I have two Master of Science degrees in advanced practice nursing (ARNP-see below for definition). I earned my first degree from the Yale School of Nursing in 2002 in family practice. Following graduation I provided primary care to a broad spectrum of people from every walk of life and many different ethnic and social backgrounds. Although I also diagnosed and treated everyday medical concerns such as asthma, high blood pressure, injuries, infections, and diabetes, my primary focus was on helping those with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, and those recovering from social traumas, such as the loss of a loved one or experiences of violence or neglect. Helping people recover from emotional issues became so much my focus that I decided to return to school for a second Master's degree and a PhD in Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Nursing.

I received my second Master of Science from the University of Washington in 2010. My PhD research focuses on how we as individuals, families, and communities heal from and are resilient to the effects of ongoing traumatic experiences.

Because my professional experience bridges primary care and mental health this helps me bring the mind and the body together as we work through the issues brought to the therapy sessions.

I have studied and practiced herbal and alternative/complementary medicine and though not an authority in all aspects of this varied field, I will use whatever knowledge I have in helping my clients make sense of the complex and often conflicting information surrounding these various approaches. I also have a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington in Spanish Language and Literature and am fluent in Spanish.

What is an ARNP? What do the other letters mean?
My full title, with all degrees and certifications, is Francine Buckner, BA, RN, ARNP, MSN, MS, FNP, PMHNP.

In Washington State an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) can diagnose mental health and medical issues and prescribe medicines for them, like a psychiatrist or medical doctor. The main difference is in our approach to the client. The approach from nursing emphasizes the unique individuality of each client and sees our therapeutic relationships to be based on an egalitarian sense of caring and respect. To become an ARNP, one first be a Registered Nurse as well, (RN).

We can also provide psychotherapy services, like a psychologist, psychiatrist, or counselor, and also bring the client-centered nursing perspective to this part of the process as well. We strive to meet the client "where they are at," we do not assume we know more about the client's situation than they do, and we believe that the client is doing the best they can with the tools they have at have at hand.

I am both a Family Nurse Practitioner, (FNP) and a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, (PMHNP). This means that I have a Master's of Science degree (MS) and a Masters of Science in Nursing degree (MSN) in both family practice, which includes mental health issues in its scope of practice, and in mental health care specifically, giving me further training and specific expertise in this field.