at the VA.
"One of my primary goals since becoming dean two years ago is to strengthen relationships with our regional clinical partners to improve nurse practitioner education, expand and enhance clinical training opportunities, and to help our partners recruit the best and brightest graduates who have trained within their facilities with their clinical experts" says Trish Morton, dean of the College of Nursing. "This new program will serve as model for graduate education partnerships throughout the nation.”