Nursing

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Postgraduate Certificate

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Work to expand your skills with our Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Postgraduate Certificate program. Get the flexibility of online learning alongside faculty mentorship and support.

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If you have a Master of Science in Nursing degree or higher, our Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Postgraduate Certificate program can help prepare you to switch to or add on a new nursing specialty. In this online certificate program, you’ll work to build the skills to care for individuals and families with psychiatric disorders, as well as identify related risk factors. In your courses, you’ll focus on psychopharmacology, psychiatric theory and assessment, counseling and psychotherapy, and more. You’ll study and complete practicum experiences around models of care for children, adolescents, and adults, as well as for individuals, couples, families, and groups. After completing your postgraduate PMHNP certificate, you can choose to pursue certification in this specialty.

Develop Essential Skills In
  • Evidence-based, patient-centered specialty care
  • Psychiatric mental health assessment and evaluation
  • Differential diagnoses
  • Mental health promotion and management
  • Disease prevention and treatment
  • Psychotherapy and counseling
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You May Enjoy This Line of Study If You…

  • Are caring and service-oriented
  • Work well as part of an interdisciplinary care team
  • Apply critical thinking in patient diagnosis and care
  • Have strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Practice in a professional, respectful, and ethical manner
  • Are committed to evidence-based care and lifelong learning
Student Learning Outcomes

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

  1. Perform comprehensive psychiatric mental health assessments and evaluations to determine diagnosis and problem identification of complex issues related to clinical practice, individuals, populations, and systems of care.
  2. Engage patients and families in planning mental health promotion, prevention of disease or disease progression. and symptom management.
  3. Contrast differential diagnoses as related to appropriate psychopharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment modalities of complex acute and chronic psychiatric conditions for individuals across the lifespan
  4. Provide ethical, equitable patient-centered care based on best evidence, clinician expertise, patient and family preference, and circumstances. Evaluate outcomes of care using individual and aggregate data.
  5. Implement the role of the lifespan PMHNP scope of practice and standard of care encompassing professionalism, respect, and ethical clinical practice.

Minimum Requirements for Admission

All applicants to a South College Post-Graduate Certificate in, regardless of concentration or track, must meet the current entry requirements as stated in the South College Catalog (available at catalog.south.edu).

Students who present transcripts indicating failure from two nursing programs will not be considered for admission or readmission to the South College Nursing program.

Any applicant that does not meet the stated admissions requirements may request a review by the Admissions, Progression, and Retention (APR) Committee for conditional admission. These reviews are completed on a case-by-case basis. The APR Committee takes many factors into consideration when reviewing these requests, including but not limited to:

  1. Applicant’s resume or curriculum vitae showing accomplishments in their profession;
  2. Amount of time that has transpired between the applicant’s undergraduate degree completion and application to South College; and/or
  3. Grade point average in graduate work at other accredited academic institutions.

Technical Standards

The program operates in compliance with the nondiscrimination policies established by South College.  A student must possess abilities and skills in five areas that must be performed with or without accommodation: I) observation; II) communication; III) motor; IV) intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative; and V) behavioral and social.

  1. Observation: The candidate must be able to accurately make observations at a distance and close at hand. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensation and is enhanced by the functional use of all the other senses.
  2. Communication: The candidate must be able to communicate effectively, efficiently, respectfully, and sensitively in English in both oral and written form and be able to perceive nonverbal communication with other healthcare providers and patients of all ages.
  3. Motor: Candidates must be able to coordinate both gross and fine muscular movements, maintain equilibrium and have functional use of the senses of touch and vision. The candidate must possess sufficient postural control, neuromuscular control, and eye-to-hand coordination to perform anesthesia specific skills and tasks, including airway instrumentation and management, administration of regional anesthesia, and establishment of vascular access.
  4. Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: The candidate must be able to problem solve, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, record, and synthesize large amounts of information in a timely manner. The candidate must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand spatial relationships.
  5. Behavioral and Social Attributes: The candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, and the consistent, prompt completion of all responsibilities and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. The candidate must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, effective interpersonal skills, willingness and ability to function as an effective team player, and the interest and motivation to learn are all personal qualities required during the educational process.

