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Online Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Programs


TUITION COST

$17,598 - $67,298

DURATION

12 – 40 months

Degrees and Certificates

Holistic care includes mental health. Learn to treat the whole patient in an online psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program at Maryville.

 

As the population grows, hospitals and healthcare systems increasingly need psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) to assess and attend to the mental health needs of individuals, families, and groups. Now, learn to effect positive change in your community with an online PMHNP credential from Maryville University.

 

Choose from four paths — Master of Science in Nursing, Post-Master’s NP Certificate, Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice, or Doctor of Nursing Practice with Nurse Practitioner concentration — to fit your current needs and career goals. No matter which path you take, you’ll gain the skills and knowledge you need to treat acute and chronic illnesses, helping people to manage their conditions and lead happier, healthier lives.

 

“I have great interactions with my fellow students. You get to know people. It feels like a small family. The faculty go the extra mile to make sure you’re successful. Go for it. You will have the support you need.”

 

— Kristina Coleman, Maryville Grad

Online PMHNP Programs

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100% online with no campus visits required

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No GMAT, GRE, or Statistics required for admission

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Complete clinicals locally in your preferred setting

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No waiting list once you’re accepted

Four Online PMHNP Programs

Apply your passion and knowledge to psychiatric care. Pursue an advanced degree with a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner concentration designed to help you bring mental wellness to patients at all stages of life.

Are you ready to be an expert in the field? Pursue a direct path to more responsibility with our BSN to DNP program’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner concentration.

If you have your MSN and you’re now interested in specializing in psychiatric mental health, choose our post-master’s certificate. Focus your career on caring for individuals coping with mental health disorders.

Upgrade your MSN to a DNP with a PMHNP concentration and you’ll have a terminal degree that helps bring you back into the clinical setting. Earning your PMHNP credential along with your DNP allows you to practice at the highest level and lead interdisciplinary teams.

Why earn your online PMHNP degree of certificate?

Personal fulfillment.


Dedicated psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners are trained to help patients of all ages cope with difficult situations and mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and addiction. Providing psychiatric care can be challenging, but the reward is in the results. PMHNPs have the tools and knowledge to make powerful connections with their patients and see their improvements firsthand.

 

 

Professional autonomy.

The nurse practitioner role is expanding rapidly. Today, 24 states allow nurse practitioners to prescribe, diagnose, and treat patients without any physician oversight. As a PMHNP, you can apply your skills in a variety of settings, from hospitals and psychiatric mental health facilities to senior care homes.

 

Advanced opportunity

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects nurse practitioner roles to increase 52% between 2020 and 2030 — much faster than the average for all occupations (8%). As a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, your ability to perform physical and psychodiagnostic evaluations can help you secure in-demand positions unavailable to other NPs.

 

What can you do with a psychiatric nurse practitioner online degree or certificate?

Completing an online PMHNP program gives you the opportunity to advance your career while making a difference in the health and wellbeing of people who face mental health challenges. In your role as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, you will:

 

  • Assess, diagnose, and treat mental illnesses in patients of all ages
  • Educate families and patients on coping methods 
  • Prescribe and administer medication, with or without physician supervision (depending on the state in which you practice) 
  • Order, conduct, and interpret physical exams and mental health tests 
  • Help patients bridge the gap between physical and mental health 
  • Have a career with outstanding earning potential and a greater degree of autonomy

 

How does the average PMHNP salary compare with other nurse practitioner roles?

Psychiatric nurse practitioners earn higher annual salaries (roughly $112,000, according to PayScale.com) than NPs in most other specialties. In fact, a 2019 salary survey published by MedPage Today ranked the PMHNP salary as the second-highest of 21 nurse practitioner specialties, with anesthesiology being the only specialty with a higher salary.

Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner career paths

The knowledge you gain from one of our online psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) programs can prepare you to help people overcome mental health challenges in a wide range of settings, including:

 

  • Hospitals and clinics 
  • Psychiatric hospitals 
  • Independent practices
  • Family counseling, psychiatric, and substance-abuse treatment centers 
  • Assisted living facilities 
  • Home healthcare services 
  • Social services settings (schools, prisons, community health clinics, and shelters)

 

For more information about PMHNP careers, see our blog post, “What Do Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners Do?

Psychiatric nurse practitioner career outlook

The demand for psychiatric nurse practitioners is rising. With public awareness of mental illness increasing, a shortage of psychiatrists in the U.S., and an aging and growing population, the need for psychiatric experts is greater than ever. In fact, psychiatric nurse practitioner roles are projected to grow 26% by 2020, according to NurseJournal.org.

