Psychiatric and mental health core capabilities and learning outcomes developed in nurse practitioner programmes in Australia and the United States of America
Cashin, A, Green R & Buckley, T 2015, 'Psychiatric and mental health core capabilities and learning outcomes developed in nurse practitioner programmes in Australia and the United States of America', Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology & Mental Health, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1-2.
Mental health/psychiatric need in the community have outstripped the availability of specialist practitioners. Accessibility, along with affordability of healthcare and stigma, is one of the main reasons for the unmet service need in this area. Nurse Practitioners are demonstrably safe and effective practitioners for whom prescribing is an important part of practice. Nurse Practitioners prescribe in both the United States and Australia. Little is known of curricula content related to mental health/psychiatric illness and associated treatments in Nurse Practitioner programmes. It is axiomatic that mental health/psychiatric treatment including prescribing is a central focus of specialist mental health courses, but little is known of primary care and family care curriculum content in this domain in the United States or courses preparing for primary care in Australia. As up to 25% people at any time are affected by mental health disorders the case is made for the need to set core capabilities in this area in all person centred and holistic curricula and the need to ensure learning outcomes are set and are achieved in curricula.