Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners Meet NC Health Care Needs

A Note of Thanks From Dr. Victoria Soltis-Jarrett

Yesterday we welcomed a new class for pre-orientation and I realized that I wanted to share some important facts with our alumni and friends.

With scholarship support and assistance from our State Legislature, we have been able to graduate 28 PMHNP students who utilized the state monies as of this summer (2010). All 28 students benefited from the scholarship funds ($125,000 allocated per year) that was made available to them by the Great State of NC and who, without its support, would not have been able to attend graduate school at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Of the 28 students, 23 come from severely medically underserved counties such as Beauford, Buncombe, Carrabus, Cleveland, Davidson, Gaston, Nash, New Hanover, Onslow, Pitt, Rutherfordton, and Stanly. These students are returning/or have returned to their communities and are beginning to provide services for those citizens who have had limited access to mental health care. Our UNC-CH graduates are caring for NC citizens from childhood through late life and are able to provide holistic mental health care and treatment including diagnostic assessments, prescribing psychiatric medications and implementing psychotherapy.

These UNC-CH graduates are also able to access citizens in NC who may feel intimidated by the travel to a larger county or city and who trust someone they call “nurse”. The stories from my students are rich in terms of their actualized hard work and ability to see the fruits of their education at UNC-CH come to a fruition of a much needed service to their communities.

Thanks to everyone who is making this support possible.

Victoria Soltis-Jarrett, PhD, PMHCNS/NP-BC
Clinical Associate Professor and Coordinator of the MSN Program in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing (PMHN)
UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing