Date of Award

Spring 5-26-2018

Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice Final Manuscript

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Karen Macauley, PhD, DNP


Title: Practicum to Practice: Family Nurse Practitioner Student Competencies in Integrated Psychiatric Mental Healthcare.

Background: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a widespread and costly diagnosis that affects nearly 16 million people annually and costs the United States nearly $83 Billion. Primary care providers such as Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP) play a crucial role in screening for health problems, preventing, and managing illness. Opportunities exist to integrate psychiatric mental healthcare into FNP curriculum and clinical practicums to better prepare providers to identify and screen for depression.

Purpose: The purpose of this evidenced-based practice project is to evaluate FNP student competencies in screening for depression after completing an integrated family/psychiatric mental health curriculum and clinical practicum.

Program Plan Process: An integrated family/psychiatric mental health curriculum and clinical practicum was developed to educate FNP students to identify and screen for depressed patients. FNP students will demonstrate depression screening competencies utilizing a simulated clinical encounter in a simulation center. Four students received the integrated intervention (intervention group) and four students did not receive the intervention (non-intervention group).

Results: The integrated clinical curriculum and practicum students showed less variability in performance and demonstrated more consistency with treatment compared with the non-intervention group.

Implications for Clinical Practice: Family Nurse Practitioner programs with integrated family/psych mental health curriculum and clinical practicums will better prepare FNP students to care for patients with mental health disorders.