DSH - Napa: Internships / Training

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Internships / Training

The Training Department at the Department of State Hospitals (DSH) - Napa arranges and assists staff to meet their annual mandatory trainings. It provides all disciplines the opportunity to earn continued educational units throughout the year, with it's many conferences, workshops and related work trainings. The trainings provided are highly stimulating, motivational and interactive in an effort to assist the healthcare professional in meeting the needs and treatment of our diverse forensic and LPS populations.

The Nursing Education Department at DSH - Napa offers a comprehensive program of orientation and competency validation for nursing staff and continuing education units are available at no cost for hospital employees. A variety of topics for CEU's are presented, including classes on psychiatric and physical disorders and treatment, treatment of the suicidal, violent, or angry client, development of nursing care plans, and an overview of forensic issues. The Nursing Education Department also provides assistance for current employees who are preparing for their state nursing board examination and a tutoring and mentoring program for employees enrolled in a Psychiatric Technician Apprenticeship Program.

Employee career advancement is promoted at this facility through the Career Development Committee. The committee is active in recommending sponsorships for employees who desire advanced education and provides opportunities for employees to improve their interview skills and techniques.

The Medical Staff organizes 48 Grand Rounds presentations each year on clinically oriented topics. Each session qualifies for 1-1/2 hours of CME credit.

Psychiatric Technician Apprenticeship Training Program

The Psychiatric Technician (PT) Apprenticeship Program is a one-of-a-kind program that has partnered the Department of State Hospitals-Napa (DSH-Napa), Napa Valley College (NVC), and the Joint Apprenticeship Committee (JAC). This program starts by training participants for 2 1/2-months to be a Certified Nursing Assistant (C.N.A.). Successfully passing the C.N.A board allows participants to move into a 12-month PT Program (aka NVC Fast Track PT Program). The Psychiatric Technician Apprentice Program includes On the Job Training (OJT) at DSH-Napa.

This PT Apprenticeship Program is fast-paced and mentors future leaders in the field of Mental Health. The PT Apprenticeship Program has a 95% pass rate for the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT) Board Exam. The PT Apprentice is hired as a limited term, full time state employee. This means the PT Apprentice will go to school full time, work part-time while receiving a salary, healthcare, and other state employee benefits.


Requirements for the PT Apprenticeship Program (aka NVC Fast Track PT Program) and the Traditional NVC Psychiatric Technician Program are similar except that the Psychiatric Technician Apprenticeship Program requires a C.N.A. certificate and no college prerequisites. The NVC Fast Track PT Program has corequisite classes.

These corequisite classes are taken with the PT Apprenticeship Program core courses.
Listed below are the corequisite classes:

  • Pharmacology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Health and Nutrition
  • Human Growth and Development
Classes may be a combination of in person and distance learning. Computer skills are necessary for success in the program.

The PT Apprentice must pass their C.N.A. Board Exam, must maintain a passing grade while in the NVC Fast Track PT Program, and must meet expectations for their OJT in-order to continue with the PT Apprenticeship Program. Failure to do so means dismissal from both the Psychiatric Technician Apprenticeship Program and employment at DSH-Napa.

Immunizations must be current before and during the program. The PT Apprentice must be prepared to receive COVID vaccination and annual influenza vaccination and any other required vaccinations by DSH-Napa, the clinical sites, and NVC.

Napa Valley College (NVC) Requirements

For the most up to date college requirements, please go to the NVC website:
Psychiatric Technician Apprenticeship Program (Fast Track) (napavalley.edu)

Tuition and Fees

The Joint Apprenticeship Committee (JAC) has an agreement with NVC that covers tuition fees. The PT Apprentice will have their C.N.A. Board Exam and Live Scans reimbursed by the JAC if the C.N.A. certificate was obtained while hired as a PT Apprentice.

Some of the out-of-pocket expenses are books, simulation programs, student fees, school supplies, uniforms, additional live scan costs and BVNPT Board Application for Exam. Estimated cost is $2,000.

Felony Convictions

The PT Apprentice is a health care provider and thus, is subject to stringent Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI background checks. The California Department of Public Health C.N.A. Board will not issue a certificate and the BVNPT will not issue a license to persons with felony convictions. The following is a list of convictions but, are not limited to illegal drug possession or illegal drug trafficking, theft, negligence, abuse, assault and battery. Some clinical sites may be more stringent with their background requirements due to the age and dependent nature of their population. Inability to attend clinical means inability to continue with the Psychiatric Technician Apprenticeship Program.

