GRAND RAPIDS, MI – As the need for mental health services continues to rise nationwide, Davenport University is launching two new degree programs that will equip mental health practitioners to meet those demands.
Davenport will offer two new master’s degree programs in mental health counseling and psychiatric nursing starting in the fall 2023 semester, the university announced in a news release Wednesday, Feb. 22.
University officials cited the national need for more mental health practitioners outlined in a recent study from the American Psychological Association, which found that nearly half of psychologists report no longer having the capacity to see new patients amid growing demands.
Davenport President Richard Pappas said the two new masters degree programs will help meet those needs.
“It’s part of our mission – to offer degrees that meet specific needs within our community and lead our graduates to successful, in-demand careers,” Pappas said in a prepared statement. “I’m confident that these new offerings will equip our students with the critical skills needed to support the growing mental health needs of our community and our state’s workforce.”
Both of the new master’s degree programs are now accepting applications for fall enrollment and will be offered through 100% online delivery, according to the university.
Davenport’s new Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling program will offer a unique curriculum that builds cultural competency to be effective in the community at the highest professional level, the university said in a news release.
Students will gain real-world experience through a 100-hour practicum in a mental health setting and a 600-hour internship in the counseling field under the supervision of a qualified mental health provider.
The Master of Science in Nursing with a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner concentration program will help nurses advance their knowledge and build the skills necessary to level up their careers and care for patients with mental, emotional or behavioral conditions, according to the news release.
The curriculum focuses on addressing psychopathology, substance use disorders and behavioral health. Students will also learn effective counseling and crisis intervention strategies, how to conduct mental health assessments, and provide psychiatric care and rehabilitation.
“Through these programs, students develop the specialized knowledge and empathy needed to address mental health topics in today’s society – valuable skills that include focused listening, analytical thinking and the ability to help others navigate through difficult circumstances,” said Dr. Amy Stahley, interim dean of the College of Health Professions for Davenport University, in a prepared statement.
Students who graduate with a master’s degree in mental health counseling will have the skills needed to help future clients overcome additions, substance abuse, grief, self-esteem issues, marital problems and more, according to the university. They will be trained to provide both individual and group counseling.
With a master’s degree in nursing with a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner concentration, students will assess, diagnose and treat the mental health needs of patients of all ages, the release said. They may also provide physical and psychosocial assessments as well as emergency psychiatric care.
“Graduates from both programs will enter the workforce with the necessary skills to work with clients of all ages and backgrounds in individual, group and family settings,” said Dr. Gerald Nyambane, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Davenport University in a statement.
“We have built this curriculum with the understanding that the skills students need to thrive as a counselor or nurse practitioner aren’t just learned in a classroom—they’re built through experience.”
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