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Increasing the Psychiatric Mental Health Workforce in Eastern Oregon

Northeast Oregon Area Health Education Center (NEOAHEC) has been awarded a Healthy Oregon Workforce Training Opportunity grant of nearly $1 million to increase the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) workforce in eastern Oregon.

Based in Eastern Oregon, the OHSU PMHNP distance education program gives learners the flexibility to learn from home, and have clinical experiences in their communities. Again this year, scholarships will be available for tuition and other expenses.

Considering a career as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner?

Based in Eastern Oregon, the OHSU PMHNP distance education program gives learners the flexibility to learn from home, and have clinical experiences in their communities.

Student Story - Jacki Russell

My name is Jacki Russell and I am in my final year of the PMHNP program. I am located in Wallowa County, which is a geographically isolated, frontier community in northeast Oregon. The distance option for the PMHNP program opened up when I was in the final year of my undergraduate nursing program and that option, along with the HOW TO scholarship, created a window of opportunity for me to continue my education and help address an area of need in my community. With a large family that is rooted in my community, relocation for a three-year period was not an option.

Additionally, with multiple children transitioning from high school to college in recent years, scholarship funding to support my own educational goals has made this journey possible for me and my family. When I applied to the program, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I have found the hybrid model of virtual learning with a blend of both in-person and telehealth clinical experiences to be both effective and manageable with thoughtful expectations around timing and frequency of travel.

Last spring, I completed a clinical rotation in a Psychiatric Emergency Department in a busy urban setting, which was intimidating initially. However, immersion in an acute care setting with resources not generally available in rural areas provided an incredibly rich learning experience that increased my knowledge and confidence in working with acutely ill patients and individuals experiencing mental health crises that I know will be of benefit to my future practice. The DNP program is rigorous and can be demanding at times, but it is well worth the investment and attainable by distance even for those of us in the most remote locations!

Please contact Meredith Lair at mlair@neoahec.org for more information!

Resources:

Press Release OHSU PMHNP Program Website

Tuition Assistance for Learners

Discover Your Role - PMHNP Video

Team Members:

Meredith Lair

Executive Director

Email: mlair@neoahec.org

Phone: 541.975-4509

Ginny Elder

DNP, PMHNP, FNP

OHSU School of Nursing Regional Faculty

Email: elderv@ohsu.edu