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The Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Residency (MH-NPR) program at VA Puget Sound Health Care System (VAPSHCS) develops highly competent professionals who provide outstanding care to Veterans.

Application deadline: May 1, 2023  

Ideal candidates

Our mental health nurse practitioner residency is seeking candidates who are highly recommended and have excelled academically.  An ideal candidate possesses the aptitude to succeed in an environment, which requires:

  • Interprofessional collaborative teamwork,
  • Patient-centered team-based methods of clinical care, 
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills, and
  • Passion to deliver high quality mental health care to Veterans within a Federal medical center setting.

Eligibility requirements

This residency program is for graduates with no prior mental health nurse practitioner work experience.  The eligibility requirements prior to and throughout this residency are:

  • Commitment to the full one-year residency program
  • Ability to work at both Seattle and American Lake VA Medical Centers
  • A recent graduate of an accredited master’s, post-master’s or doctoral level Nurse Practitioner program within 12 months of the residency start date 
  • Board certification as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner from the AANP or ANCC accrediting bodies prior to program start
  • Active unencumbered APRN license in a state, commonwealth, or territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia prior to program start date
  • Active unencumbered RN license in a state, commonwealth, or territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia
  • Possess and maintain American Heart Association BLS Healthcare Provider certification
  • Maintain evidence or self-certification of up-to-date vaccinations for healthcare workers as recommended by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and VA
  • Provide evidence of tuberculosis screening or testing as recommended by CDC health care personnel guidelines
  • Possess two acceptable and valid Identification documents to meet VA requirements for PIV credential identity verification
  • Pass screening against the Health and Human Services’ List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE)
  • Be a US citizen 


This residency is a stipend position.  The annual amount is set by the VA Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA).  Other benefits include:

  • Eligible for full-time VA paid trainee benefits, Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) Healthcare ( with some medical plans offering limited dental coverage
  • 4 hours of annual leave and 4 hours of sick leave bi-weekly 
  • 11 paid federal holidays 
  • No weekends, on call or night shift duties 

How to apply 

Questions and complete application packages can be emailed to   

Application package

Applications should be sent as an email with attachments.  Attachments can be Word or Adobe PDF file types and may be packaged within a ZIP file.  The application package requirements are:

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV), which includes the following information:
  • Education with completion dates of degrees
  • Clinical rotations in graduate school
  • Pertinent work history, including starting and ending dates
  • If applicable, include explanations for gaps in work history that were three months or longer
  • Teaching activities
  • Scholarly activities, including research or quality improvement projects
  • Volunteer work
  • Include a statement if you are Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) recipient
  • School transcripts from your Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program
  • Three professional references (see details below)
  • 1-2 academic
  • 1-2 manager/supervisor in nursing or other recent employment (or clinical preceptor)
  • Two letters of recommendation from academic faculty in nursing and clinical preceptor, or supervisor or manager in recent employment
  • Essays responses (see questions below)

Essay questions

Essay responses to the questions below should be one paragraph, preferably no longer than 300 words each. The questions are:

  • What professional, educational, or clinical experiences led you to choose a mental health nurse practitioner career?  Please comment upon your vision and plans for your short and long-term career development and how this residency will support your career goals.
  • What are your aspirations for a residency program?  What are the goals that you hope to accomplish during your residency at the VA? Please identify specific areas of interest and skills you want to develop increased mastery, competence, or confidence.
  • Please describe your qualities and strengths that will contribute positively to this inter-professional residency experience.  Be specific.

Professional references

Provide the following information for at least three references.  In doing so, you are consenting for us to contact them.

  • Name
  • Professional relationship
  • Dates of association
  • Work address
  • Email address
  • Phone number

Program details 

We use an interprofessional patient aligned care team model.  We collaborate amongst our health care professionals from:

  • Psychology
  • Pharmacy
  • Social Work
  • Nursing
  • Other hospital specialties

Our training program facilitates the resident’s growth and transition to independent practice through:  

  • Clinical supervision,  
  • Longitudinal mentorship,  
  • Leadership opportunities,  
  • Scholarly quality improvement projects, and  
  • Continuous feedback throughout the one-year training program. 

Nurse practitioner residents will participate in various didactic sessions throughout the year including:  

  • Monthly interprofessional didactics,  
  • Monthly journal club on PTSD and other mental health conditions,
  • Collaborative care conferences, and
  • Trainee led quality improvement projects.

Program point of contact

Program director:

Sarah Frankel, DNP, PMHNP-BC
Program Director of Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Residency