National Survey of Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Nursing: The Adequacy of Educational Preparation: Voices of Our Graduates12/01/2009
BACKGROUND: Little is known about the fit between practice and graduate education from the perspective of psychiatric mental health advanced practice registered nurses (PMH APRNs). OBJECTIVE: With the purpose of addressing this gap in our knowledge, an e-mail survey that was sent to certified PMH APRNs included a query “Did your program prepare you for your role?” and an open-ended follow-up question: “Please explain how your graduate program did not prepare you adequately for your role?” DESIGN: Descriptive survey. RESULTS: Although 70% of respondents reported satisfaction with their educational programs, content analysis of the comments indicated that the most pressing concerns related to instructional content about psychopharmacology, the practice of prescribing and psychiatric diagnosing, and that there was a perception of a disconnect between the role they were prepared for and their role in the present-day world of work. CONCLUSIONS: The findings reinforce the need for the PMH nursing specialty to further define the optimal methods for preparing APRNs for the full scope of psychiatric services they are licensed to provide as the size of the PMH APRN workforce increases.