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Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Residency Program

This 12-month post-graduate program provides clinical and academic experience for new graduates transitioning into professional roles as PMHNPs.

The Zablocki VA, in academic partnership with Alverno College-JoAnn McGrath School of Nursing, promotes mentorship and fosters a supportive interprofessional learning environment for providing evidence-based care to our Veteran population.

The PMHNPs will advance from novice to competent psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners while developing competencies in Veterans' health care needs. Through intensive mentored clinical experiences and professional development activities, PMHNPs will be prepared to provide mental health services for the veteran population.

Program Description

  • 32 hours clinical and 8 hours didactic experiences per 40-hour work week.
  • Training domains include:
  1. Professional role development and career management.
  2. Clinical assessment and case formulation.
  3. Clinical documentation.
  4. Mental health treatment, including evidence-based pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, alternative and complimentary approaches.
  5. Consultation and interprofessional communication skills.
  6. Patient-centered cultural competency (with emphasis on military and Veteran culture).
  7. Clinical scholarship, leadership, and program development and evaluation.
  • Clinical rotations on interprofessional teams.
  • Integrated and parallel didactic sessions.
  • Didactic sessions frequently occur in conjunction with other resident training programs to promote interprofessional learning.
  • Clinical rotations include Inpatient Psychiatry, Outpatient Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry, Emergency Psychiatry (Access & Crisis Team), Psychiatric Consultation, Primary Care/Mental Health Integration Clinic, PTSD Clinic, Tele-MH Clinic, Mental Health Intensive Care Management (MHICM), and Homeless Outreach Program.
  • Clinical experiences and didactic topics include Veteran Culture, Military Service, Combat Veterans, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Comorbidities, Military Sexual Trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Neurocognitive Disorders, Substance Use Disorders, Depressive Disorders, Bipolar Disorders, Mood Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Sleep Disorders, Suicide, TeleMental Health, Women Veterans, Healthcare Leadership, and Quality Improvement.
  • High Reliability Organization (HRO) Principles and QI Seminars: Seminars focus on developing knowledge and skills to improve care utilizing VA-approved LEAN and PDSA tools and methods. Residents learn about HRO principles that lead to zero harm through patient safety and safety culture forums. ZVAMC is on a HRO journey and thus has a dedicated interprofessional HRO team that is enthusiastic to work with PC-NPR program.
  • Professional Development: Residents are provided opportunities to interact with interprofessional teams including other residents (PAs, PC-NPRs, and Advanced Fellows) in interprofessional patient safety elective, and activities such as journal clubs and presentations.
  • Leadership at all levels support protected time for preceptors/faculty to provide enriching teaching experiences.
  • Program Director serves as a resource and provides support as residents transition to performing as autonomous PMHNPs.
  • A certificate is awarded upon successful completion of the residency.
  • Candidates who successfully complete the residency training program will be given the opportunity to apply for available vacancies within the VA system.

Facility Spotlight

Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center is a vibrant class 1A VHA Medical Center that provides many health care services to Veterans from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. On the main campus in Milwaukee, there are 196 inpatient care beds (inclusive of 34 mental health beds and spinal cord injury), 113 Community Living Center, 9 Transitional care, and 125 Domiciliary beds. Our facility includes three Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) in Appleton, Union Grove, Cleveland, and a Health Care Center (HCC) in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and all offer MH services. In FY 2022, our inpatient areas admitted approximately 7985 Veterans (1555 in MH). MH professionals provided Veteran care for 1204 visits in the ED and 2820 visits in urgent care. The outpatient clinics saw over 797,000 Veterans (67,586 in MH); and the CBOCs experienced over 274,000 visits (over 31,718 in MH)

The Zablocki VAMC is located on 245 acres just west of downtown Milwaukee, WI. Originally established in 1867, we are one of the oldest VA sites in the country.


  • Be a recent graduate (within 12 months) of a master's, post-master's certificate, or doctoral level NP program accredited by CCNE or the ACEN.
  • Be serving in first Nurse Practitioner role in same program specialty area as the program focus-Mental Health.
  • Possess a current board certification in the same program specialty area as the program’s focus: MH-NPR: Psychiatric Mental Health board certification.
  • Possess a current, full active and unrestrictive registration as a graduate professional nurse AND nurse practitioner in a state, commonwealth, or territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, prior to the start of the NPR program.
  • Be a citizen of the United States.
  • Pass a background/security investigation as required by the Veterans Health Administration
  • Pass pre-trainee physical examination. Random drug testing may be required. COVID vaccination is a requirement for this residency.

Compensation and Benefits

  • NP residents are trainees, not employees.
  • Resident trainee appointments are for 2080 program hours to accrue benefits, including health insurance.
  • Benefits (4 hours of sick leave and 4 hours of vacation/annual leave per 2-week pay period).
  • Stipend $82,036 per annum ($39.44/hour) – determined and funded by the Office of Academic Affiliations .
  • Hiring preference for open positions at any VA on successful completion of the residency program.

Application Process

For the cohort starting Fall 2024:

  • Applications accepted through June 1
  • Interviews conducted in mid-June 2024
  • Selections communicated in late June
  • Residency begins Sept. 3

Application packet:

  • Cover letter, including why you are interested in this Residency program
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • School Transcript (does not need to be official for application process)
  • Three letters of reference, including one reference from a senior year nursing faculty member
  • Application for Health Professions Trainees (VA Form 10-2850D):

Program Contact

Megan Haigh. MSN, RN, PMHNP-BC

PMHNP Residency Program Director


About VA

“To fulfill President Lincoln's promise to care for those who have served in our nation's military and for their families, caregivers and survivors."

Veterans Health Administration Mission

Honor America’s Veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being.

VHA Vision

VHA will continue to be the benchmark of excellence and value in health care and benefits by providing exemplary services that are both patient centered and evidence based.

This care will be delivered by engaged, collaborative teams in an integrated environment that supports learning, discovery, and continuous improvement.

It will emphasize prevention and population health and contribute to the nation's well-being through education, research, and service in national emergencies.