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Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Practitioner Residency Program

Thank you for your interest in the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Residency Program in Albuquerque, NM. The mission of this program is to provide novice nurse practitioners with exceptional clinical training, didactics and mentorship to enhance clinical competence, increase confidence to practice independently, and become well-prepared to provide high quality mental health services for Veterans.

Raymond G. Murphy New Mexico VA Healthcare System

The New Mexico VA Health Care System (NMVAHCS) is centered in Albuquerque on a busy, historic campus with an expansive service area that covers the entire State of New Mexico, and parts of both Southern Colorado and Eastern Arizona. The Behavioral Health Care Line (BHCL) provides a full range of inpatient and outpatient acute, emergency, general, specialty and chronic mental health services to meet the needs of our Veterans.

Program Structure

The residency is 12 months in length and will include clinical rotations and multidisciplinary didactic experiences focused on 1) strengthening confidence as a licensed, independent practitioner in the promotion of optimal mental health, prevention, and treatment of psychiatric disorders and health maintenance, and 2) enhancing clinical skills and knowledge to provide effective, evidence-based, ethical, competent assessment, diagnosis, and management of mental health and psychiatric disorders. Residents will also develop and implement a VA related evidence-based quality enhancement and/or system redesign project with formal presentation to peers, faculty and interdisciplinary colleagues as part of program completion.

Training areas at the NMVAHCS will include the following clinics, programs or services: General Outpatient Mental Health, Family and Couples Counseling, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Women’s Stress Disorder Treatment Team, Psychiatric Primary Care Clinic, Substance Use Disorder Clinic, Neuromodulation Clinic (i.e. Ketamine, ECT, rTMS), Primary Care Mental Health Integration Team, Mental Health Urgent Care/Emergency Psychiatry Team, Inpatient Geropsychiatry and Acute Inpatient Psychiatric units and the Mental Health Residential Treatment Program.

The strong academic partnership between NMVAHCS and University of New Mexico College of Nursing (UNM CON) and New Mexico State University School of Nursing (NMSU SON) will enable the PMHNP residents to further enhance clinical, leadership and teaching skills. Residents will participate in structured clinical evaluations simulations of psychiatric practice as learners, simulation developers and actors. They will also participate as learners in educational training courses for faculty and preceptors at the UNM CON and as guest presenters for nursing students at the graduate and undergraduate level. Didactic content presented to students will be related to Veteran-centered mental health care and psychiatric treatment.

PMHNP Salary and Benefits

Residents in our program are considered federal trainees with a competitive stipend and comprehensive benefits package that includes in part, paid vacation and sick leave, 10 paid holidays and health benefits. The resident stipend is based on the current year’s allocation rate for the local area.

Application Process

Our program will support a total of four (4) residents each year.  

PMHNP Residency Eligibility:      

1. US Citizenship     
2. Graduate from a psychiatric nurse practitioner program with a Commission on Collegiate       Nursing Education(CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)                                                                                           
3. Recent graduate (within the past 12 months)     
4. Hold a Master and/or Doctorate degree with a specialty in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing     
5. Proficiency in written and spoken English   

6. Completion of each of the following upon program acceptance: drug screen, background investigation, lab and physical exam, tuberculosis skin testing, flu shot, Hep B titer

Application Requirements:    

1. Completed PMHNP Residency Application- See below for application form. 


2.  A Letter of Interest (no more than two double-spaced pages to include but not limited to the following):

  • Your three most important professional goals.
  • Discussion of your experience with a variety of patient populations (e.g. Veterans, vulnerable, underserved or elderly populations).
  • How your career goals align with the PMHNP role and with furthering the profession.  


3. “Unofficial” nursing school transcripts (Official transcripts are required upon graduation) 

4.  Copy of recent BLS    

5. A copy of APRN License (not required with application but required prior to beginning residency)**

6. A copy of DEA License (not required with application but required within 30 days of beginning residency) **     

7. A copy of ANCC PMHNP Board-Certification (not required with application but required prior within 90 days of beginning residency)     

8. Three (3) letters of recommendation*

9. Curriculum Vitae/Resume (include education, experience, research and publication if applicable, leadership service, life experience and professional memberships or awards) 

  • One (1) letter from an academic instructor
  • One (1) letter from a preceptor (a different person from the above-mentioned academic instructor)
  • One (1) letter from an employer or co-worker


* Content in each letter should include the nature of the work relationship with the candidate, the candidate’s work performance, the candidate’s interpersonal skills, and any strengths/talents the candidate would bring to the residency program.

      **Residents are strongly encouraged to hold APRN licensure from a State that provides          licensed independent practice without practice restrictions or physician collaborative agreement requirements.Residents will be eligible to apply for a New Mexico APRN license which provides for full, unrestricted practice as a Nurse Practitioner.


Application Dates:
The deadline for application submission is March 29, 2024  for Academic year 24/25.  

  • Only complete applications will be moved forward for consideration. Candidates   will be considered until all positions are filled, therefore early submission is highly encouraged.     
  • Candidates will be considered until the position is filled and are highly encouraged to submit a completed application as soon as possible.  
  •  For questions regarding the application process or residency program, please email

Submit completed application requirements electronically via email to:

Clinical Affiliation Coordinator

505-265-1711 ext. 2364 or ext. 4587

Please cc:  Dr. Cynthia Nuttall, Chief  Nurse Academic Affairs Professional Development and Research


Program Start Date:
Monday, August 26, 2024

The letter of acceptance will include follow-up instructions regarding completion of the HR process, introductory meetings with the Residency Coordinator and Director, information regarding residency appointment and new employee orientation.

Residency Program Contacts:

Debra Day, MS, PMHNP-BC

New Mexico VAHCS PMHNP Residency Program Director

Cynthia Nuttall, PhD, RN

Chief  Nurse Academic Affairs Professional Development and Research

 Application Form-VA Form 10-2850D (PDF)

Program Start Date: Monday, August 26, 2024

The letter of acceptance will include follow-up instructions regarding completion of the HR process, introductory meetings with the Residency Coordinator and Director, information regarding residency appointment and new employee orientation. Application Form-VA Form 10-2850D (PDF)

There will be an information session held February 20, 2024 at 5:00 to 5:30 pm on Microsoft Teams. Link Below Microsoft Teams VA 

Microsoft Teams VA Residency Info Link