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PMHNP Residency programs

Posted

Has 4 years experience.

Hi,

I’ve been having a hard time finding PMHNP residency programs and was wondering if anyone had a program they would recommend. Thanks!!

verene, MSN

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

There aren't many. I believe the VA has a few. I think when I search coming up on my graduation (not all that long ago) I found something like 8 nation wide.

Plenty of places will hire PMHNP new-grad with out residency though.

phil1968, ADN, BSN, LPN

Specializes in tele- 7 yrs, Pyxis- 3 yrs, med/surg 4. Has 29 years experience.

A friend of mine who does PMHNP at the VA in New Orleans gave me a heads up that the VA is going to role out a residency program at selected VA hospitals within the next year of so. The residency program she described would be at least one, possibly two years.

DrCOVID, DNP

Specializes in mental health/medical-surgical. Has 12 years experience.

The VA is the only one I have heard of as well. I heard it was super limited though, like a couple slots a year or something and you likely have to move bc it's not everywhere.

umbdude, MSN, NP

Specializes in Psych/Mental Health. Has 4 years experience.

Do a more thorough Google search. There are a number of residencies or fellowships out there that aren't well known, though the number is still small. There's one that's affiliated with Rush University. Your PMHNP program director should be notifying you about these as well.

Edited by umbdude

Psych-DNP, DNP, APRN

Specializes in Psychiatry/Mental Health. Has 3 years experience.

After graduating with my DNP I completed one of the PMHNP Residency programs at the VA (there are several: Boston, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, there are more that I can't remember, and more are being added every year). It was one of the best decisions I could have made to start my career. Each residency is a little different from what I understand and is determined by the site. It provided me with a year of on the job experience that was designed to give me exposure to multiple settings: multiple outpatient psych clinics, inpatient psych, psych emergency (to name a few); multiple patient populations within the VA: Transgender health, addiction programming; almost every setting I was in I was part of a multidisciplinary team of APNs, social workers, psychologists, and physicians; I was able to get a varied experience in prescribing, group psychotherapy, and individual psychotherapy; and there is a requirement for all sites to provide weekly didactic lectures. My VA had a wide range of topics from food/sugar addiction, benzo sparing alcohol withdrawal treatment, LGBTQ+ health, PTSD treatment, minority stress, (again this is just a few of the many topics); there are opportunities to teach with the university we are partnered with (e.g., one day presentations, or being a guest in a seminar on interview building skills). The amount of growth and knowledge I received in that one year alone. I am still learning so much.

There are also some pretty great perks too, you can get medical and life insurance, 13 days of vacation, 13 sick days, 11 paid holidays. You won't get to participate dental, vision, or the retirement during residency.

There are residencies around the country, I think Mayo, Duke, Rush universities, and some community settings have them. The great thing about being at the VA is that if you graduate in one state you can still apply for a VA residency in any state because you only need one licence in any state. I graduated in Illinois, if I wanted to go to Mayo or Duke I would have to pass my boards, get my licence in IL, then apply for a licence by endorsement before I could start working. Depending on that state's board of nursing that can be a nightmare. Also, you can graduate and be eligible for licensure to start the VA residency. You then have 90 days to pass your boards and get your state license.

After I completed the residency I applied for a staff position at the VA. You'll also see a lot of posts about the boarding process at the VA, yes it is a horrid. The residency was designed so that you have to complete certain objectives. If you have successfully completed the objectives, when you go to write your NPSB packet you will have met all criteria to be a Nurse III. Now I am a staff NP and faculty in the residency program, providing supervision to residents and graduate nursing students, which is a part of my work I never thought would be so rewarding.

This will most likely be a very unpopular opinion--residency should be a requirement for NPs. Especially in states where full practice authority is allowed. (But that might be a different post)

Good luck on this new chapter of your career!

Thanks for that awesome explanation. I currently work on an acute inpatient unit at the VA, I have applied for entry to the Post Masters PMHNP program at Texas Tech.  Do you have to wait until you have graduated to complete an application to the residency programs or can you apply when you 3-6 months prior to graduation?

USA987, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Behavioral Health. Has 21 years experience.

Medical College of Wisconsin started.a residency program this year as well.

Psych-DNP, DNP, APRN

Specializes in Psychiatry/Mental Health. Has 3 years experience.

On 8/29/2020 at 8:27 AM, Jamaica3 said:

Thanks for that awesome explanation. I currently work on an acute inpatient unit at the VA, I have applied for entry to the Post Masters PMHNP program at Texas Tech.  Do you have to wait until you have graduated to complete an application to the residency programs or can you apply when you 3-6 months prior to graduation?

Every station has different application deadlines depending on when they start during the year. For my station, you can apply before graduation, with the stipulation that you will graduate and be eligible to take your boards by the residency start date, July 1st.

12gage, BSN

Specializes in emergency department. Has 13 years experience.

I am currently a nurse at the VA in San Diego. I'm In PMHNP school. I would absolutely love to be accepted into a residency program through any VA that would offer me a position. Unfortunately, the application process isn't streamlined. Each application has to be submitted separately. Do you have any idea as to how competitive these programs are and what the program directors are looking for? 

Psych-DNP, DNP, APRN

Specializes in Psychiatry/Mental Health. Has 3 years experience.

The VA is moving towards a single application system where the candidate can fill it out and select which locations they would like to submit to. The barrier to that is not all of the programs start at the same time. The start times fluctuate by location because of academic partnerships the VA has with local universities. So the VA in X city partners with X university and that university starts on 7/1.  The VA in Y city partners with Y university and the university starts on 10/1.

The start dates are becoming more compressed with most starting over the Summer, but are still not perfectly in sync to the point where everyone across the country starts on the same day or even the same month.

Residency directors are looking for a few things such as grades, what your recommendations letters look like, and most importantly, why you want to work with Veterans in the long term. The residency should be the first step in a career with the VA, not just a stepping stone to private practice or a community setting.

In regards to competitiveness, the interest in residencies continues to grow and every year there are more candidates turned away at some sites. Sites that are in cities like San Francisco have more applicants than others because more people want to live there. If someone is flexible in where they want to live they can apply to them all. The applications are similar enough that it shouldn't take a person hours and hours to complete each one of them because you'll be using the same resume, the same recommendation letters, etc. 

Hope this helps.

12gage, BSN

Specializes in emergency department. Has 13 years experience.

Thank you so much for this detailed reply. I’ve been with the VA since 2013 and really like working with veterans. I did notice that many of the applications are similar, but they do ask for letters of recommendation from the sender. I guess I could just work around that by sending them myself or something. I would just hate to ask for someone  to send out a dozen letters for me. Again, thank you for your time and a safe and peaceful holiday. 
Gage

umbdude, MSN, NP

Specializes in Psych/Mental Health. Has 4 years experience.

Most (if not all) of the application materials, including letters of recommendations, are sent via email. 

12gage, BSN

Specializes in emergency department. Has 13 years experience.

I'm pretty preoccupied with the idea of pursuing a VA residency after I finish school next Spring. Another question I have is whether I will keep accruing my VA time seamlessly if I am chosen for a residency. I work in the ER at the VA. Are the residency positions different as far as benefits are concerned because they are one year temporary positions or whatever? Does this mean I wouldn't be keeping my service computation date, sick leave, etc., and contributing to my retirement during my residency? Am I making sense? Any VA employees have experience with working for the VA then accepting a residency position and then continuing service after? Thanks. 

Psych-DNP, DNP, APRN

Specializes in Psychiatry/Mental Health. Has 3 years experience.

Residents are considered trainees NOT staff. My recommendation is to contact an HR specialist and ask them these questions.