Jul 16, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing, D.N.P. (Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Concentration)

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General Program Information

Dr. Lisa Haddad, PhD, RN, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs, Interim
207 Roy S. Nicks Hall
Box 70629
(423) 439-5626
e-mail: HaddadL@etsu.edu

Dr. Jean Hemphill, PhD, FNP-BC, DNP Program Director
204 Roy S. Nicks Hall
Box 70629
(423) 439-7603
e-mail: hemphilj@etsu.edu

Dr. Judith Rice, DNP, PMHNP, FNP, CS, Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Co-Coordinator
208 Roy S. Nicks Hall
Box 70629
(423) 439-4396
e-mail: riceja@etsu.edu

Faculty: Nancy Cameron; Teresa Carnevale; Myra Carew; Kimberly Ferguson; Donna Fraysier; Lisa Haddad; Christine Hall; Jean Hemphill; Vallire Hooper; Janice Lazear; Sharon Loury; Jo-Ann S. Marrs; Carolyn Merriman; April Morrison; Christine Mullins; Paige Mullins-Reed; Wendy Nehring; Lisa Ousley; Victoria Pope; Judith Rice; Arshak Sargsyan; Terri Schreiner; Candice Short; Sarah Treat; Patricia Vanhook; Florence Weierbach.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program offers a terminal professional degree for those who wish to pursue or further their career as an advanced practice nurse focusing on healthcare needs of specific populations. The College of Nursing currently offers four concentrations within the degree: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Executive Leadership, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

The focus of the concentration is to prepare advanced practice nurses to provide comprehensive psychiatric-mental health care across the life span to individuals, groups and families in diverse settings. Graduates are eligible for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner national certification examination. The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner works in collaboration with other members of the healthcare team. Graduates are prepared for employment in varied healthcare settings.

For application terms and deadlines please refer to the College of Nursing website.

Degree Requirements


FNP concentration: 83 credits/1000 clock hours
ANP/GNP concentration: 85 credits/1000 clock hours
PMHNP concentration: 80 credits/1000 clock hours
Executive Leadership concentration: 77 credits/1000 clock hours


All concentrations: 32 credits/500 clock hours

Specific courses are required of students who plan to take a national certification examination. All students are required to complete a Capstone Project.

PhD to DNP Degree or DNP to PhD Degree

A student holding an earned doctoral degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution may qualify for a second doctoral degree and may have a program of study that is up to 15 credit hours shorter depending on coursework taken in the prior doctoral program and approved by the student’s ETSU advisory committee and DNP or PhD Coordinator. All specific program requirements, with the possible exception of elective courses or duplicative courses, must be met for the second degree. Degree requirements that must be met include the candidacy examination and dissertation for the PhD, or the Capstone project for the DNP. In warranted circumstances credit used to satisfy approved ETSU graduate certificate requirements may be applied toward the second doctoral degree. Please consult the PhD and DNP curricula and concentrations for specific program requirements and sample programs of study.

Progression Standards

  1. Students in graduate nursing programs must meet the requirements of the School of Graduate Studies to remain in good standing. An overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) or better must be maintained.
  2. In addition, a nursing student must achieve a “B” or better in every graduate nursing course. Policies of the School of Graduate Studies for progression will apply.
  3. DNP students who receive less than a “B” in a course will have one opportunity to repeat the course.
  4. If a student’s cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0, she/he will be placed on academic probation the following semester. If the student does not achieve a 3.0 cumulative grade point average at the conclusion of one probationary semester, the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and the Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the College of Nursing will determine if the student should be dismissed from graduate study or continued on academic probation. No student will be allowed more than two probationary semesters, whether consecutive or cumulative. At the end of a second probationary semester, a student whose cumulative grade point average is still below 3.0 will be dismissed from graduate study.
  5. Students whose performance results in a GPA so far below 3.0 as to make it mathematically impossible to attain an overall GPA of 3.0 after one semester may be subject to dismissal without a probationary term.
  6. An incomplete grade (“I”) indicates that the student was passing the course at the end of the semester, but due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, was unable to complete the course work for which the “I” is assigned. The “I” grade cannot be used to allow a student to do additional work to raise a deficient grade or to repeat a course. An “I” grade must be removed no later than one calendar year from the time the grade is awarded. Students with more than one “I” grade cannot progress in the program.  Time extension requests for removal of an “I” grade must be submitted to and approved by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies before the allotted time expires. An “I” grade not removed under the guidelines in the Graduate Catalog will be converted to an “F.”
  7. DNP students may have grades of “WF” in no more than one semester within an academic year. 
  8. Students who wish to change from part-time to full-time status must submit a written request to the College of Nursing’s Office of Student Services. Request will be approved on an individual basis, taking into consideration the student’s academic performance and available clinical slots.
  9. Students must maintain an unencumbered registered nurse license in all states where they are currently licensed throughout the duration of the graduate program and in the state(s) where they fulfill clinical course requirements. If at any time during enrollment in the graduate program a student’s nursing license becomes encumbered, suspended, or revoked, the student must immediately report this to the Associate Dean Graduate Programs in the College of Nursing. If a student’s registered nurse license is suspended or revoked, or a student fails to report any changes in licensure status to the Associate Dean Graduate Programs, the student will be administratively withdrawn from the graduate program. A student’s ability to continue enrollment in the graduate program with an encumbered license will be reviewed on an individual basis considering the restriction/limitations placed on the student’s practice as a registered nurse by the board of nursing in the state issuing the encumbered license.
  10. Grade Scale: A=93-100; B=84-92; C=75-83; F=less than 75.