NOTE: Reasonable accommodation will be considered and may be made to qualified students who disclose a disability, so long as such accommodation does not significantly alter the essential requirements of the curriculum and the training program, or significantly affect the safety of patient care. Students who disclose a disability are considered for the program if they are otherwise qualified. Qualified students with a disability who wish to request accommodation should provide appropriate documentation of disability and submit a request for accommodation to the Director of Student Affairs, Online, Phone: (865) 392-4733.

Functional Capacities (Technical Standards)

Prospective students must demonstrate the following functional capacities. Prospective students who believe that they will not be able to meet one or more of these requirements without accommodation or modification must notify the Dean/Associate Dean of the School of Nursing, and a determination will be made on a case-by-case basis whether reasonable accommodation may be made. In no instance will an accommodation be made which will compromise nursing care, or that will put patients or other students at risk.

FunctionRequirementExamples of Tasks For
VisionAdequate to ensure safety of self and others in classroom and clinical settings.Patient assessment; response to treatment; medication preparation and administration; reading of patient charts and physician orders.
HearingAdequate to allow effective communication with patients and others in person and by electronic means, and to ensure safety of self and patients.Face-to-face communication with patients, families and the health care team; telephone consultations; heart tones; breath sounds; bowel sounds and other assessments.
Tactile SensoryAdequate to allow effective evaluation and therapeutic intervention related to nursing care, and to ensure safety of self and others in providing care.Palpation used in assessment; vital signs; medication administration, IV starts.
Gross motor strength and coordinationAdequate to ensure safety of self and others in class and lab sessions and clinical activities.Patient positioning and transfer; walking, standing, bending, and/or stooping for extended periods involving patient care; moving of equipment/beds.
Fine motor strength and coordinationAdequate to allow mastery of activities requiring detailed movements.Multiple skills in patient care; treatments; medication preparation and administration.
Critical thinking abilityAdequate to allow mastery of basic course content and to demonstrate sound judgment in simulated and real life nursing situations.Effective use of nursing process; planning and implementation of the nursing care plan; identification of cause and effect relationship in order to modify nursing care plan; determination of unsafe situations; planning course of actions to meet needs of patient, family, community and nursing profession.
Interpersonal SkillsAdequate to allow establishment of effective working and/or therapeutic relationship with patients, families and professionals.Establishing therapeutic relationship with patients and families; working with health care team; collaboration with other disciplines.
CommunicationAdequate to allow completion of course work and effective verbal and written communication with patients, families, communities, peers, and others.Class activities; therapeutic communication; writing/research at the bachelor’s level; documentation of patient care; education of patient/family/community.
Non-Tennessee Residents

Certain admission restrictions may apply to non-Tennessee residents. Please contact the School of Nursing (865-288-8411 or nursing@south.edu) prior to submitting your application to determine any restrictions that may apply for residents of your state.

Professional/State Licensure

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) have developed nationally recognized competencies for the educational preparation of advanced practice nurses. The respective board certification examinations are competency-based examinations that provide a valid and reliable assessment of the entry-level clinical knowledge and skills for nurse practitioners. Certification aligns with the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification, and Education. Once exam-takers complete eligibility requirements to take the certification examination and successfully pass the exam, they will be awarded a nationally recognized credential, which can be maintained by continuous licensure and satisfying the specific renewal requirements in place at the time of certification renewal. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies and the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification accredits this certification. The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners National Certification Board (AANPCB) also provides a valid and reliable program for entry-level nurse practitioners to recognize their education, knowledge and professional expertise, as well as a process for validation of an advanced practice nurse’s qualifications and knowledge for practice as a nurse practitioner. The AANPCB offers the FNP certification examination, which is an entry-level competency-based examination that tests clinical knowledge in family/individual across the life span (prenatal, pediatric, adolescent, adult, elderly, and frail elderly primary care. State License for Advanced Practice Nurses is regulated by the state Boards of Nursing.

