Partnering to Provide Midwifery and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Education: A Model for Success

Saturday, 28 October 2017: 2:15 PM

Karen Johnson Feltham, PhD1
Marian Newton, PhD1
Susan Bragg Leight, EdD2
(1)Eleanor Wade Custer School of Nursing, Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA, USA
(2)School of Nursing, West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon, WV, USA

Shenandoah University School of Nursing maintains accredited programs in Midwifery (CNM) and the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) through the MSN program. These programs are historically expensive to deliver with low student numbers. Because of these challenges, Schools of Nursing have closed programs throughout the country even in the midst of serious need for these specialties among rural and vulnerable populations. To address population needs for improved access to healthcare, and students’ needs for advanced nursing practice clinical education, Shenandoah Unviersity (SU) pursued collaborative relationships with colleges and universities with MSN programs. Through these initiatives (collaborative relationships), students complete core coursework at their home school to satisfy the requirements of an MSN, and pursue midwifery or PMHNP course work at SU. First year study occurs at their home school and the second year is full time study of the speciality in a hybrid program with SU. The end result is an MSN degree awarded from the home institution and a Post Master’s certificate from SU. With the Post Master's certificate, graduates are eligible to sit for their national board exams. Students, faculty, universities, and most importantly, patient populations benefit from this arrangement. There is an additional benefit of building a student community from a variety of home schools and geographic settings and creating collegial relationships with students might not otherwise have interacted. In additon, new initiative students frequently bring new clinical sites. Access to qualified preceptors is a critical component of successful clinical education and advanced practice nursing programs. Since it began in 2010, the midwifery program has grown significantly and partnered with five schools through the initiative. Likewise, the PMHNP has partnered with three schools since 2011. Both programs graduate professionals in these specialties who serve their home communities after graduation to increase access to care for women and individuals with mental health needs.