What We Do
The core mission of the MFP is to increase the number of post-baccalaureate (master’s and doctoral level) behavioral health nurses from underrepresented ethnic minority groups, who will assume leadership roles in providing high-quality clinical services, conduct and use evidence-based research in practice and inquiry, promote the reduction of bias that is associated with mental illness and substance use, and support and develop policies related to mental health and substance use disorders. In addition, the goal of the MFP is to eliminate health disparities in behavioral health disorders through educating specialty nurses who provide culturally competent and linguistically appropriate services in clinical practice, teaching, research, and policy development. The science of early intervention and prevention, treatment, and recovery will be heavily interwoven into this project.
45 Years Educating Behavioral Health Nurses
For more than 45 years, the MFP has aided ethnic nurses in attaining advanced degrees in mental health related areas. The goal is to expand and enhance the scientific knowledge of mental health care, and to provide quality evidence-based, culturally relevant care to a diverse group of individuals and families both nationally and globally. Since its inception in 1974, the program has enhanced the academic resources and provided a nurturing support system for more than 500 Fellows who are providing leadership in the areas of research, clinical practice, education, administration and policy in a variety of settings. They are leaders in research, clinical practice, public policy, administration, and community service. Many are providing leadership in some of the most highly respected positions in health and government organizations, academic institutions, national and international boards and advisory groups, and other influential activities.
Education Approaches for Minority Nurses
Specific approaches to our mission include identifying and nurturing individuals who have an interest in and a potential for research in mental health related phenomena and clinical practice as providers. Each of these approaches is essential for the expansion and enhancement of knowledge, and improved practice, both of which are antecedents to evidence based mental health outcomes. The MFP at the American Nurses Association emphasizes integrated approaches that include the mental health and physical health needs of ethnic/minority populations and is committed to improving their overall health and well-being.
This program provides nurses with stipends, dissertation support, mentoring, career guidance, intensive research and clinical workshops, and opportunities to interact with and learn from experts in a multitude of disciplines that address, for example, culture, mental health, public policy, and clinical issues.
The MFP helps to shape the careers of Fellows. Resources such as leadership and multidisciplinary seminars are provided; multidisciplinary seminars and conferences, and assistance with career enhancement opportunities are some of the numerous supports provided by the MFP/ANA. Our approach also demands that we place the plethora of health needs of ethnic populations in juxtaposition with the Fellows’ courses of study, their dissertation topics, and their career goals, with the intent of contributing to the scientific and clinical expertise necessary to systematically and sensitively address troublesome mental health areas that negatively impact ethnic/minority populations. Moreover, we also embrace the scientific exploration of the numerous strengths that they manifest.
The MFP works within the context of an engaged National Advisory Committee composed of renowned ethnic/minority nurses, that provide oversight, direction, and recommendations related to all aspects of the program. They also monitor the Fellows’ progress through their academic programs, make recommendations, and determine if the Fellows’ academic progress is in compliance with the mission and goal of the MFP, and the SAMHSA guidelines.
For 45 years, the MFP/ANA has been one of the Nation’s most successful programs focused on the educational preparation of ethnic/minority psychiatric mental health advanced practice nurses who have contributed significantly to the research, clinical practice, education and policy aimed at decreasing health disparities and increasing equity for minority populations.