Date of Graduation

Summer 8-12-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions




Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

First Advisor

Dr. Trinette Radasa

Second Advisor

Dr. Nnenna Abaeze


Background: The purpose of this evidence-based change in practice is to increase the fund of knowledge among psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, and talk therapists in outpatient psychiatric settings by educating clinicians about psychopharmacologic basics and the role and work of a psychiatric nurse practitioner during group supervision meetings. This can help bridge the gap of psychopharmacologic knowledge between mental health providers with and without prescriptive authority.

Problem: Evidence shows that psychologists with non-prescribing capabilities are not often trained or educated about the very medications that their clients are often taking. Currently, psychotropic medication education is not a standard aspect of psychology student training. There supervision hours are comprised of time spent with patients and supervisors. If education is provided to bridge the gap and promote interdisciplinary conversations between those with prescribing capability and knowledge, the likelihood for understanding and supporting clients who are undergoing talk therapy and psychopharmacologic treatment yields more cohesive patient care.

Methods: Databases including PubMed, World Cat, Ebsco Host, Google Scholar, and CINAHL were used to assemble recent literature from 1990 to present. An expanded search to include literature from 1990 to present to allow for a more robust sample of literature given the sparse quantity of literature on the topic. A review of the literature regarding the current levels of pharmacologic training for psychologists and the collaboration between prescribing and. non-prescribing healthcare clinicians was appraised. These articles were further narrowed by those that were in the English language, and the articles used were those that pertained to the subject matter the closest.

Intervention: An educational presentation was provided to 8 psychologists working in an outpatient private practice setting in the Southern California region. A pre-and post-survey was provided to assess the utilization and necessity of pharmacologic education. In addition, a toolkit containing this information as well as weekly interdisciplinary team meetings, subjects and further opportunities for cross-collaboration were established as part of the psychologist supervision.

Results: Results show a 231% increase in the average confidence levels of providers in their overall knowledge and education of psychopharmacology based on post-presentation assessment results compared to pre-test results. Overall confidence on average between all questions and all providers increased by 313% after the presentation based on pre and post test results, indicating a significant positive impact of implementation.

Conclusion: There is a lack of knowledge regarding psychotropic medications among psychology students. Education from mental health practitioners with prescribing capability and knowledge can bridge the gap and promote interdisciplinary conversations between those with prescribing capability and knowledge and those without. Through increased knowledge of psychotropic medications psychology students provide more cohesive patient care.

Key Terms: ‘Psychologists’, ‘psychopharmacology’, ‘training’, ‘education’, ‘collaboration’, ‘health care providers’, and ‘prescribing.’