The new online, competency-based degree aims to address a critical shortage in mental health providers in Indiana and beyond.
INDIANAPOLIS — Today, the College of Health Professions at WGU Indiana announces the launch of a Master’s of Science in Nursing, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Degree to help address a critical shortage of mental health providers throughout the state. Nearly one in five U.S. adults suffer from mental, behavioral or emotional disorders, and the demand for effective mental healthcare is outpacing the availability of qualified mental healthcare providers across the country.
“Maintaining and growing our healthcare workforce, including mental health providers, is fundamental to providing robust, quality care to patients across Indiana,” said Alison Bell, WGU Indiana Chancellor and Regional Vice President at WGU. “To do this, WGU is expanding the accessible, affordable and flexible education pathways available for nurses to advance their careers. In doing so, we also create greater access to much needed mental health services and reduce the stigma in seeking help when needed.”
According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, only 2.9% of the 192,000 credentialed nurse practitioners in the U.S. work in the psychiatric/mental health specialty area. But studies have shown that up to 96% of counties in the U.S. have unmet needs for mental health professions, with the most pronounced shortage being in rural areas.
This new masters degree offering expands access to Hoosiers who wish to advance their careers into this exciting area of clinical practice, helps satisfy the increasing demand for mental health care in Indiana and provides advanced mental health care to individuals and families in local communities.
The new Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner degree is now available to students in Indiana. To learn more about the program details and apply, visit wgu.edu/psychNP.
About WGU Indiana
WGU Indiana is an online, competency-based university established to expand access to higher education for Indiana residents. The university offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the fields of business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. Degrees are granted under the accreditation of WGU, which is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Teachers College programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), College of Business programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). WGU Indiana has helped over 11,000 Hoosiers achieve their dream of completing a college degree. More than 5,000 students are currently enrolled. Learn more at www.wgu.edu/indiana.
About WGU’s College of Health Professions
The College of Health Professions at WGU is one of the nation’s largest schools of nursing, currently educating more than 26,000 bachelor’s- and master’s-level nursing and healthcare students. In 2020-21, more than 17% of all Bachelor’s of Science, Nursing graduates in the United States were educated by WGU’s College of Health Professions.