13:41 PM

Nursing Faculty Receive Grant to Boost Mental Health Pipeline

Two Cal State San Marcos faculty members in the School of Nursing have received a grant of $1.33 million to help further build the pipeline of psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners in California. 

Dr. Catherine Baker and Dr. Nancy Romig received the five-year grant from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD), which in total awarded $17.3 million to seven programs. Baker is an assistant professor and Romig is a professor emerita in CSUSM’s School of Nursing. Both are co-coordinators of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program. 

Over the five years, the grant will provide full scholarships for 20 new PMHNP students and fund the costs associated with admitting additional students and securing field placements.  

After this academic year is dedicated to preparation for expansion, the PMHNP program will add five additional nursing master’s students for 2021-22 and each of the subsequent three school years. Funding will provide for expanded faculty, student recruitment, clinical site visits, preceptors, standardized patient costs and an annual training workshop for preceptors who oversee students.  

The grants are being funded through the Workforce Education and Training program as part of the Mental Health Services Act, which is intended to address the shortage of mental health practitioners in the public mental health system. Collectively, the grantees will add 36 psychiatry residency slots and fund 336 PMHNP slots. The funding will also help launch a new child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship program. 

“As we continue to navigate through these unprecedented times, the uncertainty and fear related to the pandemic has brought about uneasy feelings that can further exacerbate mental health issues while creating additional barriers in accessing supports and services,” said Marko Mijic, acting director of OSHPD. “We must double down on our efforts to build our public mental health system in order to expand access to quality services to all Californians.”