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Journal of Student Nursing Research

Abstract

Discussions regarding the certification of the psychiatric-mental health (PMH) clinical nurse specialist (CNS) resulted in its elimination by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), effective 2014. The sole remaining advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) certification for providing psychiatric and mental health care will be the Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (NP). Disagreement still lingers with the changes in certification, including fears that the role of the PMH-CNS, which include care for the child and adolescent patient population and psychotherapy, will no longer exist. Additional concerns include the loss of duties traditionally performed by PMH-CNS to other behavioral health disciplines. In contrast to these fears are the hopes that a single title will reduce confusion among consumers and professionals, allow for an improvement in the allocation of resources for roles with similar core functions, and better address the current needs of individuals seeking mental health care. This paper describes the implications of such a transition and how even with a change in title, the role of the CNS can and should survive.

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