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Photo of Handrup, Cynthia Taylor

Cynthia Taylor Handrup, DNP, APRN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN

Clinical Associate Professor

Director of the Psychiatric Mental Health Program and Director of the Primary Care Mental Health Concentration

Department of Population Health Nursing Science

Pronouns: she/her


Building & Room:

1052 NURS


845 S. Damen Ave., MC 802, Chicago, IL 60612

Office Phone:



Dr. Handrup is the Director of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner DNP program and Director of the Primary Care Mental Health Concentration.  She holds a BS in Nursing from the University of Rhode Island, an MS in Nursing from St. Xavier University, Chicago, IL, and a DNP from the University of Colorado Denver. Dr. Handrup is certified as an ANCC Clinical Specialist in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing and a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. She is passionate about setting policies and agendas for behavioral health and social justice, structural racism, human trafficking, justice reform, global mental health, and LGBTQ issues. Dr. Handrup has impacted policy and advocacy of persons with mental illness and social inequalities through her publications, webinars, and podcasts; national and international presentations; and service on multidisciplinary boards and committees.  Dr. Handrup also maintains a clinical practice in psychotherapy & medication evaluation. She is the Immediate Past President of the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health & Social Justice (Formerly the American Orthopsychiatric Association). Dr. Handrup’s clinical scholarship is in therapeutic alliance, psychotherapy outcomes, teaching therapy & empathy skills, and global mental health and social justice issues.

Selected Publications

  • McLeigh, J., Kilmer, R. Klien-Walker, D., Handrup, C.T., & Beardslee, W. (2021). Establishing a Path to Unity: Recommendations for the Biden/Harris Administration. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 91(3), 303-309.
  • Wesemann, D. & Handrup, C.T. (2021). Where is the Psychotherapy Content in PMHNP Programs? Perspectives in Psychiatric Care. 01 July 2021.
  • Handrup, C.T. (2020). Understanding Bipolar Disorder. American Nurse, 15 (11), 26-30.
  • Gil-Rivas, V., Handrup, C.T., Tanner, E., & Walker D.K. (2019). Global Mental Health: A Call for Action. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 89(4), 420-425.
  • Snyder, M. and Handrup, C.T. (2018). Challenges in Treatment of Comorbid Chronic Pain, Depression, and Anxiety. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services. 56 (12): 17-21.
  • Woroch, R.A., Alvarez, D.V., Yingling, C, & Handrup, C.T. (2018) FNP/PMHNP collaboration in drug-seeking telephone simulation in APRN curriculum. Clinical Simulation in Nursing. 18, 14-19.
  • Handrup, C. (2015). Managing treatment failures in depression, bipolar disorders, and personality disorders. When medication is not enough. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 21, 60-61.
  • Posmontier, B., Breiter, D., Cartier, J., Dilks, S., Esposito, N., Handrup, C., … Newton, M. (2013). ISPN DNP Task Force on the DNP. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing. 27, 56-­60.
  • Delaney, K.R. and Handrup, C.T. (2011). Psychiatric mental health nursing’s psychotherapy role: Are we letting it slip away? Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 25, 303­-305.

Service to Community



Professional Leadership

Immediate Past President, Global Alliance for Behavioral Health & Social Justice

Member, International Society of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses, Foundation Board

Notable Honors

2021, Fellow (FAAN), American Academy of Nursing

2017, Daisy Foundation Faculty Award, University of Illinois at Chicago

2014, Clinical Practice Award, Intl. Society of Psychiatric Nurses

2014, Preceptor Award PMHNP Program, University of Illinois at Chicago

2010, Research Award, Heart and Soul of Change CDOI


BS in Nursing from the University of Rhode Island.
MS in Nursing from St. Xavier University, Chicago, IL.
DNP from the University of Colorado Denver.

Licensures and Certifications

APRN (Full Practice Authority) - State of Illinois

State Controlled Substance - State of Illinois

DEA Registration - DOJ

Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Specialist -ANCC

Professional Memberships

American Academy of Nursing

American Nurses Association

American Psychiatric Nurses Association

Academy for Eating Disorders

Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice (Formerly American Ortho Psychiatric Association)

Illinois Nurses Association

Illinois Society of Advanced Practice Nurses

International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing

Mental Health Liaison Group

Sigma Theta Tau

National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties

Society for Community Research and Action (APA Division)