Featured Article| Volume 19, ISSUE 5, 104532, May 2023

Teaching Family Nurse Practitioner Students to Treat Common Mental Health Problems

Published:February 02, 2023DOI:


      • Seventy percent of mental health services occur in primary care settings.
      • There is a paucity of adequately prepared providers to treat mental health in primary care.
      • COVID-19 has exacerbated mental health problems for people across the lifespan.
      • A 3 credit mental health course is adequate to teach FNPs to treat common mental health problems.
      • The mental health course for FNPs utilizes the DSM-5-TR diagnostic criteria manual.


      Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) face challenges in delivering mental health services in the primary care setting, where >70% of mental health services are now provided. The goal is to present a mental health course that teaches FNP students to provide quality, essential mental health treatment in the primary care setting. A detailed description of a stand-alone 3-credit mental health course for FNP students, “Mental Health for Family Nurse Practitioners,” is presented. Case study examples are provided, and a case study is thoroughly analyzed to demonstrate the unique features of mental health case analysis.


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      All authors are affiliated with Saint Luke's College of Nursing and Health Services, Rockhurst University, Kansas City, MO. Victoria T. Grando, PhD, RN, is dean emerita of nursing, and can be reached at [email protected]


      All authors are affiliated with Saint Luke's College of Nursing and Health Services, Rockhurst University, Kansas City, MO. Roy M. Grando, PhD, is a psychologist and an adjunct instructor of nursing.


      All authors are affiliated with Saint Luke's College of Nursing and Health Services, Rockhurst University, Kansas City, MO. Shane Hagen, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, is an adjunct instructor in nursing.