Application Process:

Go to www.calcareers.ca.gov. Follow the prompts for "How to Apply for a State Job". Job Classification: Psychiatric Technician Apprentice

Final File Date: June 30, 2024

Qualifying Examination Date: July 2024 (by appointment only)

Monthly Salary: $2,745 - $3,650


  1. Create an account on www.calcareers.ca.gov. Complete and save your Examination and Employment Application (STD 678). You will need to submit your STD 678 (application form) again as soon as you have passed your qualification exam.
  2. Have two extra copies of your high school diploma/transcript or GED certificate.
  3. Ensure your Driver's License is current (not expired).
  4. Have your original Social Security Card, unlaminated.
  5. Request for a transcript review with Napa Valley College (NVC)Office of Admissions for the Fast Track PT Program. Keep the letter that states your transcripts comply with the math and English requirements for the NVC PT Program.
  6. Have a record of your titers, immunizations, etc. as required by Napa Valley College Health Occupations Program. Please note: only submit your documentation after the hiring process is completed and you have been notified of your status.
    Health & Safety Requirements (napavalley.edu)

Contact Information for the Psychiatric Technician Apprenticeship Program:

Barbara Frantela-Simbulan, SRN/Director of Nursing Education
2100 Napa-Vallejo Hwy, Napa, CA 94558
(707) 253-5725

Recreation Therapy Internship Program

Department of State Hospitals – Napa's Therapeutic Recreation internship program is offered to T.R. students who have completed their required academic training in therapeutic recreation from either a bachelors or masters degreed program. The internship program follows the guidelines and standards as set by the "National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification". The Therapeutic Recreation internship program collaborates with each individual university concerning coordination of the NCTRC guidelines, university internship requirements, and the requirements of the hospital. Applicants should demonstrate personal maturity and have a range of professional and life experiences which would qualify them to work with a challenging population.

The objective for the internship program is to provide an intern exposure to high quality, hands-on opportunities for practical applications of therapeutic recreation concepts and techniques. Through a choice of a variety of clinical settings within the realm of services provided to patients with mental illness, the student intern develops the skills necessary to become a recreation therapist. Therapeutic recreation plays an important role in the patient's treatment to help facilitate that individual's ability to move to a lesser restrictive living environment, to possible reintegration back into the community through providing a variety of treatment and leisure programs. Interns will have the opportunity to develop and run treatment services on an individual and group basis.

Treatment and leisure modalities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Leisure Education and Values Clarification
  • Substance Recovery Issues
  • Forensic Competency Issues
  • Stress Reduction
  • Social Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Exercise, Weightlifting, Yoga, Sports, and other Body Mechanic Modalities
  • Vocational and Pre-vocational Work Training
  • Community Re-orientation Programs and Community Outings
  • Independent Living Skills
  • Group Therapy Modalities
  • Music and Art Programs
  • Special Event Coordination
  • Variety of Free Leisure Time Activities

For further information about the Recreational Therapy Internship Program contact:

Cindy Charboneau-Davis, CTRS
Recreation Therapist
Department of State Hospitals: Napa
Phone: (707) 254-2658
Email: Cindy.Charboneau@dsh.ca.gov

Music Therapy

The California Department of State Hospitals (DSH) - Napa offers paid internships for qualified Music Therapy students. Applicants possessing experience working with adult psychiatric patients and/or in a forensic facility are preferred. Expectations for entering internship include completion of coursework towards a degree in Music Therapy with the anticipated completion of a bachelor’s degree or equivalency from a university with a program approved by the American Music Therapy Association.

Music Therapy interns at DSH-Napa have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of patient populations including both forensic and civilly committed patients. Because DSH-Napa employs over 20 music therapists, there is also an opportunity to be exposed to a wide variety of styles and philosophies. There are also opportunities to work with other disciplines including art therapists, dance/movement therapists, recreation therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, registered nurses, LVNs, psychiatric technicians, dieticians, teachers, substance recovery counselors, and vocational services staff.

For more information, contact the music therapy internship director at DSHNSH_MTInternshipDirector@dsh.ca.gov

Occupational Therapy Internship Program

The Occupational Therapy (O.T.) internship program at Department of State Hospitals - Napa is offered to O.T. students from around the world who have completed their required academic training from either a bachelors or masters degreed program. The internship program is built around the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) guidelines and complies with the professional standards of AOTA, the involved university or college, and DSH - Napa. O.T. assistant (COTA) fieldwork experiences are also available at Napa State Hospital.

The objective of the internship program is to provide students with the opportunity to integrate academic knowledge with application skills important in the area of psychosocial O.T. practice. This is done under the experienced supervision of an O.T.R., but includes exposure to a wide variety of disciplines and clinical settings.

An interview (personal or videotaped) is required to ensure that the student understands the clinical expectations for this experience. A preference will be given to those who demonstrate self-direction, motivation, and a strong commitment to their new career and the individuals they will be serving.

