Primary Integrated Psychiatric Nursing Project

PIPN Project

The Primary Integrated Psychiatric Nursing (PIPN) project is a three-year federal training grant that was awarded to the College of Nursing in 2009. The purpose of PIPN is to educate psychiatric nurse practitioners to diagnose and treat those with mental illnesses throughout the state, therefore addressing a critical shortage of mental health providers in much of Nebraska. 

With the project, students within the Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Nursing specialization have greater learning opportunities through enhanced distance education technology. The technology will allow completion of course and clinical requirements through internet based learning and videoconferencing systems without relocating to a UNMC campus. 

Four tracts of study available:

PIPN Students Learn More than the Average Student  

Students of the graduate Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing program at the College of Nursing at UNMC are not only learning to diagnose and treat mental health problems, but become skilled in using the latest educational technology.  

Current students have an advantage in the PIPN project. The PIPN project provides cutting edge technologies at no extra cost to the students. Students are accustomed to logging into a virtual “room” and seeing their fellow classmates face to face for collaborative learning experiences. The Adobe Connect room’s provides a secure and easy location for all students to speak, see each other and share learning experiences with one another.  

Throughout the PIPN program, the students write blogs and wikis as part of their clinical assignments. They exchange and share documents through sharing pods, meet for study groups, and can record sessions for students who cannot be present. The students consult with clinical faculty on a regular and on demand basis about clinical experiences and course work. Potential students are even interviewed by faculty over the video conferencing links when they live outside of Omaha.  

This cutting edge technology allows students who could not obtain graduate nursing education because of distance, to attend graduate school from any location in the state of Nebraska. The impact on Nebraska is reflected in the PIPN enrollment. In less than two years of the three year federally funded PIPN project, overall enrollment in the program has increased more than 170%. Notably, the number of students enrolled from communities more than 60 miles from a UNMC campus is currently over one third of the entire enrollment of the Psych NP Program.   The PIPN program has set a standard for nursing education in the state of Nebraska. As technologies are applied and enrollments continue to expand, the benefits to Nebraskans will also continue to grow.


Showcasing the PIPN Project

Dean Tilden observes Adobe Connect session in progress  
Standing in the middle of a classroom, without visible microphones and cameras, Dr. Virginia Tilden, former Dean of the College of Nursing at UNMC, spoke to seven students scattered across more than 500 miles of the state of Nebraska.   All of the students, like every student in the PIPN program, were connected through a virtual classroom through using Adobe Connect web conferencing. From Scottsbluff to Broken Bow to Omaha, the students chatted with Dr. Tilden and key university and state leaders at an April presentation. The presentations showcased the PIPN’s use of new social networking for education and the new Center for Nursing Science Building on the Omaha campus.   Attendees of the special presentations marveled at the technology and the ability to speak and see students scattered across the state in real time using microphones and cameras installed in the ceiling and walls of the classroom.   Dr. Michael Rice, PIPN Project Director, provided a presentation on using the technologies to address the mental health needs of the state of Nebraska. He emphasized that the PIPN program is the only graduate nursing program using the Adobe Connect web conferencing system and social media tools as a primary method of course delivery.