Access to Interprofessional Mental Health Education (AIME)

The mission of the Access to Interprofessional Mental Health Education (AIME) program at Robert Morris University is to expand the number of psychiatric mental health care providers and educate future Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners to provide evidence-based holistic care as part of an interprofessional team to individuals of all ages experiencing mental health problems.

Kirstyn M. Kameg, DNP, PMHNP-BC 
University Professor of Nursing, AIME Project Director, PMHNP Program Coordinator

The PMHNP program at RMU prepares graduates to manage care of patients of all ages experiencing mental health problems.

Mental health problems are among the leading causes of disability in the United States. Additionally, untreated mental illness has grievous consequences on physical health. Never has it been more critical to understand the relationship between mental health and chronic disease. Mental illnesses impact an individual’s ability to participate in health-promoting behaviors resulting in problems with physical health and the development of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. PMHNPs work as part of interprofessional teams to help patients manage chronic illnesses and psychiatric disorders.

The AIME project utilizes distance technology via video teleconferencing as a means to provide synchronous education to individuals across the country targeting those who live in rural and/or underserved areas. There are a number of program tracks available based on previous experience and academic preparation.

Robert Morris University School of Nursing & Health Sciences received a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Advanced Nursing Education (ANE) grant to fund the Access to Interprofessional Mental Health Education (AIME) project. The opinions expressed on this website are not necessarily those of HRSA.

Programs

Distance Education

Distance education is not the same as online education. In our distance education courses, students are present in the classroom through audio/video technology. Distance students participate in class in real time, asking questions and contributing to the creation of knowledge in the classroom. Distance students even participate in simulation events at the Rise Center at Robert Morris University, acting as telemedicine consultants to the students who are assessing standardized patients. To learn more about distance education and our PMHNP programs, contact engel@rmu.edu or call 412-397-5218.

Faculty and Staff

Kirstyn M. Kameg, DNP, PMHNP-BC

University Professor of Nursing | AIME Project Director | PMHNP Program Coordinator

Kirstyn Kameg developed the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program at Robert Morris University which was the first BSN to DNP program approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. She has served as the coordinator of this program since its inception in 2007. She received nearly 1 million dollars in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Health Resources and Services Administration to fund the Access to Interprofessional Mental Health Education (AIME) project. This funding supported expansion of and curricular enhancements to the PMHNP program at RMU. She teaches several courses in the PMHNP program including Psychiatric Differential Diagnosis, Psychopharmacology, Management of Psychiatric Disorders, Family Therapy, and Health Promotion. She has been a nurse educator since 2000 teaching psychiatric mental health nursing to undergraduate and graduate students. Before accepting a position at RMU, she taught in the PMHNP program at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests are simulation as a teaching methodology, interprofessional education, and care of patients with multiple chronic conditions. She also maintains a private practice as a PMHNP diagnosing and managing individuals across the lifespan with mental health problems.

kameg@rmu.edu | 412-397-6810

Luann Richardson, PMHNP, FNP and DNP

Luann Richardson teaches in the PMHNP, FNP and DNP programs at Robert Morris University. Overall, she has over 20 years teaching experience in all levels of nursing and over 25 years nurse practitioner experience in a variety of settings. Her areas of expertise include advanced practice, gero-psychiatric, and integrated care issues. She currently practices as a NP in underserved communities with geriatric patients and also in a behavioral health setting. She obtained her BSN from the University of Alabama and DNP and PhD from the University of Pittsburgh.

richardsonl@rmu.edu

Janene Luther Szpak, DNP, PMHNP-BC

Janene Luther Szpak earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing from Robert Morris University. After earning an Associate Degree in Nursing from Community College of Beaver County, Janene completed a Bachelor of Science of Nursing at Carlow University and a Master of Science in Nursing, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, from Robert Morris University.

She teaches several courses in the PMHNP and Undergraduate nursing programs including Nursing Care of the Psychiatric Client, Nursing Ethics, Intro to Professional Nursing, Psychopharmacology, Principles of Biological Psychiatry, and Psychiatric Diagnosis Across the Lifespan. She has seven years of experience teaching Psychiatric Mental Health nursing. Before accepting a position at RMU, she had worked in medical-surgical nursing, pediatrics, school nursing, and psychiatric and addiction nursing. Additionally, she is in private practice as an Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitoner. Her research interests are simulation as a teaching methodology, nursing communication skills, Anxiety Disorders and Self-Injurious Behaviors.

szpak@rmu.edu | 412-397-5246

Sherri Aufman

Sherri Aufman is the Associate Director of Graduate Admissions at Robert Morris University.