Accreditation

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN NURSING, MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NURSING, DOCTOR OF SCIENCE IN NURSING, POST-GRADUATE CERTIFICATES, ASSOCIATE OF SCIENCE IN NURSING, CERTIFICATE IN PRACTICAL NURSING

State Authorization (Asheville, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Knoxville, Nashville, Orlando, & Pittsburgh)
The South College Bachelor of Science in Nursing program offered at the Parkside Learning Site (Knoxville) received initial approval from the Tennessee Board of Nursing in December 2003, with full approval granted in September 2008. Approval for the addition of the Nashville Learning Site was granted in November 2016. The Master of Science in Nursing program received approval in November 2016. The Doctor of Nursing Practice program received approval in February 2020.  The Post-Graduate Certificate programs received approval in August 2021.  The South College Bachelor of Science in Nursing program offered at the Asheville Learning Site received initial approval from the North Carolina Board of Nursing in February 2016, with full approval granted in May 2019. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program offered at the Atlanta Learning Site received initial approval from the Georgia Board of Nursing in September 2018.  The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program offered at the Orlando Learning Site received initial approval from the Florida Board of Nursing in November 2021. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program offered at the Indianapolis campus received initial approval from the Indiana Board of Nursing in July 2022. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program offered at the Pittsburgh campus received initial approval from the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing in April 2023.

The South College Associate of Science in Nursing program (Knoxville & Nashville Learning Site) was approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing in November 2022. The Associate of Science in Nursing program offered at the Orlando Learning Site was approved by the Florida Board of Nursing in January 2023.  The Associate of Science in Nursing program offered at the Atlanta Learning Site was approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing in March 2023. The Associate of Science in Nursing program offered at the Pittsburgh Learning Site was approved by the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing in November 2023.

The South College Certificate program in Practical Nursing offered at the Parkside Learning Site (Knoxville) received approval from the Tennessee Board of Nursing in February 2018. Approval for the addition of the Nashville Learning Site was granted in November 2018. The Certificate program in Practical Nursing was approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing for the Atlanta Learning Site in May 2019 to begin the first class in June 2020. The Certificate program in Practical Nursing was approved by the Florida Board of Nursing for the Orlando Learning Site in November 2021. The Certificate program in Practical Nursing was approved by the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing for the Pittsburgh Learning Site in March 2023. The Certificate program in Practical Nursing was approved by the North Carolina Board of Nursing for the Asheville Learning Site in May 2023. The Certificate program in Practical Nursing at the Indianapolis campus received initial approval from the Indiana Board of Nursing in July 2023.

Programmatic Accreditation

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Post-Graduate APRN Certificate programs offered at South College are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791 (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).

The South College DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program was granted initial accreditation by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) effective October 13, 2021. The address for COA is: 10275 W. Higgins Rd., Suite 906, Rosemont, IL 60018-5603, Phone number: 224-275-9130, website address: www.coacrna.org. Additionally, during the same October 2021 accreditation meeting, the COA granted the following two items for the South College DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program: (1) Approval of Distance Education Courses, and (2) Approval of Waiver of Graduate Degree Requirement.

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Tuition & Fees
What is the tuition for South College?

Tuition and fees for South College students vary by program, and tuition rates are tiered based on the number of credits taken each quarter. For example, in our undergraduate programs, students taking 10-20 credits per quarter are charged one quarterly tuition rate based on their program, while students in the same program taking 1-5 or 6-9 credits are charged different tuition rates. Our tuition rates are designed such that South College students who take a high number of credits per quarter may be able to complete their program at a lower total cost than students who take fewer credits per quarter. Contact our admissions team who can help you prepare the budget for the field of study you want to pursue. And don’t forget we also offer numerous grants, scholarships, and financial aid packages to those that qualify.

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Does South College offer Financial Aid?

Yes! Financial aid for South College is available to those who qualify. Students at South College have access to a range of financial aid to provide the economic assistance they need to pay for college. Aid is available in the form of scholarships, grants and awards, work-study programs, and loans. We’re happy to participate in numerous federal, state, and private student aid programs, and to offer funding directly. In addition to federal and state financial aid, South College institutional grants can reduce out-of-pocket expenses for qualified military-affiliated students, first responders, and recent high school graduates. Visit our financial page or contact our admissions team. We want you to succeed! Let us help you give your dream direction and address your financial aid questions.

