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Family Systems Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing

Serving families across the lifespan who are experiencing the effects of war, the economy, violence, and mental disorders


Increased Need for Psychiatric Nurses

In addition to the shortage of advanced practice psychiatric nurses, healthcare systems are challenged to address the needs of an increasing elderly population; stressed military families; families impacted by the economy, loss of employment, home foreclosure, and other stressors; and a population facing an increase in reported rates of domestic and youth violence.

family psychFill a Critical Gap in Service

Put your passion to help children, youth, adults, and the elderly to use by pursuing your MSN in Family Systems Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing. This blended program prepares graduates to serve as psychiatric nurse practitioners and/or clinical nurse specialists. The curriculum will prepare you to address more efficiently the often unmet psychiatric mental health and substance use/abuse needs of people of all ages—persons at risk because of their vulnerabilities related to disparate care, natural and man-made disasters, and political or economic factors.

Pursue Diverse Career Options

The work of an advanced practice psychiatric nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist is dynamic in scope, ranging from prevention and health promotion to early detection and assessment to integration and culturally appropriate, client-centered intervention. Similarly, they can practice in a multitude of environments, including community mental health clinics; hospitals systems; private physician offices; prison systems; military bases and Veteran’s Affairs Hospitals; treatment facilities; and psychiatric mental health community centers, among others.

Serve the Family in All Its Forms

Because different families face different issues, this program views family systems in the post-modern world as not necessarily defined by blood relationships or legal definitions but more clearly by those who choose to live together in a kinship relationship. Graduates will be able to more effectively treat a wider variety of patients from a range of families, including military families, blended families, single-parent families, families of choice, migrant and immigrant families, and foster families.

Flexible Course Schedule

The Family Systems Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing major, as part of the MSN program, requires 45 credit hours of coursework and 720 hours of clinicals. The coursework is usually completed within four semesters. In addition to the intensive courses and NP core classes requirements for class meetings on campus, the remainder of the classes are web based in a virtual classroom in real time through adobe connect on line format and one last course is offered in a four day intensive on campus format.

Learn More

Jane Suresky, DNP, PMHCNS BC

Sample Full-Time Curriculum


Fall Semester I

NURS 405
Inquiry I Theoretical Foundations
NURS 453
Advanced Pathophysiology
NURS 473
Advanced Psychopathology Across the Age Span (Ages 0-17)
NURS 475
General Systems Theory Foundations for Practice
NURS 476
Advanced Practice Seminar Blended Role
Semester Total


Spring Semester I

NURS 459
Integrated Assessment for Advanced Practice
NURS 430
Pharmacology and Therapeutics for Advanced Practice
NURS 465
NURS 474
Advanced Psychopathology Across the Age Span (18-65+)
NURS 481
Family Systems A: Theoretical Foundations
NURS 482
Family Systems B: Integration and Application
Semester Total


Summer Semester I

NURS 425
Inquiry II: Research Process
NURS 484
Individual and Group Modalities for Family Systems Practice
NURS 485
Practicum and Supervision: Individual and Group
Semester Total


Fall Semester II

NURS 502
Inquiry III Evidence Based Practice
NURS 503
Inquiry Practicum
NURS 486
Modalities for Family Systems Practice: Vulnerable Families
NURS 488
Theory for Practice: Supervision, Consultation and Education
NURS 489
Practicum and Supervision: Role of Family Systems Integration
Semester Total
Program Total
NUND 507
Management in Advanced Practice (elective)

Overall Total Hours: 45-48

The Advanced Practice Core courses are co-requisites or pre-requisites for the clinical nursing courses. Clinical nursing courses must be taken in the semester and sequence listed above. Clinical course availability is based upon enrollment. Clinical practicum courses will include a minimum of one clinical experience in the care of child/adolescents, one in the care of adults, and one in the care of older adults.

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View the Brochure (PDF)

CWRU Nursing brochure

MSN Announcements

CAPE Stipend


Nurse Faculty Loan Program

MSN Program Information

MSN Program Contacts

Program Director:

Carol Savrin

Department Assistant:

Anne Watson

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