Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing

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Certificate Overview
Courses
Course Format
What Others Have Said
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  • Certificate Description

    The Certificate in Mental Health and Addictions for Nurse Practitioners builds upon the foundational knowledge acquired through entry to practice education and the acquisition of entry-to-practice competencies. The certificate program will equip Nurse Practitioners with the knowledge and tools to confidently assess and develop a treatment plan for individuals with mental health and/or addictions issues, across the lifespan. The program will consist of four courses offered by distance education through the University of Toronto Learning Portal. Each course will be 8 weeks in length. Learners may take the courses in any sequence and will earn a certificate by completing all four courses over a 2-year period.

    An interactive and case based approach will be utilized to address mental health and addictions issues with an emphasis on critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills. Clinical experts will discuss advanced health assessment, differential diagnoses for the presenting problem, relevant pathophysiology, red flags and how to triage patients who may need a higher level of care, the relevant diagnostic approach and tests, selection of appropriate interventions and treatments, indications for consultation and referral, and strategies for communication and effective management in transitions of care.

    Course content will not focus on competencies related to health promotion, quality improvement and research, leadership, education, and ethical practice. It is assumed that participants are competent at an entry level with regard to these factors and will apply as appropriate in practice.

    Learning Objectives

    At the completion of the 4-course certificate program, learners will be able to:

    A. Articulate the role and competencies of a Nurse Practitioner working with clients with mental health and addictions issues:
      1. Discuss key role and scope issues relevant to the NP role in mental health and addictions services.
      2. Demonstrate confidence to practice independently and collaboratively.
    B. State the clinical care requirements and management for a wide variety of mental health and addictions issues in individuals across the lifespan, including the ability to:
      1. Conduct the appropriate advanced health assessment.
      2. Identify appropriate differential diagnoses for the presenting problem.
      3. Understand relevant pathophysiology.
      4. Recognize red flags and how to triage patients who may require a specialized and/or higher level of care.
      5. Identify appropriate diagnostic approach and tests.
      6. Select appropriate interventions and treatments and evaluation plan.
      7. Describe indications for necessary consultations and referral.
      8. Identify strategies for communication and effective management at transitions in care and for safe discharge.

    Audience

    Nurse Practitioners who wish to further develop their competency, knowledge, skill and clinical acumen in the care of clients with mental health and addictions issues. Course participants must hold current registration as a Nurse Practitioner in their jurisdiction or be a student in a nurse practitioner program.

    Certificate Criteria

    Participants must successfully complete all 4 courses, normally over a 2-year period, to earn the Certificate in Mental Health and Addictions for Nurse Practitioners. The passing grade of 70% is set for each course. Courses offered by the Centre for Professional Development cannot be credited towards a degree program.  
    • Participants may take individual courses without completing the full certificate
    • Courses may be taken in any order
    This certificate program was developed in collaboration with the Mental Health Community of Practice of the Nurse Practitioner Association of Ontario.
  • Mental Health 1 for Nurse Practitioners

    This 8-week online course focuses on the role of the nurse practitioner in mental health and addictions in the following areas: acute/crisis/emergent care considerations including the provision of virtual care; anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorders; and considerations for the care of clients who are indigenous, as well as those who may be homeless, immigrants or refugees. The course content addresses care issues across the lifespan.

    Fall 2023

    8 week online course

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    Mental Health 2 for Nurse Practitioners

    This 8-week online course focuses on the role of the nurse practitioner in mental health and addictions in the following areas: depressive disorders, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders, consent and capacity, and an overview of interpersonal therapy approaches; as well as considerations for the care of clients of the LBGTQ2S community. The course content addresses care issues across the lifespan.

    Jan 16 – Mar 12, 2023

    8 week online course

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    Mental Health 3 for Nurse Practitioners

    This 8-week online course focuses on the role of the nurse practitioner in mental health and addictions in the following areas: Trauma, personality disorders with a focus on borderline personality, neurocognitive disorders with a focus on ADHD, palliative approaches to mental health, and mental health in corrections. The course content addresses care issues across the lifespan.

    Summer 2023

    8 week online course

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    Mental Health 4 for Nurse Practitioners

    This 8-week online course focuses on the role of the nurse practitioner in mental health and addictions in the context of care in the following areas: substance related and addictive disorders including the use of stimulants and benzodiazepines, opioids, alcohol, cannabis; feeding and eating disorders; sleep/wake disorders. The course content addresses care issues across the lifespan.

    Fall 2023

    8 week online course

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  • Course Format

    This certificate consists of 4 courses, each 8-weeks in duration and delivered through the University of Toronto’s learning management system (Quercus).

    • Each week, participants will be expected to view e-learning modules, review required readings and resources, and actively engage with learning activities that will focus on application of learning. Learning activities and assignments/examinations will provide opportunity to apply learnings and receive feedback.
    • Participants can expect to allocate a ~ 5-10 hours a week for completion of a weekly module and allocate additional time for assignments. The time spent on any one module will vary from student to student based on your learning needs and style of learning
    • Each week will consist of a recorded lecture by faculty who are considered expert clinicians in their field. Faculty will be available for questions through discussion board during that module.
    • Each module will focus on one or more topics and integrate relevant clinical cases and focus on discussion of the appropriate health assessment, relevant differential diagnoses, pathophysiology, red flags, diagnostics and diagnostic sensitivity/specificity, therapeutic plan of care, selection of appropriate interventions and treatments, and indications for referral and/or consultation, considerations in transitions in care/discharge, and relevant role and scope issues. Additional clinical resources will be provided such as clinical practice guidelines, relevant practice standards, and clinical tools for practice. Most weeks will include an application exercise such as a learning activity quiz.
  • What Others Have Said

    “Canadians with mental health illnesses continue to struggle with accessibility to and gaps in services, in addition to the challenges of navigating our fragmented mental health care system.  Nurse Practitioners in all areas of health care play a vital role in addressing these issues but may lack specialized and advanced mental health education.  The Certificate in Mental Health and Addictions for Nurse Practitioners is designed by and for Nurse Practitioners to further develop advanced knowledge, skills and critical thinking in mental illness and addictions. I am so excited as the Course Director, that Nurse Practitioners will have the opportunity to learn primarily from other Nurse Practitioners who are experts in their fields of mental health and addictions.”

    Cindy Pritchard RN(EC), BScN, NP-PHC, CPMHN(C)
    Nurse Practitioner, and Director of the Certificate for Nurse Practitioners in Mental Health and Addictions

  • Contact Us

    Email: pd.nursing@utoronto.ca
    Website: bloomberg.nursing.utoronto.ca/pd
    Phone: (416) 978-1784
    Address: Centre for Professional Development
    Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing
    University of Toronto
    155 College Street
    Suite 130
    Toronto, ON
    Canada
    M5T 1P8

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