 

In 2014, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners estimated that psychiatric health NPs were only 3.2% of the total nurse practitioner population. This small population of NPs is well-compensated: On average, PMHNPs earn anywhere from $71,485 to $129,837, according to data compiled by PayScale.com. With a faster than average growth rate, limited competition, and high earning potential, qualified psychiatric NPs have advanced opportunities for growth.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people 65 and older in the United States is projected to double between 2018 and 2060. Psychiatric nurse practitioners are needed more than ever to prepare for an increase in aging-related mental health issues, including dementia. PMHNPs interested in improving outcomes in elderly care can help patients maintain the greatest possible degree of independence during hospitalization, after discharge, and in their home.

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates a 52% increase in job opportunities for nurse practitioners between 2020 and 2030. 
  • Psychiatric nurse practitioner roles are projected to grow 26% by 2020, according to NurseJournal.org. 
  • Psychiatric nurse practitioner was named among the “Best Nursing Career Specialties” by NurseJournal.org.
  • The BLS reports an annual median salary of about $111,000 for NPs overall. According to PayScale.com, psychiatric nurse practitioners earn an average of about $112,157.

Why choose one of Maryville’s accredited psychiatric nurse practitioner online degree or certificate programs?

We’re a private, four-year institution ranked as one of America’s best colleges by both U.S. News & World Report and Forbes. We’re also proud to have been named to the Military Friendly Schools list. When you choose a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program at Maryville, you receive a flexible and highly regarded education with the convenience of 100% online coursework.

 

As a student at Maryville, you’ll:

  • Maximize your time to earn an MSN or DNP
  • Graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) 
  • Enjoy a flexible and convenient 24/7 online learning model that allows you to plan time for work, life, and family obligations 
  • Explore important topics that can help pave the way to a better future for yourself and the nurses who follow in your footsteps 
  • Conduct research via clinical inquiry courses that will challenge your assumptions 
  • Learn from an expert faculty of nursing leaders who share their experiences and insights regarding public health and the nursing profession 
  • Receive a quality education experience based on caring, collaboration, and excellence

Founded in 1872 — Top Ranked for Today

Proud to be recognized as one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report and Forbes.

Maryville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
Forbes America's Top Colleges
Kiplinger Best College Values
CCNE Accredited

The MSN, Post-Master’s NP Certificate, and DNP programs at Maryville University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

Questions

Still have questions? Connect with us

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8 am - 7 pm CST

Fri

8 am - 5 pm CST

Start a chat to learn more about our programs now or schedule a time for us to give you a call

PMHNP Curriculum

Four curriculum models.

One rewarding career specialty.

Online MSN PMHNP Concentration

Online Master of Science in Nursing — Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Concentration (MSN PMHNP)

You can complete your online PMHNP in as few as 32 months. Begin your coursework the semester after you enroll with 3 entry points per year (January, May, and August).

The focus of this course is to critique, evaluate and apply appropriate theory within advanced nursing practice.

This course explores evidence-based practice as it relates to changing and improving current advanced nursing knowledge and application.

This course explores systems of health care delivery , finance and policies that guide the local, national and global level. The historical, philosophical and sociocultural aspects of health care policy are examined.

This course provides a theoretical foundation for exploring, analyzing and evaluating advanced nursing practice roles within the health care system. Legal and ethical contexts are included.

This course focuses on health screening, health promotion and disease prevention at the individual, regional and national level. This includes the exploration at the advanced nursing practice role to direct program planning, development, implementation and evaluation to improve healthcare outcomes.

Provides the basis for understanding the pathophysiology of diseases and the changes in normal function that result in manifestations indicative of illness across the lifespan.

This course explores focused and comprehensive health assessments in a variety of settings and patients across the lifespan. This includes development of health promotion strategies and prioritization of care. 

 

Prerequisite: Online - NURS 611, NURS 615 

 

Corequisite: On Ground - NURS 615

This course will prepare the advance practice nurse for a leadership role on interprofessional teams that effectively implement patient safety and quality improvement initiatives. Budget and marketing principles will be explored.

For the PMHNP concentration coursework, contact an enrollment advisor.

Online BSN to DNP Program PMHNP Concentration

Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice Program — Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Concentration (BSN to DNP PMHNP)

You can complete your program in as few as 40 months and 100% online. You can begin your coursework the semester after you are accepted, in spring, summer, or fall.

The focus of this course is to critique, evaluate and apply appropriate theory within advanced nursing practice.

