A Successful Model for Clinical Training in Child/Adolescent Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Graduate Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nursing Students

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BACKGROUND: Graduate faculty in advanced practice nursing programs seek to provide clinical training in psychotherapy for psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) students and prepare them for practice with patients across the lifespan, including children and adolescents. OBJECTIVE: To develop a clinical training model for child/adolescent cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) that is adaptable to all graduate nursing programs including online, classroom, and blended programs. DESIGN: Clinical training included a didactic 4-hour workshop and 7 small group practice sessions utilizing Creating Opportunities for Personal Empowerment (COPE), a manualized CBT program for teens. Students completed post–clinical training evaluations. Using qualitative design, responses to the open-ended questions were analyzed and common themes identified. RESULTS: One hundred seven PMHNP students completed evaluations. Four themes emerged from the data: (a) therapeutic understanding of adapting CBT for children and adolescents, (b) therapeutic skills and techniques for use with children/adolescents, (c) improved level of confidence through participation in the CBT program, and (d) therapeutic benefits of being in a group. CONCLUSIONS: Positive PMHNP student evaluations indicated that this clinical training model is feasible both online and face-to-face and acceptable for providing clinical training in CBT for children and adolescents.

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