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Is South College Accredited?

Yes! South College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award degrees at the doctorate, educational specialist, master's, baccalaureate, and associate levels, as well as certificates. With over 100 programs and concentrations and campuses on multiple states the state authorizations have been obtained. Visit the link to see the full listing. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the appropriate licensing board to confirm whether a South College program will meet the requirements for professional licensure in that state. South College will assist with this information for fully online programs. For onground/hybrid programs, the institution ensures that the program meets requirements for the state in which the campus is located.

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South College offers a wide range of degree and certificate programs in areas such as business, healthcare, legal studies, education, criminal justice, and technology. At this time, we do not currently offer housing options. Our expansive online study and hybrid options allow our students to learn wherever they are located, and often with the flexibility of their own convenient time. With academic advisors that support the students throughout their tenure at South College, along with tutors, study groups, and a student success team, students at South College have resources at their fingertips to assist them in their educational pursuits and may be able to guide towards housing areas close to the campus of their choice. The individual attention and support provided by our faculty and staff helps to set us apart. Students interested in a more personalized learning experience are often attracted to South College over other larger universities and colleges in our campus locations. Request more information about South College today!

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South College was founded in 1882 and focused on serving students who want a hands-on, relevant education that can have a meaningful impact on their lives. South College strives to provide quality instruction, resources, and support services based on systematic and ongoing assessment and evaluation of objectives/outcomes to ensure the development of student abilities necessary for the achievement of positive student outcomes and the mission/vision of the college. The institution establishes policies and procedures to maintain compliance with applicable federal, state, and accrediting requirements. Click below to learn all about South College’s history, and who we are as an institution today.

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Does South College accept Transfer Students?

Yes! Credit for transfer work may be given if it was taken at an accredited collegiate institution, if it is equivalent to courses offered at South College, and if it carries a grade of C or better. Any coursework taken over seven years ago may be denied transfer credit if the material is outdated. Policies for the acceptance of any graduate level transfer credit are determined by the associated program faculty within guidelines determined by the institution. We want students to succeed and will do our best to help you in your journey to apply transfer credits to those who qualify. Contact admissions for assistance for your transfer individualized plan and consideration and learn about transfer specifications and time limits by course here:

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What Kind of Certificate & Degrees does South College Offer?

South College is a regionally accredited private co-educational, institution with non-residential campuses in Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee; Asheville, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Indianapolis, Indiana; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Orlando, Florida. Students can pursue academic programs at all levels, including professional certificates and associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. New academic programs are added frequently in response to local, regional, and national employment trends, and South College is committed to providing programs at all levels with innovative course content and teaching platforms. Explore all the programs and come back often as we regularly add new programs that may spark your interest!

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Online vs On-Campus – What Is Best?

Since its founding 140 years ago, South College‘s mission has been to serve students who want a hands-on, professional focused education. Today this means offering traditional classroom experiences along with accelerated, hybrid, and online learning options. It means small class sizes, modern labs, and campuses that are convenient to large numbers of students. Most of all, it means experienced instructors who provide real world experiences in their classes and lead in-depth discussions on the concepts taught. South College also offers non-traditional distance-learning programs, allowing students to earn a college degree online providing more flexibility with the same level of quality education and experience from all academic programs offered. This option is great for potential students who are working a full-time job or are not in travel distance to one of the learning sites. Online vs. campus? You decide. Get the student experience you desire in the program that fits your style best on your road to success!

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Does South College Have Programs for Active or Retired Military?

As an institution of higher education, South College recognizes its responsibility to society and supports both institutional and individual commitments to service. South College encourages its administration, faculty, and staff to invest their knowledge, experience, and expertise in community, professional, and institutional service. South College’s core values of excellence, responsibility, and integrity serve as the foundation for assessing the quality of institutional, school/departmental, and individual performance in achieving this mission. South College is grateful for the service and sacrifice of our military and their families. We are happy to provide the South College Military Grant to support our military – past and present – in the pursuit of their education and skill development. The South College Application Fee is waived for all active-duty military members, veterans, their spouses, and their dependent children who receive this Grant.

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