This course explores evidence-based practice as it relates to changing and improving current advanced nursing knowledge and application.

This course provides a theoretical foundation for exploring, analyzing and evaluating advanced nursing practice roles within the health care system. Legal and ethical contexts are included.

This course focuses on health screening, health promotion and disease prevention at the individual, regional and national level. This includes the exploration at the advanced nursing practice role to direct program planning, development, implementation and evaluation to improve healthcare outcomes.

Provides the basis for understanding the pathophysiology of diseases and the changes in normal function that result in manifestations indicative of illness across the lifespan.

This course explores focused and comprehensive health assessments in a variety of settings and patients across the lifespan. This includes development of health promotion strategies and prioritization of care. 

 

Prerequisite: Online - NURS 611, NURS 615 

 

Corequisite: On Ground - NURS 615

This course is designed to introduce students to the purpose, content, and methods of epidemiology and biostatistics. Students will learn to evaluate and use output from statistical computing software. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 710

This course is designed to explore the phenomenon of interest related to the DNP scholarly project. Students will systematically develop a project protocol that is supported by the literature and submit it for department approval.

 

Course objectives:

  1. Develop a clinical question that guides the scholarly project.
  2. Read critically from professional nursing literature and other related disciplines to interpret, analyze and apply current research to improve practice.
  3. Apply a systematic approach to address clinical problems within healthcare organizations, including outcome measures and a sustainability plan to create meaningful changes in clinical outcomes.
  4. Develop a protocol and submit it to the DNP council for project approval.
  5. Develop the first chapter of the scholarly project that includes needed sections based on the selected DNP project format.

This course is designed to emphasize an objective approach to the integration and synthesis of knowledge. Manuscript preparation and practical use of evidence are incorporated to prepare students for the design of research proposals. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 700 and NURS 701

This course is designed to explore ethical principles for the highest level of nursing practice. Students will use evidence-based nursing and interprofessional literature to analyze ethical issues in professional practice.

This course is designed to provide students with the foundation of process improvement (PI) and quality improvement (QI) concepts. Evidence-based practice and change management will be integrated with concepts of PI and QI. Systems thinking will be emphasized.

This course will allow the students to design an evidence-based project that will guide clinical practice. The feasibility of conducting this initiative will be explored. Potential funding sources and budget issues will be examined. Students will apply the elements of protection of human subjects and complete the Maryville IRB. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 700, NURS 701, NURS 702, and NURS 703

This course is designed to expand the students knowledge of clinical project data collection and analysis of data. Students will apply integrated research concepts pertaining to the clinical project. Utilization of various methods of data analysis and data management systems will be explored. Complete project data is needed prior to the start of this course. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 705 and NUS 705L

This course is designed to expand the students understanding of methods of dissemination in translational research. Variables that impact the analysis of data related to the scholarly project will be examined. Implications for patients, clinical practice and the healthcare systems will be explored and findings disseminated. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 706

This course is designed to allow students to analyze organizational, management and social science theories in the context of organizational leadership and change management. Systems thinking is emphasized.

This course is designed to present the student with knowledge of the American healthcare system. Economically and politically feasible/viable policy changes that would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the system’s delivery of health care will be explored. The student will analyze the policy making process in preparation to be effective advocates for health policy change.

For the PMHNP concentration coursework, contact an enrollment advisor.

Online DNP-NP Program PMHNP Concentration

This course is designed to introduce students to the purpose, content, and methods of epidemiology and biostatistics. Students will learn to evaluate and use output from statistical computing software. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 710

This course is designed to explore the phenomenon of interest related to the DNP scholarly project. Students will systematically develop a project protocol that is supported by the literature and submit it for department approval.

 

Course objectives:

  1. Develop a clinical question that guides the scholarly project.
  2. Read critically from professional nursing literature and other related disciplines to interpret, analyze and apply current research to improve practice.
  3. Apply a systematic approach to address clinical problems within healthcare organizations, including outcome measures and a sustainability plan to create meaningful changes in clinical outcomes.
  4. Develop a protocol and submit it to the DNP council for project approval.
  5. Develop the first chapter of the scholarly project that includes needed sections based on the selected DNP project format.

This course is designed to emphasize an objective approach to the integration and synthesis of knowledge. Manuscript preparation and practical use of evidence are incorporated to prepare students for the design of research proposals. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 700 and NURS 701

This course is designed to present the student with knowledge of the American healthcare system. Economically and politically feasible/viable policy changes that would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the system’s delivery of health care will be explored. The student will analyze the policy making process in preparation to be effective advocates for health policy change.

