Psychiatric/Mental Health Special Focus Area

The electives in the Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing special focus area are offered to students in other specialties who wish to increase their understanding of mental health problems and their management, and to develop additional skills in this area.

Students must take at least three Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing courses in addition to the required core course (N257 Assessment & Management of Common Psychiatric Symptoms). Courses in the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner curriculum that may be taken to meet this special focus area requirement are listed below (subject to change).


Required Core Course

N257. Assessment/Management of Common Psychiatric Symptoms. (2)
Course introduces students to common psychiatric symptom presentations and related conditions that are encountered by advanced practice nurses in primary care and specialty settings. Course discusses clinical presentation, underlying causes and appropriate management for patients across the life span.


N227. Theories of Mental Illness. (Fall Quarter, 3 units)
Examines major theories of mental illness and their implication for understanding the etiology and treatment of psychiatric conditions. Neurochemical, neuroendocrine, genetic, cognitive/behavioral, psychodynamic, attachment, and humanistic theories will be analyzed and applied to the assessment and management of mental health problems. Ethical issues raised by different theoretical perspectives will be discussed.
N231A. Substance Use and Mental Illness. (Summer Session II, 2 units, online)
Examines illness-related, gender-related and sociocultural factors that affect risk for co-existing psychiatric and substance abuse disorders and ability or willingness to access health care and community services. Models of service delivery will be evaluated for their ability to produce measurable health improvements for populations with these co-existing disorders.
N243A. Family Therapies. (Summer Session II, 2 units)
Examines theories of family therapy and their application to the practice of psychiatric nursing. Family assessments and supportive, educational, and therapeutic interventions will be described and evaluated.
N243B. Group Psychotherapies. (Winter Quarter, 2 units)
Course examines and discusses theories and practice of various group modalities in current use. Emphasis is on understanding and promoting therapeutic processes in types of groups commonly facilitated by advanced practice nurses.
N243C. Adult Psychotherapeutic Treatment Modalities. (Spring Quarter, 2 units)
Focuses on principles of supportive psychotherapies with adults experiencing a range of psychiatric problems. It also reviews models of crisis intervention, behavioral, cognitive behavioral, and motivational interventions. It is designed to use clinical case materials as the basis for discussion of assessment, goal setting and intervention.
N 244A. Managing the Psychological Impacts of Traumatic Events. (Winter Quarter, 1 unit, online)
Course examines theories from social, behavioral and neurosciences to explain psychobiological responses to different types of trauma. It applies developmental theories to understand effects of traumatic events on persons across the lifespan. It explores assessment and intervention of individuals, families and populations with past or current physical, sexual and emotional violence, as well those experiencing natural or man-made disasters. Course emphasizes both acute and chronic responses.
N252B. Psychotherapeutic Techniques with Children & Youth. (Summer Session II, 2 units)
Provides an introduction to the psychotherapeutic treatment of cognitive, emotional and behavioral problems experienced by children and adolescents. Content builds upon client-centered, cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic therapies.
N232.04C. Management of Psychotropic Regimens. (Spring Quarter, 2 units)
Course will focus on the development of effective clinical judgment in the psychopharmacological treatment of patients with mental illness. It will cover the major mental illnesses, as well as treatment considerations of special populations.