Interested prospective applicants should contact:

Lisa T. Walker, M.A., OT/L
Senior Occupational Therapist
Napa State Hospital, P.O.S.T. Department
Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy
2100 Napa-Vallejo Hwy.
Napa, CA 94558
Desk: (707) 253-5507 or 253-5090
Fax: (707) 253-5721
Email: Lisa.Walker@dsh.ca.gov

Art Therapy Internship Program

DSH - Napa's Art Therapy Program has provided internship experiences for dozens of Art Therapy students for over twenty years. Due to its range of services and resources, the Hospital has provided an excellent training ground for Art Therapists from programs throughout the world. Several ATCB Board Certified and AATA Registered Art Therapists, with years of clinical experience, are employed in the various treatment programs of the hospital, and are capable of providing sensitive and skillful supervision.

In considering applicants for internship, we look for students from American Art Therapy Association approved training programs who have demonstrated a serious commitment to the study and practice of Art Therapy. Applicants should demonstrate personal maturity and have a range of professional and life experiences which would qualify them to work with a challenging population.

For further information about the internship program contact: Kristin Menne MA, ATR-BC, ATCS at (707) 253-5891 or the Chief of Rehabilitation Therapy Services at (707) 253-5585.

Social Work Internship Program

Napa State Hospital Social Work Services accepts second year graduate students for field placements. Psychiatric Social Workers who supervise these students coordinate the required field placement training with the graduate school. Students have the unique opportunity of gaining a breadth of experience in group and individual psychotherapy, case management, biopsychosocial rehabilitation groups and competency training under the direct supervision of experienced clinicians. They may also take advantage of numerous trainings available through our professional education departments. Most recently our graduate student interns have come from California State University, Sacramento. In the past we have also had interns from UC Berkeley Graduate School of Social Welfare and California State University, San Francisco.

For further information about the internship program contact: David Muchin, MSWII Internship Director, Clinical Coordinator of Social Work Services at (707) 253-5943.

Please click here for more information about our MSW Clinical Social Work Internship Program.

Clinical Psychology Internship Program

The Department of Psychology offers a doctoral internship in clinical psychology. Please click here for more information about our program.

Dance Movement Therapy

Department of State Hospitals (DSH) – Napa offers internship experiences for Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) students from American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) approved schools, and those who have chosen the Alternate Route DMT program. Due to its range of services and resources, DSH - Napa provides an excellent training ground for Dance Movement Therapists from programs throughout the country. The Board Certified Dance Movement Therapists (BC-DMT) at DSH - Napa currently offering supervision are employed in various treatment programs of the hospital, and are capable of providing sensitive and skillful supervision.  Internships involve the opportunity to work with rehabilitation therapists across disciplines, unit psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and nursing staff from a variety of populations.
Responsibilities of the dance movement therapy intern include the following:

  • Attending staff meetings
  • Facilitating & co-facilitating various groups weekly with a variety of modalities/disciplines
  • One hour of individual supervision with BC-DMT supervisor per week, one hour of adjunct supervision with other BC-DMT and therapist co-facilitators per week, and one and a half hours of group DMT supervision with all DMTs on-site per month
  • Writing session reports, a mid-internship and final internship self evaluation, and offering a DMT in-service to all Rehab Therapists
  • Experiencing individual DMT for oneself
  • Ongoing dance training for intern's own personal growth
  • Assisting nursing/level of care staff with activities as part of patient contact hours

In considering applicants for internship, we look for students from American Dance Therapy Association approved training programs who have demonstrated a serious commitment to the study and practice of Dance Movement Therapy. Applicants should demonstrate personal maturity and have a range of professional and life experiences which would qualify them to work with a challenging population.

For further information about the Dance Movement Therapy internship program contact:

Dance/Movement Therapy
Alicia Brewster, MA, BC-DMT
Program Assistant, Rehabilitation Therapy Services
Napa State Hospital
2100 Napa Vallejo Highway
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 253-5162
Email: Alicia.Brewster@dsh.ca.gov

Dietetic Program

The Department of State Hospitals - Napa offers a Dietetic Internship Program. Please click here for more information about our program.

Psychiatric Pharmacy Clerkship

The Department of Pharmacy offers a six week Psychiatric Pharmacy Clerkship to fourth year pharmacy students enrolled at the following Schools of Pharmacy: University of California – San Francisco, University of the Pacific, and University of Southern California. The six-week experience enables the student to gain greater understanding of psychiatric treatment modalities. Students are assigned to a treatment unit and participate with the treatment team. They contribute drug information as requested, participate in interdisciplinary team conferences, and make recommendations concerning medication treatment. In addition to unit activity, students attend clinic rounds with the Movement Disorder consultant, lead a number of weekly individual education groups, and present lectures to nursing and pharmacy staff on a variety of topics.

Interested students should contact the Clerkship Coordinator at their school of pharmacy to register for the Psychiatric Pharmacy Clerkship. A syllabus has been provided to each school of pharmacy which provides an overview of the clerkship. For additional questions, students may contact Ali Yasseri, Pharmacy Clerkship Coordinator. He may be reached by telephone at (707) 253-5999 or by email at Ali.Yasseri@dsh.ca.gov