News Release: SUNY Poly Offers New Doctor of Nursing Practice with Specialization in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

News Release: SUNY Poly Offers New Doctor of Nursing Practice with Specialization in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Friday, October 9, 2020 - 14:00
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For Release:        Immediate – October 9, 2020
Contact:               Steve Ference, Director of University Communications | (518) 429-7742 |

First Practice Doctoral Program at SUNY Poly’s Utica Campus Designed to Provide Clinical Practice and Knowledge to Address Behavioral and Mental Health Issues

Applications Now Being Accepted for Fall 2021

UTICA, NY – As people around the globe mark World Mental Health Day Saturday, October 10, SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is proud to announce that it will now offer a new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), a license qualifying post-baccalaureate nursing program degree with a specialization in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). The first practice doctorate program based at the institution’s Utica campus, the DNP program is conveniently delivered as an online program with asynchronous and synchronous learning opportunities to address the educational needs of adult learners.

The program is designed to advance excellence in clinical practice with specialized knowledge to meet the complexities of behavioral and mental health issues, shape health care policy, and improve the stabilization, management, and treatment of children, adults, families and populations experiencing psychological challenges and disorders. With a shortage of psychiatric practitioners trained in the biopsychosocial model, this degree program will help advance a more comprehensive and holistic perspective toward patient health.

“SUNY Poly’s first practice doctoral nursing program degree provides a vital platform for our graduates to meet the mental health needs of individuals whose lives can be positively transformed by receiving proper care,” said SUNY Poly Interim President Dr. Grace Wang. “We are thrilled our expert faculty will arm the next generation of educators and researchers with the experience to design mental health policy and programs, address issues related to mental health chronic illnesses and health disparities, and promote economically and culturally acceptable disease prevention programs.”

The unique nature of this program integrates nursing science, psychology, sociology, and medicine into the psychiatric mental health field. It can be completed within three years of full-time study with three summers and five years of part-time study with four summers, with two on-site DNP Residencies at specified times in the curriculum. The program also prepares students for this exciting, complex field through the completion of an evidence-based clinical project under the mentorship of a doctoral-prepared faculty member.

“We are looking forward to offering this new SUNY Poly degree program, which will allow DNP graduates to gain the expertise needed to foster specialized health care outcomes across populations and help ameliorate mental health challenges in the Mohawk Valley and across New York State,” said SUNY Poly Interim Dean of the College of Health Sciences Dr. Joanne Joseph. “The DNP in PMHNP is recognized not only as having a specialty area of practice, but also as being a visionary leader in mental health with expertise-based interactions with colleagues and other health professionals to influence the quality of care and shape health care policy regionally and globally. I would also like to recognize the work of the Nursing Department and its Chair Dr. Darlene Del Prato, the Coordinator of the Family Nurse Practitioner program Dr. Lynne Longtin, as well as Professors Dr. Esther Bankert and Dr. Roger Green, and Dr. Kathleen Rourke, former Interim Dean of the College of Health Sciences, all of whom played a significant role developing this program.”

The program also supports the success of DNP graduates by preparing them to take an advanced practice registered nurse (APRNN) national certification examination, as well as a national advanced specialty certification when available.

The PMHNP-DNP program meets the license qualifying regulations as determined by the New York State Education Department and complies with professional standards established by the American Academy of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the nurse practitioner competencies defined by the American Psychiatric Nurse Association (APNA). It is designed to meet accreditation standards established by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE); New York State Board of Regents, Office of Professions; Middle States Accreditation; and the Commissioner’s regulations for the profession.

Another option under this new program allows students to pursue a Post-Master’s in Nursing Advanced Certificate, a 24-credit program specializing in PMHNP, allowing nurses to provide mental health services across patients’ lifespans.

The first cohort of students in the post-baccalaureate DNP in PMHNP program is expected in the Fall 2021 semester. Interested applicants with a master’s in nursing degree from an accredited program may apply for advanced standing in the DNP program and will be reviewed on an individual basis. For more information about this program, and to apply please visit:


About SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly)
SUNY Poly is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nanobioscience programs at its Albany campus, and undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, including natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences at its Utica campus; thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts billions of dollars in high-tech investments and hundreds of corporate partners since its inception. For information visit