Virginia Gardner, PMHNP-BC
Experienced Nurse Practitioner
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia
Faculty member at Vanderbilt School of Nursing in the psychiatric nurse practitioner specialty program
My approach: I am an adult psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner with prescriptive privileges. I am also certified as a qualified cognitive therapist through the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. I strive to take a broad holistic approach in addressing the mental health needs of my patients. I prescribe psychiatric medications when necessary and helpful. I also believe in psychotherapy, examining pertinent medical labs, genetic testing, and I pay special attention to the role of nutrition and exercise in mental health and wellness. My area of expertise is mood disorders and I feel best suited to help adults with depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and insomnia. I enjoy using my cognitive behavioral training to help individuals with insomnia ("CBT-I"). If you don't have a therapist already, and we decide that regular psychotherapy would be helpful to you, I have an extensive list of therapists with whom I like to work. I think of the services that I provide as more than just "medication management" (my minimum time spent with you is a 25 minute follow up), but at this time I am not doing formalized psychotherapy with most clients (other than a time limited course of CBT-I for insomnia for those who desire that).
Educational background: I graduated from Duke University with a psychology major and received my Masters of Science in Nursing from the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner specialty program at Vanderbilt School of Nursing in 2005.
Professional background: I began my work in outpatient psychiatry at Vanderbilt Medical Group, specializing in the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders (2006-2012). There I had the privilege of learning from Dr. Rick Shelton, MD (amazing leader in the field of depression research) and Dr. Steve Hollon, PhD (cognitive behavioral therapy expert). I continued my clinical work in outpatient psychiatry from 2012-2020 at a highly respected private practice in Hillsboro Village. In 2020, I opened my own small private practice, Gardner Wellness. In addition to my clinical work seeing patients, I enjoy teaching psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner students. For over ten years, I have been a part-time faculty member at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN). I have taught in various courses including neuroscience for psychiatric nurse practitioners, theories of psychotherapy, psychopharmacology and advanced psychopharmacology.
Personal background: I am a Nashville native and have also enjoyed living in Durham, NC; Florence, Italy (college semester abroad); and Washington DC. My husband and I have two school-aged children. I am a late convert to dog-loving, won over by a 15 pound fluffy cavapoo with a heart of gold. I am a Christian (Episcopalian) with curiosity and interest in spiritual questions. I enjoy hiking, gardening, yoga, and reading fiction.
~Virginia Gardner, MSN, PMHNP-BC