As the old proverbial saying goes, "There's no such thing as bad publicity." That's why we're always eager to publicize posts by aspiring nurse practitioners who need help setting up shitty, academically questionable clinical "rotations" so that they can log clinical hours in order to complete their similarly questionable NP degree program. If you live anywhere near Westbury, NY or Nassau County on Long Island, we recommend hiding your kids in a safe place for the time being, especially if they're between 2.5 to 5 years old, because this highly motivated blend of DNP, MSN, ANP-C, not-quite-yet-a-psych-NP alphabet soup by the name of Susan Smetana is "in search of a child" for her "project", and she's looking to meet you and your child in the convenience of your own home. And what the hell is "therapeutic use of self" supposed to mean? Is that supposed to be some Freudian euphemism for masturbation? Needless to say, this is the kind of creepy-as-fuck Pedobear-worthy post that would make Chris Hansen proud. Maybe she would have better luck posting in the local babysitter's group?
Now that you've hidden your young children away from the prying eyes of random strangers on the internet, Susan's post also provides us with an excellent opportunity to directly compare the training of a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) with that of a psychiatrist, specifically one who has completed a subspecialty fellowship in child-adolescent psychiatry. As evidenced by the excellent diagram above created by board-certified psychiatrist Sean Wilkes, MD, physicians looking to enter the field of child-adolescent psychiatry (CAP) through the traditional pathway must first complete a four-year, ACGME-accredited residency in psychiatry (after the four years of medical school to obtain an MD/DO degree first, of course) and then match into a CAP fellowship, which are two years long and consist of approximately 6,000 hours of training. Specifically, part of this fellowship training includes clinical rotations supervised by fellowship-trained attending psychiatrists across a wide variety of settings, ranging from inpatient youth crisis stabilization units, juvenile courts, to educational development activities in local schools. For example, the Nationwide Children's Hospital Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship curriculum includes the following:
Notably, the clinical training of a child-adolescent psychiatrist does NOT include sketchy, presumably unsupervised home visits arranged via the internet for the purpose of "observing" and "interacting" with ONE child. The sketchiness goes both ways, too - if something were to go sideways, it certainly wouldn't be the first time a healthcare worker got murdered during a house call. And what the hell are you supposed to be learning from an interaction with one single kid, anyway?
We have to wonder, did Molloy University's administration actively approve this kind of curricular activity for their PMHNP students where they're supposed to find a child/parent online and go to their homes? Did this sort of thing make it past an institutional review board (IRB)? Do they even have an IRB? Why isn't their nurse practitioner program arranging properly structured and supervised clinical activities in appropriate locations (i.e. some random person's house) for their students who are presumably paying thousands of dollars in tuition?
In any case, when your post-master's PMHNP program at Molloy University only requires 165*3+60 = 555 clinical hours, there probably isn't much time to actually learn anything worthwhile or conduct sketchy visits to the homes of multiple children. Mind you, 555 is only 9.25% of the ~6,000 clinical hours of CAP fellowship and a measly 2.41% of the total ~23,000 clinical hours of a child-adolescent psychiatrist after including medical school and psychiatry residency. And it goes without saying that the physician-level training of a psychiatrist is magnitudes more robust and rigorous than the midlevel-grade training of a nurse practitioner anyway, so these hours aren't even remotely comparable to begin with.
This is all the more concerning in light of the fact that Ms. Smetana apparently has no prior clinical experience in the field of psychiatry; her clinical expertise appears to consist primarily of adult roles in orthopedics, rehabilitation, and pain management. But why bother with 10 years and 23,000 hours of training to become a competent child-adolescent psychiatrist, when you can boil all that down to 555 hours and go to a random kid's home for some "observing" and "interacting"? Better yet, if the purpose is to "integrate psychological developmental theories" in the context of childhood, why bother with the trouble of finding an actual kid when you can learn plenty of things about child development from childrens' TV shows? Teletubbies and Sesame Street were the absolute shit when it came to helping kids meet developmental milestones back in the dark ages, but we hear Peppa Pig is all the rage these days!