Currently in its inaugural year, the program allows students to earn a master’s degree in mental health nursing without being at one of the school’s campuses. MCPHS University recognizes the severe lack of mental health nurse practitioners and the important role they play in mental healthcare. Demand for these nurses has risen in recent years in light of the opioid epidemic.
“We feel that having more mental health providers in the primary care settings, that’s sometimes the best place to discover there’s an issue,” said Carol Eliadi, dean of graduate nursing studies. “We’re hoping that our infusing the community with more nurse practitioners trained in psychiatric issues can help the access issue.”
The online nature of the program will improve access to nursing education for students in rural areas that often are in greater need of mental healthcare.
Edith Carlos, who coordinates the program, said, “It’s opened up so many opportunities to rural communities. The rural areas have high rates of mental health disorders and less resources.”
The New England Council is pleased to see MCPHS University continue to adapt and educate the next generation of healthcare providers.