Prior to embarking on a career in higher education, Sherri worked in the travel industry for the world’s largest travel management company, American Express. She obtained specialized training in planning extensive around the world itineraries and African Safaris. Her career afforded her the ability to explore multiple continents. However, on September 11, 2011, the travel industry was changed. Sherri seized this opportunity to follow the steps of her spouse, a college professor, and obtain a career in higher education. She has held a variety of positions in education; however, her focus has always been on veterans, adults, and transfer students. She has a BS in administration & management with an accounting concentration from La Roche College, a master’s in Leadership & Liberal Studies from Duquesne University, and Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification. She is currently on the Board of Directors for the Continuing Education Association of PA (CEA/PA) and the National Association of Women MBA (Pittsburgh chapter).

aufman@rmu.edu | 412-397-5229

Caitlin Bauer

Caitlin Bauer is an Enrollment Manager in the Office of Graduate Admissions at Robert Morris University. Before joining the graduate staff at RMU, Caitlin worked for 8 years in undergraduate admissions at RMU and Slippery Rock University. She also has a background in event planning and management. She currently holds a BS in Public Relations from SRU and a Master’s in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

bauerc@rmu.edu | 412-397-5218

Testimonials

"The program is much more than I expected. The amount of time the professors spend with me and how personable they are goes beyond any program I have been a part of. Robert Morris is a wonderful mix of a small college feel and the technology and capabilities of a large university. The people I have met through the program have become my friends, and I have no doubt I will be prepared to face the boards and workforce by the time I am finished. It is a complete program of professionalism, knowledge, and heart."

 - Mike Marek

"Robert Morris University’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner DNP program is a highly respected, fully accredited, state board-approved program that combines academic excellence with personalized attention from faculty. Whether you choose the DNP completion or BSN to DNP option, you will be prepared to take board certification exams and to practice as a PMHNP with confidence and professionalism. I have been able to complete most of the requirements online as a distance learner. Being on campus for the first week of 5 semesters for DNP requirements allowed me to feel part of a real cohort of my professional peers from various nursing backgrounds and helped me get to know faculty in a more personal way. Unlike some distance learning programs, you ‘virtually’ attend live classes and have an opportunity to contribute to discussions and ask questions. I highly recommend RMU’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program and am proud to say I attend here."

 - Terese M. Schneider, Class of 2014

Preceptors

RMU is preparing the next generation of psychiatric care providers and we need your help.

On behalf of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program at Robert Morris University, I would like to sincerely thank you for your willingness to precept for our nurse practitioner students. Since 2007, when we became the first State Board of Nursing approved BSN-DNP nurse practitioner program in Pennsylvania and one of the first in the country, we have grown in both NP student numbers and in national reputation. We owe much of our success to the excellence and commitment of our clinical preceptors, and we sincerely thank you for your ongoing support of our program goals.

On this website you can find documents that describe the role of the preceptor and an evaluation form for you to complete at the end of the student’s clinical experience. It is anticipated that the precepted experience will provide students with the opportunity to utilize evidence-based practice findings to plan, implement, and evaluate therapeutic regimens of individuals experiencing acute and chronic psychiatric disorders.

Students enrolled in clinical courses have obtained mandated State and Federal Clearances and have completed required CPR and immunizations, all of which are on file in the Department of Nursing at Robert Morris University. We are extremely grateful for the commitment of your time and expertise that will help us to achieve our goals for advanced practice NP education. I look forward to our collaboration this semester and in the future.

Sincerely,

Kirstyn M. Kameg, DNP, PMHNP-BC
Professor of Nursing, | AIME Project Director | PMHNP Program Coordinator

Benefits of Being a Preceptor:

Working with experienced nurse practitioners ready to assist in all aspects of patient care.

An annual preceptor conference that provides free pharmacology continuing education credits.

The ability to earn free credits toward a RMU graduate degree.

The satisfaction of having provided an invaluable service to your profession and to the patients in desperate need of quality mental health care.

Resources

Co-morbid Medical and Mental Health Standardized Patient Simulations Incorporating IPE Competencies

The below links will take you to standardized patient simulation videos depicting patients with comorbid medical and mental health problems presenting to the primary care setting with the overall goal of highlighting interprofessional collaboration.

Acute Alcohol Withdrawal and Gastritis
Back Pain with Drug Seeking Behaviors
Driver's License Physical Examination and Self-Injurious Behavior
Palpitations, Fatigue, and Anxiety
Schizophrenia and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Weight Gain, Fatigue, and Bipolar Disorder

Nursing Association Resources

American Psychiatric Nursing Association
International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses
American Association of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
American Nurses Credentialing Center
Interprofessional Educational Competencies
RMU RISE Center
The International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning
American Nurses Association

Journals

Journal of Psychosocial Nursing
Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing
Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association
Perspectives in Psychiatric Care
Current Psychiatry