Be an Agent of Change

Individuals are living longer than ever and remaining more active later in life. This increase in patients’ lifespans is contributing to an increase in neurological illnesses related to aging, particularly dementia. There is now an unprecedented need for caring nurse practitioners skilled in the care of older adult populations and the treatment of neurological disorders.

Saint Mary’s College has partnered with GuideStar Eldercare to design a geriatric neuropsychiatry certificate and a DNP emphasis program for nurse practitioners that approaches treating patients with neurodegenerative disorders through a multidisciplinary lens. When you study geriatric neuropsychiatry at Saint Mary’s College, you’ll learn how to become a nurse practitioner who helps aging patients live independent lives, as well as how to decrease misdiagnoses, pharmaceutical mismanagement and reliance on antipsychotic medications.

Expand Your Skills With Geriatric Neuropsychiatry

Whether you are an advanced nurse practitioner with decades of experience or a recent BSN graduate looking to become a nurse practitioner, our rigorous curriculum with an emphasis on geriatric neuropsychiatry will help you master the techniques and methods needed to deliver the highest quality care for your older adult patients:

  • Students already enrolled in the DNP program can take just five additional courses to graduate with an additional area of emphasis in geriatric neuropsychiatry. If you are already an APRN, you can join our accelerated MSN to DNP track with the geriatric neuropsychiatry emphasis, or you can earn the geriatric neuropsychiatry certificate by itself without pursuing a DNP.
  • We’ve designed our DNP degree and geriatric neuropsychiatry certificate for working professionals with hectic schedules. That’s why our nursing degree courses are offered entirely online, with three weekend-long campus immersive experiences each year. At Saint Mary’s, you don’t have to choose between accessible education and clinical experience.
  • Our rigorous coursework includes a focus on patient-centered care, leadership skills, professionalism, entrepreneurship and critical thinking to help you become a well-rounded nurse practitioner with a specialty in geriatric neuropsychiatry who can inspire your peers and let patients know they are in caring hands.
  • The Doctor of Nursing Practice program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. This means that your DNP degree will be nationally recognized for meeting the highest expectations for academic excellence and professional preparation.

An Immersive Geriatric Neuropsychiatry Program

In 2020, Saint Mary’s recommitted to the nursing sciences by investing more than $7 million in the Center for Integrated Healthcare Education, located in the heart of campus. This state-of-the-art facility includes realistic clinical exam rooms and simulation labs, high-tech medical mannequins, cutting-edge observation rooms and large classrooms. DNP students have the opportunity to work in these labs during immersion weekends.

As you complete your DNP with geriatric neuropsychiatry emphasis, you’ll accrue at least 780 clinical hours of direct patient care, in addition to 400 DNP Practice Innovation Project practicum hours. This real-world training will prepare you to excel in your new role as a geriatric nurse practitioner.

Want to read more about immersive learning in the DNP degree program? Read about our Center for Integrated Healthcare Education.

Among the top DNP degree programs

In 2022, ranked Saint Mary’s as one of the top five DNP programs: “More than providing individual patient care, students in Saint Mary’s College’s DNP-Nurse Practitioner program learn to develop and implement better healthcare systems for diverse patient populations.”

Careers for Doctor of Nursing Practice Graduates

There is a current shortage of nurses and nurse practitioners specialized in the field of geriatric neuropsychiatry in the U.S. This means that dementia-related illnesses are not being treated with the interdisciplinary approach needed to ensure high quality of life outcomes.

Saint Mary’s and GuideStar offer a geriatric neuropsychiatry certificate that combines neurology/neuroscience, neuropsychiatry, geriatrics and psychiatry to prepare students to fill this gap. As a student in our Doctor of Nursing Practice program or in our certificate program, you’ll learn that just because a patient is showing symptoms that look psychiatric, that doesn’t mean that the underlying causes fall entirely into that category. 

When you join our advanced nursing degree program, you’ll benefit from our exclusive partnership with GuideStar Eldercare, which works with facilities across Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Texas. Combined with the exceptional need for specialized nurse practitioners, this means that you’ll have plentiful opportunities across the country for rewarding careers as a geriatric nurse.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job opportunities for nurse practitioners will grow up to 38 percent by 2032, more than seven times the national average for all other occupations. The subfield of geriatric nursing is expected to grow even more as the Baby Boomer generation continues to age.