Texas A&M University-Texarkana is proud to announce they will be launching a new Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program in the fall of 2021. The university’s new master’s degree in nursing has recently been approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the southern states.

The new degree program is one of only a handful of PMHNP programs in the state. “It’s a program that is in high demand,” said TAMUT’s Director of Nursing Dr. Heather McKnight. “Graduates can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private clinics, and state agencies.”

“This new program will help to fill a current healthcare void in our region,” said Julie Durand, PMHNP Program Coordinator. “We’re excited about developing nurses into providers of high-quality mental health and psychiatric care.”

The PMHNP program was funded through the 86th Texas Legislature in 2019 as a part of TAMUT’s Better East Texas Initiative. The university was awarded $3.6 million in funding to launch new academic programs that provide graduates to fill specific needs throughout the east Texas region. “We were able to identify a number of degree programs that will provide our region with graduates to fill much-needed positions in a number of fields,” said university president Dr. Emily Cutrer. “We are so thankful that the Texas Legislature recognized the importance

of programs like the PMHNP to this area. Their support is literally allowing us to build a better East Texas.”

Applications for the PMHNP program will be available soon. In the meantime, those interested in the program should contact Program Director Julie Durand at jdurand@tamut.edu, Director of Nursing, Dr. Heather McKnight at heather.mcknight@tamut.edu, or TAMUT graduate coordinator Susan Gleason at susan.gleason@tamut.edu.

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