This course is designed to provide an understanding of the measurement of phenomena as it relates to the research process. Procedures for selecting, applying, and interpreting the correct statistical application to a research problem will be presented with students processing the results. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 700

This course is designed to explore ethical principles for the highest level of nursing practice. Students will use evidence-based nursing and interprofessional literature to analyze ethical issues in professional practice.

This course is designed to provide students with the foundation of process improvement (PI) and quality improvement (QI) concepts. Evidence-based practice and change management will be integrated with concepts of PI and QI. Systems thinking will be emphasized.

This course will allow the students to design an evidence-based project that will guide clinical practice. The feasibility of conducting this initiative will be explored. Potential funding sources and budget issues will be examined. Students will apply the elements of protection of human subjects and complete the Maryville IRB. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 700, NURS 701, NURS 702, and NURS 703

This course is designed to expand the students knowledge of clinical project data collection and analysis of data. Students will apply integrated research concepts pertaining to the clinical project. Utilization of various methods of data analysis and data management systems will be explored. Complete project data is needed prior to the start of this course. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 705 and NUS 705L

This course is designed to expand the students understanding of methods of dissemination in translational research. Variables that impact the analysis of data related to the scholarly project will be examined. Implications for patients, clinical practice and the healthcare systems will be explored and findings disseminated. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 706

This course is designed to allow students to analyze organizational, management and social science theories in the context of organizational leadership and change management. Systems thinking is emphasized.

This course provides a theoretical foundation for exploring, analyzing and evaluating advanced nursing practice roles within the health care system. Legal and ethical contexts are included.

This course focuses on health screening, health promotion and disease prevention at the individual, regional and national level. This includes the exploration at the advanced nursing practice role to direct program planning, development, implementation and evaluation to improve healthcare outcomes.

Provides the basis for understanding the pathophysiology of diseases and the changes in normal function that result in manifestations indicative of illness across the lifespan.

This course explores focused and comprehensive health assessments in a variety of settings and patients across the lifespan. This includes development of health promotion strategies and prioritization of care. 

 

Prerequisite: Online - NURS 611, NURS 615 

 

Corequisite: On Ground - NURS 615

This course focuses on the pharmacological foundation for safely prescribing medical regimens of illnesses for individuals across the lifespan. Also included are illness prevention, non-pharmacological and legal implications for prescriptive authority for the nurse practitioner. 

 

Note: Selection of appropriate therapies, patient education and evaluation parameters are stressed.

This course will cover assessment and identification of discrete aspects of cognition, psychopathology, affect and behavior in the diagnosis and treatment planning of psychiatric illness across the life span. Also included is the appropriate use, monitoring and evaluation of prescribing psychotropic medication, including pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 611, NURS 612 and NURS 615

In this course theories and models will be used to develop an understanding of the etiologies of acute and chronic mental health disorders among adults and older adults. Selection of appropriate treatment strategies including individual and group psychotherapies will be discussed. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 660 

 

Corequisite: NURS 662 or NURS 662C

This practicum course is designed to synthesize advanced practice knowledge relevant to adult and older adult patients with psychiatric illness. A variety of psychotherapeutic strategies will be explored. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 660 

 

Corequisite: NURS 661

This is the first of two didactic courses designed to assist the student in development of the advanced practice nursing role with the care and management of individuals with a mental health disorder across the lifespan.

 

Prerequisite: NURS 661 and NURS 662 or NURS 662C 

 

Corequisite: NURS 664 or NURS 664C

This practicum is designed to synthesize advanced practice knowledge relevant to patients with psychiatric illness across the lifespan. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 661 and NURS 662 

 

Corequisite: NURS 663

This is the second of two didactic courses designed to assist the student in development of the advanced practice nursing role with the care and management of individuals with a mental health disorder across the lifespan. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 663 and NURS 664 or NURS 664C 

 

Corequisite: NURS 667 or NURS 667C

This practicum is designed to synthesize advanced practice knowledge relevant to patients with psychiatric illness across the lifespan. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 663 and NURS 664 

 

Corequisite: NURS 665

Online Post-Master's NP Certificate PMHNP Concentration

This course will cover assessment and identification of discrete aspects of cognition, psychopathology, affect and behavior in the diagnosis and treatment planning of psychiatric illness across the life span. Also included is the appropriate use, monitoring and evaluation of prescribing psychotropic medication, including pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 611, NURS 612 and NURS 615

