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Technical Standards: DNP PMHNP

What is the Role of an Individual Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner? The scope of practice of the PMHNP is continually expanding, consistent with the growing needs for mental health services and the expansion in scientific and nursing knowledge. PMHNPs provide a full range of services that constitute psychiatric mental health primary care treatment. PMHNPs are accountable for their own services and are academically prepared to perform services independent of other disciplines. To perform these role-related standards of practice, a PMHNP student must possess abilities and skills that are observational, communicational, intellectual-conceptual (integrative and quantitative), as well as appropriate behavioral and social skills. The use of a trained intermediary is not acceptable in any clinical situation in that it implies that the judgment of the trainee must be mediated by the powers of selection and observation of a third party.

The following technical standard guidelines are based on those recognized as essential to the study and practice of psychiatric mental health advanced practice nursing. These guidelines specify the attributes considered essential for completing training and for enabling each graduate to enter clinical practice.

All students must possess the intellectual, physical, and emotional capabilities necessary to undertake the required curriculum in a reasonably independent manner without having to rely on intermediaries. All students must be able to achieve the levels of competence required by the program goals and objectives.

It is the societal responsibility of the PMHNP program to train competent healthcare providers who are able to demonstrate extensive knowledge, communication, and critical thinking skills. The categories described below address these concepts and are referred to as technical standards required to achieve these expectations, satisfactorily progress through the program, and graduate. These categories include: observation, communication, motor function, intellectual-conceptual(integrative and quantitative) abilities, and behavioral and social attributes. Candidates who have questions regarding these technical standards, or who may need to request reasonable accommodation(s) to meet these technical standards are encouraged to contact the ADA Coordinator (information detailed below).

  • Observation: Candidates must acquire a defined level of information presented in the form of demonstrations and experiences. Examples may include: physical examination skills with standardized patients, and simulated and actual patient encounters related to mental health services. For example, utilizing skills obtained throughout the curriculum, candidates must be able to acquire information from a patient through a complete physical and mental health examination.
  • Communication:
    • Candidates must communicate effectively, efficiently, and empathetically with patients and families, as well as faculty, staff, peers, and other healthcare providers.
    • Candidates must be able to obtain a medical history; describe changes in mood, behavior, posture, and activity; interpret non-verbal aspects of communication; document and relay information clearly and accurately; develop therapeutic rapport with patients.
  • Motor Function:
    • Candidates must be able to perform a complete physical exam, following appropriate training by the nursing program.
    • Candidates must also be able to respond promptly to general and emergent clinical situations.
  • Intellectual-Conceptual (integrative and quantitative) Abilities:
    • Candidates must be able to acquire information through a variety of modalities including, but not limited to: classroom instruction; small group, team, and collaborative activities; individual study; preparation and presentation of reports; simulations; and use of computer technology.
    • Candidates must also be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures.
    • Candidates must measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate, and synthesize.
    • Candidates must have the ability to formulate and test hypotheses that enable effective and timely problem-solving in nursing diagnosis and care of patients in a variety of clinical settings and healthcare systems.
  • Behavioral and Social Attributes:
    • Candidates must possess the maturity and emotional health required for: full utilization of intellectual abilities; the use of good judgment; the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the curriculum and to the nursing diagnosis and care of patients; and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients, families, other healthcare providers, faculty, staff, and peers.
    • They must display characteristics of integrity, honesty, conscientiousness, and empathy.
    • Candidates must be able to collaborate, accept and provide appropriate and constructive feedback, and take personal responsibility for making appropriate and positive changes.
    • Candidates must have the physical and emotional stamina and resilience to tolerate taxing workloads and to function in a competent and professional manner under highly stressful situations.
    • Candidates must be able to display flexibility and adapt to changing environments.

The PMHNP Program at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science supports students who qualify for reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For further information related to these technical standards, or to request reasonable accommodations, interested persons are encouraged to contact the ADA Coordinator at 847-547-8354 or