Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Family)
Susan M. Adams, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, FAANP
Professor Adams is dually certified as a Clinical Specialist in Adult Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing and as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She was an item writer for the first national certification exam for Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioners offered by ANCC (Fall 2000). She is a leader in advance practice psychiatric nursing and serves on national task force groups for curriculum, practice and policy initiatives (APNA, NONPF). She joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in 1995, providing leadership in developing the PMHNP curriculum and in implementing the modified distance option for the PMHNP program. She has extensive experience in group and family therapy from Palo Alto VAMC in California, which she integrates into experiential learning within the classroom. She has pioneered an advanced practice role with a private OB-Gyn group in Brentwood, Tenn., where she provides psychiatric consultation and psychotherapy for selected clients. Her research interests include co-morbid substance use, affective disorders in women [trauma-informed interventions,] and the role of hope in the depression recovery process. Recent articles have been published in the Journal do Addictions Nursing, Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, Nursing and Health Care: Perspectives on Community, Nursing Administration Quarterly and Substance Abuse.
The Vanderbilt Experience
As one of the first schools in the nation to develop the role of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Vanderbilt School of Nursing expanded the role of the clinical nurse specialist (CNS) by preparing advanced practice nurses who can conduct physical assessments, order/evaluate laboratory tests and provide ongoing psycho- and pharmacotherapeutic treatment to a broad spectrum of mental health clients. You will be placed in a variety of clinical sites that are matched with your area of interest and previous educational and/or clinical experiences. All students will have clinical experiences to treat patients across the lifespan.
Modified Class Schedule
Students eligible for the modified learning format and distance clinical placement are those who already have an RN license: RN Pre-specialty, Direct Entry, and Post-Master’s Certificate Program students. You will complete your PMHNP specialty program through a modified learning (block) format that includes: (1) courses offered in concentrated blocks of time on campus, including weekends, up to four times per semester, (2) on-line conferencing and (3) distributed course delivery methods which allow for continued faculty contact between sessions.
Distance option students may choose to attend weekly lectures on-campus or to access these lectures from a remote site through:
- Live video-streamed lectures broadcast over the Vanderbilt School of Nursing website at the specified class time,
- Archived video-streamed lectures available on Blackboard course links.
In addition, students are required to attend courses in concentrated blocks of time on campus, up to four times per semester over an extended weekend of approximately five days. Clinical practicum placement is arranged in your home area provided a suitable agency and preceptor are available. Sites and preceptors are subject to Vanderbilt faculty approval.
Students matriculating through the Pre-specialty Program are required to complete all coursework and clinical placements in residence and attend weekly specialty classes on campus. Clinical placements for these students will be in Nashville or nearby communities.