DNP Clinical Specialty Descriptions

The Family Nurse Practitioner track prepares nurses for advanced practice through a course of study focused on the health care of families across the lifespan. The courses in this specialty focus on advanced health assessment, advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, and management of acute and chronic illness in families. These courses are combined with specialty seminars and clinical experiences that emphasize the physiological and psychosocial impact of illness on the patient and family. Graduates are prepared to sit for the Family Nurse Practitioner certification exam.

The Family, Psych/Mental Health Specialty prepares nurses for advanced practice with a focus on mental health issues across the lifespan. The curriculum builds upon four core FPMHNP competencies: advanced health assessment (physical and psychosocial); diagnosis (diagnosis of mental disorders, pathophysiology, and neurophysiology); psychotherapy (individual, group, and family); and medication management (pharmacology and psychopharmacology). Other courses develop competencies in health care systems, best-practice research utilization and translation, and health care quality improvement. Graduates are prepared to sit for the Family, Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Exam.

The Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner prepares nurses for advanced practice nurses who can assess and manage adult health and common acute and chronic illnesses with an emphasis on prevention, wellness, and patient education in all patient interactions. The patient population includes adolescents, young to middle age adults and older adults. Graduates are prepared to sit for the Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner Exam.

The Public/Community Health Nursing Specialty is for nurses desiring to move from an individual patient care focus to those which can influence larger populations. At NMSU, the program is focused on underserved and vulnerable populations. Graduates develop skills in advanced community assessment, planning, intervention, and outcomes measurement, with emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention strategies for a targeted population. Advanced skills include leading and influencing local to national public health agendas through program development, funding, implementation and evaluation; health policy development; and management of public health entities. Graduates will find employment in state and county health departments, schools, national and regional agencies or as leaders in community-based clinical and advocacy agencies.

All courses for the BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP are web-based. There is a once-a year, mandatory, on-campus, week-long requirement. Those who cannot attend this yearly seminar are not admitted nor if admitted can they progress in the program if they do not attend. As the time varies each year, notification of the dates for the week long campus requirement is sent out upon admission and at the beginning of the Spring semester in January.

In addition, the Family Nurse Practitioner, Family, Psych/Mental Health, and Adult/Gero, BSN to DNP specialties conduct a week-long clinical immersion each year after the first year. Students are provided information on when these immersions will take place after acceptance into the program and during orientation. Students who cannot or do not attend cannot progress in the program.

Students should have a basic understanding on computer use and feel comfortable navigating the internet and using various applications to complete assignments. Additional help will be provided for those students with little or no computer skills. Please take a moment to complete the Request More Information form so we may contact you and answer any questions you may have.

Clinical Practicums

It is the responsibility of the student to originate contact with a potential preceptor and request a guided clinical experience with them or in specified agencies. Instructors and advisers assist identifying suitable preceptors but it is ultimately the responsibility of the student to locate these experiences and especially if they are outside of New Mexico. Please know that it takes approximately 3-6 months to establish a clinical affiliation agreement, if one is not already in place. When accepted into the program you will learn about required clinical experiences during your first summer seminar.