In this course theories and models will be used to develop an understanding of the etiologies of acute and chronic mental health disorders among adults and older adults. Selection of appropriate treatment strategies including individual and group psychotherapies will be discussed. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 660 

 

Corequisite: NURS 662 or NURS 662C

This practicum course is designed to synthesize advanced practice knowledge relevant to adult and older adult patients with psychiatric illness. A variety of psychotherapeutic strategies will be explored. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 660 

 

Corequisite: NURS 661

This is the first of two didactic courses designed to assist the student in development of the advanced practice nursing role with the care and management of individuals with a mental health disorder across the lifespan. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 661 and NURS 662 or NURS 662C 

 

Corequisite: NURS 664 or NURS 664C

This practicum is designed to synthesize advanced practice knowledge relevant to patients with psychiatric illness across the lifespan. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 661 and NURS 662 

 

Corequisite: NURS 663

This is the second of two didactic courses designed to assist the student in development of the advanced practice nursing role with the care and management of individuals with a mental health disorder across the lifespan. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 663 and NURS 664 or NURS 664C 

 

Corequisite: NURS 667 or NURS 667C

This practicum is designed to synthesize advanced practice knowledge relevant to patients with psychiatric illness across the lifespan. 

 

Prerequisite: NURS 663 and NURS 664 

 

Corequisite: NURS 665

To ensure the best possible educational experience for our students, we may update our curriculum to reflect emerging and changing employer and industry trends. Professional licensure and certification regulations vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Students are encouraged to visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing for the state in which they intend to practice to verify specific licensure requirements which includes ensuring the program of interest meets the licensure requirements prior to enrolling. Students may visit the professional licensure page or reach out to our team of enrollment advisors for guidance.

Career paths & guides

There are some things that can help you figure out the skills you need to achieve your goals

Still have questions? Connect with us

Mon – Thu

8 am - 7 pm CST

Fri

8 am - 5 pm CST

Start a chat to learn more about our programs now or schedule a time for us to give you a call

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner FAQs

Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) provide holistic mental healthcare for patients of all ages, from childhood through end of life. These in-demand professionals diagnose conditions, develop healthcare plans, implement treatment, and evaluate the effectiveness and progress of treatment. A career in this field may be a good fit for you if you have a passion for supporting people through difficult situations and helping them overcome mental health challenges such as mood disorders, addictions, and more.

 

PMHNPs work in many varied settings, including:

 

  • Private physicians’ offices 
  • Hospitals and clinics 
  • Psychiatric hospitals 
  • Nursing homes 
  • Correctional facilities 
  • Private businesses 

 

Find out more about career prospects for PMHNPs.

The median salary for PMHNPs holding a Master of Science in Nursing degree from a U.S. higher education institution was about $112,000 as of October 2021, according to PayScale.com, while PMHNPs with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) earned about $114,000.

Yes, Maryville’s online PMHNP programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

 

In addition, Maryville University proudly holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Maryville has maintained accreditation from HLC since 1941.

No matter where you are in your nursing career, Maryville University offers a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) program for you:

 

  • Master of Science in Nursing 
  • Post-Master’s NP Certificate 
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice 
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice with Nurse Practitioner concentration

 

See the “PMHNP Curriculum” section above for details on each program.

  • Master of Science in Nursing: Students may complete our MSN PMHNP program in as little as 32 months. 
  • Post-Master’s NP Certificate: Most students complete this program in about two years of part-time study. Students with eligible transfer credits often complete the program sooner.
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice: Students may complete our BSN to DNP PMHNP program in as little as 40 months. 
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice with Nurse Practitioner concentration: Students may complete our DNP-NP PMHNP program in as little as 36 months.

Insights from our faculty

We’ve asked Brandie Stiles, assistant professor of nursing and PMHNP program coordinator, for her thoughts on Maryville’s online psychiatric nurse practitioner programs. Here’s what she had to say:

At Maryville, we believe in active learning. We offer lectures, both recorded and live; personal contact with your clinical instructor; and engaging assignments that go beyond writing papers and posting on discussion boards.

Employers are looking for candidates with additional certifications — for example, psychotherapy certifications and being a prescriber. (Suboxone is a medication for treating opioid addiction.)

Since the pandemic started, there has been an increase in patients needing treatment for substance abuse, so that’s been a trending focus of PMHNP programs. Additionally, a lot of people struggle with the social isolation that the pandemic has brought into all our lives.

Telehealth has made medications and therapies more accessible to patients who might not otherwise have a provider available to them.

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