Richard Westphal headshot

Richard J. Westphal

Department Chair
Clinical Scholar
Unit: School of Nursing
Department: School of Nursing
Office location and address
McLeod 5042
202 Jeanette Lancaster Way
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903

Dr. Richard Westphal (click here to read a Q&A from 2013) – a long-time military nurse who oversaw the Navy’s $117 million psychological health and Traumatic Brain Injury programs between 2007 to 2010 – arrived at U.Va. in 2013 as a professor of nursing. Westphal’s interests include psychiatric/mental health services, stress injury, and palliative care, and he continues to be a sought-after speaker on the topic of identifying and coping with stress injuries to those who work in the military and in law enforcement.

GCNL 5160: Clin Prac & Decision-Making: Nursing Care of Persons w/ Psychiatric Illness
Credits: 3
The course provides an opportunity to learn and use bio-psychosocial concepts in the care of mentally ill of all ages and in a variety of hospital and community settings. The focus is on assessment strategies, plans of care, nursing interventions, medication management, and rehabilitative processes for individuals with a variety of acute and chronic mental health problems. Prerequisite: GCNL 5150.
GCNL 5230: Theory for Research and Nursing Practice
Credits: 1
This core course provides an overview of nursing and health care related theory used for research and evidence based clinical practice. Students will focus on the specialized body of knowledge in the discipline of nursing and its contexts, historical perspectives and interdisciplinary practice.
GNUR 5410: Theory and Evidence-Based Practice
Credits: 4
This course provides an overview of nursing and health care related theory, research and evidence based practice. Students develop the basic skills and knowledge to critique individual research studies, conduct systematic literature reviews, and use these abilities to address immediate clinical nursing problems. Students learn to identify health outcomes and important related outcome measures. Prerequisite: Second year standing in CNL program.
GNUR 6054: Research and Biostatistical Processes for Health Care
Credits: 4
This course provides an introduction to nursing and health care-related research and bio-statistical analysis. This course provides the basic skills and knowledge to critique research, develop a research plan, and to develop an evidence-based practice. Prerequisite: Undergraduate or graduate applied statistics course within the past five years.
GNUR 6251: Biological Basis of Mental Health and Mental Illness
Credits: 3
Explores the biological correlates of psychiatric illnesses and examines neurostructural, neurochemical, psychopharmacologic processes relevant to psychiatric illnesses. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or instructor permission.
GNUR 6253: Psychiatric-Mental Health Disorders and Diagnoses
Credits: 3
Provides a foundation for advanced psychiatric nursing practice based on a biopsychosocial model of mental health and illness. Emphasizes those who have moderate to severe impairments in emotional and/or behavioral functioning associated with major mental illness. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or instructor permission.
GNUR 7251: PMHNP Practicum I
Credits: 5
This course provides the opportunity for students to develop basic understanding and skills in psychiatric nursing interventions with patients in inpatient and community care system. Emphasis will be placed on the development of a large repertoire of advanced nursing care strategies and application of these skills to certain patient groups and the patient care environment.
GNUR 7254: PMHNP Practicum II
Credits: 5
Students will further develop and refine clinical skills of the advanced psychiatric nurse and represents the final clinical experience area of psychiatric mental health nursing in the Master's of Nursing graduate program. The purpose is to focus on specific populations such as the elderly, chronically mentally ill, rural populations, and substance abusers, and to explore nursing strategies and methods of practice specific to the population.
GNUR 8660: Evidence-Based Practice
Credits: 3
This doctoral-level course will introduce students to principles and processes of evidence-based practice. The course will review processes for identifying current best evidence, including formulation of a clinical question, systematic review of the literature, critical evaluation of relevant literature, and formulating a draft DNP project proposal based on the evidence.
GNUR 9600: DNP Practicum
Credits: 1–9
DNP practicum builds upon master's level advanced nursing competencies by supporting the DNP students' transition to expert doctoral nursing practice and students' achievement of AACN DNP Essentials and DNP-APRN Competencies. Students are expected to advance to a higher level of expertise and demonstrate leadership in practice and scholarship.
GNUR 9630: DNP Practicum III: Evaluation and Dissemination of the Scholarly Pratice
Credits: 1
This course is the third of three practica in which students will complete a minimum of 56 practice hours as they continue to build upon advanced nursing competencies to expand knowledge for expert nursing practice. Students are expected to enhance clinical reasoning, practice and/or systems management skills in their specialty practice area. In DNP Practicum III, students evaluate and disseminate their scholarly practice project.