Infusing Geropsychiatric Nursing Content into Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Curricula: Challenges and Solutions
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By the year 2050, approximately 83 million Americans will be over age 65. Studies have found today’s healthcare providers unprepared to meet the complex healthcare needs of an aging society. Educational institutions must adapt their curricula to address the needs of older adults. The purpose of this project was to improve geropsychiatric knowledge and competency among Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner students through a competency enhancement project. A Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program in the Midwest served as the setting for the project. The Geropsychiatric Nursing Competency Enhancements for Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners were compared with and integrated into the National Organization for Nurse Practitioner Faculty Nurse Practitioner core competencies and the population focused competencies for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. The outcome was a schematic crosswalk demonstrating the alignment and synthesis of three sets of competencies into one final document. Through the alignment and integration of the Geropsychiatric Nursing Competency Enhancements with the existing competencies for the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, students are provided with a curriculum that addresses the population driven health care needs of today’s society. This project meets the APRN consensus models requirement for life span perspective and can be utilized by other PNHNP programs who wish to enhance their curriculum.