The student is referred to the Graduate Catalog for more detailed progression information.

Nursing D.N.P.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) is designed to produce leaders in nursing and health care practice. Specific objectives for the program are to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and values to:

  1. Integrate specialized knowledge, theories, and research from nursing science and related disciplines for application to nursing practice;
  2. Assume leadership roles as advanced clinicians, nurse educators, and/or administrators;
  3. Demonstrate accountability in nursing practice according to accepted standards of patient care and safety;
  4. Use information technology to translate research findings into evidence-based practice at the individual and health system levels;
  5. Affect desired change by developing and implementing policies at different levels of the health care system and with different constituencies;
  6. Provide multidisciplinary leadership through analysis of critical indicators within health care systems to provide optimal client care and safety; and
  7. Demonstrate advanced knowledge and skill in planning and delivery of health management.

Program Admission Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the DNP program must fulfill all the requirements for admission to both the School of Graduate Studies and the College of Nursing.


In addition to the requirements of the Graduate School, students applying to The College of Nursing DNP include:

  1. A bachelor’s (BSN to DNP applicants) in nursing or non-nursing master’s (MSN to DNP applicants) degree, or equivalency for international applicants in nursing from a nationally accredited nursing program or comparably recognized non-U.S. institution with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale.

Certification (for MSN to DNP applicants) in the selected nursing specialty for the concentration (for instance, FNP certification for the FNP Concentration); at least one year of experience in a nursing administration role for the Executive Leadership concentration;
A nursing master’s degree in a different specialty than the program concentrations (executive leadership, PMHNP, ANP/GNP, FNP) (longer program of study may be required) and, in addition, for Executive Leadership at least one year of experience in a nursing administration role;
BSN from a nationally accredited nursing program and a non-nursing master’s degree (longer program of study may be required) and, in addition, for Executive Leadership at least one year of experience in a nursing administration role.

Students admitted to the BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice Program in Family Nurse Practitioner, Executive Leadership, and Psychiatric Mental Health concentrations complete the requirements for a Master of Science in Nursing in one of the following: Family Nurse Practitioner (51 hour program of study), Executive Leadership (45 hour program of study), or Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (48 hour program of study) en route to DNP completion.

  1. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores for applicants with cumulative grade point average less than 3.2 as reported by their BSN or MSN institution;
  2. Certification (for MSN to DNP applicants) in the selected nursing specialty for the concentration (for instance, FNP certification for the FNP Concentration); at least one year of experience in a nursing administration role for the Executive Leadership concentration;
  3. Current unencumbered license in the United States as a registered nurse and eligibility for licensure in Tennessee or equivalency for international students;  
  4. Three letters of recommendation: one from the applicant’s current (most recent) supervisor, one from a faculty member who has worked directly with the applicant during previous academic study, and one from an individual selected by the applicant;
  5. Completion of an interview;
  6. Completion of a Problem Focused Essay at the time of application describing a problem the applicant has identified in practice that the applicant might explore in the DNP program; and
  7. A resume or curriculum vita (CV).

The completed application form and fee, transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work, essay, documentation of nursing licensure in the United States, letters of recommendation and resume or vita must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies. International students must also forward the additionally required documentation to the School.

The personal interview and time for completing the writing sample will be scheduled by the College of Nursing’s DNP Admissions Committee. Factors given consideration in the admission decision include: previous grade point average (GPA), clarity of the applicant’s selected problem as stated in the writing sample and during the interview, writing ability, professional work experience and achievements, professional honors and awards, interest in rural and underserved population groups, and quality of references/recommendations.

The DNP Admissions Committee may recommend admission of a promising applicant who has not met all the admission standards on a provisional basis.

Criminal Background Checks

To progress clinically, students will be required to complete a Criminal Background Check at his or her own expense from a specified vendor. Unfavorable results may result in a student’s inability to continue in clinical courses; review of the contents of the background check and the determination for eligibility for participation at a clinical site will be conducted by affiliated clinical agencies. Although the College of Nursing does not receive the contents of the background check, documentation of completion is kept with the student’s Clinical Course Health Requirement file.

Requirements for Completion of Degree

Students in the D.N.P. program must comply with all policies of the ETSU School of Graduate Studies regarding retention, progression, and graduation. In addition, before entrance into clinical courses, students must

  • be licensed or authorized to practice in Tennessee or a compact state,
  • demonstrate evidence of professional malpractice insurance in the amount of $1,000,000/$3,000,000 coverage (as a nurse practitioner student),
  • have current CPR certification and knowledge of universal precautions,
  • comply with the clinical requirements of the College of Nursing, and
  • complete a criminal background check per College of Nursing policy.

A student may be asked to present evidence of physical or mental health at any time during the nursing program, and continuance in the program may be contingent upon this evidence. Additionally, students are required to provide their own transportation to clinical sites.

BSN-DNP Degree Requirements: 80 credits

Core Requirements 23 credits
Concentration 45 credits
DNP Project 12 credits
TOTAL 80 credits

MSN-DNP Degree Requirements: 32 credits

Core Requirements 11 credits
Concentration 9 credits
DNP Project 12 credits
TOTAL 32 credits

Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Concentration (MSN-DNP): 9 credits

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