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Msn Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Programs Online

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Pmhnp Certifications And Licenses

MSN – Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program, PMHNP

In order to practice in your state as a psychiatricmental health nurse practitioner, its important to meet all requirements in that state. Each state is likely to vary in requirements, so be sure to check with your state board of nursing first. Apart from post-masters certification options from universities, there are a couple of other nursing certifications available in psychiatricmental health nursing:

Pmhnp & Prescriptive Authority

Prescriptive authority is regulated by state law. Although all State Boards of Nursing allow certified & licensed PMHNPs to prescribe, states have different rules about the scope of practice.

  • In some states, you may have full practice authority .
  • In other states, you may need to be supervised by a psychiatrist/physician.

Your prescriptive authority will also depend upon your job title. Currently, there are two types of Psychiatric-Mental Health Advanced Practice Registered Nurses :

  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner : Before they will grant you a state license, most State Boards of Nursing will want to see that you have PMHNP certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center . Once you are licensed as an APRN & certified as a PMHNP, youll be permitted to prescribe under the terms weve outlined above. If youd like more info on a PMHNPs scope of practice, the APNA has a helpful State by State Practice Authority Guide for APRNs, available to APNA members.
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist : Some State Boards will not allow clinical nurse specialists to prescribe. Other State Boards are willing to grant prescriptive practice to PMH-CNSs who have taken graduate courses in pharmacology, pathophysiology, and physical health assessment and have current ANCC certification. If youre interested in the prescriptive authority of CNSs, check out the NCSBNs CNS Independent Prescribing Map.

Msn Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The accredited online MSN Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program is designed to prepare nurses to provide a wide range of mental health services across the lifespan through a bio-psychosocial model of care. It includes the study and application of diagnostic and treatment modalities, theories and approaches to practice.

You’ll learn collaborative skills to work with other healthcare professionals to provide mental healthcare services in all settings. The program enables graduates to deliver direct and indirect advanced practice services to those who are at risk for and/or require mental health services.

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Pmhnp Nursing School Profiles

To complement our Best of 2021 rankings above, weve profiled two other accredited online psychiatric nurse practitioner programs that are also worth a look in your school search. Weve laid out all the details, from admissions requirements to curriculum information and program costs.

Vanderbilt University

The psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner program at Vanderbilt University allows students at different educational levels the training to provide holistic mental health treatments. Registered nurses with a masters or bachelors degree can enroll in this program, as well as registered nurses with an associates degree or diploma, and those who are beginning their nursing education with no prior experience. As a result, students can get an education that is tailored to their previous experience.

No matter where they are educationally when starting the program, Vanderbilt University students take coursework that familiarizes them with the realities of working as a mental health nurse practitioner. The schools curriculum covers psychopharmacology, psychotherapy, clinical reasoning, and pathophysiology. In addition, students participate in clinical education so they get the advanced hands-on training they need to work in a mental health environment. Students in this phase of the program may be placed in prison systems, inpatient psychiatric units, community mental health centers, or outpatient private practices.

University of California, San Francisco

Compare The 2021 Top Ranked Online Pmhnp Msn Programs

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner MSN

As the need for advanced psychiatric-mental health NPs increases, more nurses are considering an MSN-level degree. Finding a good PMHNP program at the MSN level should be at the top of every prospective student’s list. As online education becomes even more ubiquitous, nurses have a range of programs at their fingertips. To help you find a great educational program, we have sorted and ranked the best online PMHNP MSN programs in the country. Find a great program below, and see how we developed our rankings on our Methodology page.

  • MSN-level PMHNP programs are common, with many online options available

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What Is The Quickest Way To Become A Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The typical educational pathway to becoming a PMHNP involves earning a BSN and an MSN in six years from start to finish. Online, bridge, direct-entry, or other accelerated programs may lead to a degree in approximately two years, depending on an applicant’s previously earned college credits or RN experience.

Online Pmhnp Program Rankings

The online psychiatric-mental health NP programs listed here are ranked by a combination of cost, admissions flexibility, and program variety. This in-depth database comprises 928 online NP programs at the MSN, DNP, and post-masters certificate levels, and represents what we believe to be a comprehensive list of online PMHNP programs entering the 2021-2022 school year. For our purposes, a program must require no more than nine campus visits in total to qualify for inclusion as an online program.

At, we seek to ensure the accuracy of the data on our website. Should you wish to report a new program, missing program, or informational error, please contact us to bring it to our attention.

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Msn Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Curriculum

Earning a NP specialization in Psychiatric Mental Health will allow you to assess, diagnose and manage psychiatric conditions of patients ranging in age from children to seniors. Our rigorous curriculum covers a breadth of advanced primary care areas:

  • Advanced Role Development and Organizational Leadership
  • Policy Advocacy and Healthcare Ethics
  • Research Methods and Evidence-Based Practice
View the entire curriculum

Overview Of Pmhnp Certification

MSN – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The road to becoming a PMHNP begins with the first four steps outlined in How to Become a Nurse Practitioner. Once you have decided to pursue your graduate degree in Psychiatric-Mental Health NP and looked into state licensure requirements , you can tackle national certification.

Before you can practice as a Psychiatric-Mental Health APRN, most State Nursing Boards will require you to earn the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner credential from the American Nurses Credentialing Center . This was once known as the Family Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner credential, and youll still see active APRNs who have FPMHNP-BC initials after their name.

Solid RN to MSN PMHNP programs will help prepare you for the PMHNP-BC certification exam. Great ones will brag about their pass rates! For instance, Shenandoah University likes to boast that graduates of its PMHNP program have achieve a 100% pass rate over the past three years.

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Learn More About The Best Online Pmhnp Programs


At Georgia State, students can enroll in an online master of science in nursing degree program with a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner concentration. The degree comprises 39 credits completed over the course of two years for full-time students or three years for part-time students.

The online psychiatric nurse practitioner program includes some synchronous components with students streaming didactic classes on Thursdays. But distance learners also participate in some asynchronous online modules and lectures. Degree seekers must complete 570 clinical hours at a location within their own communities.

In addition, students visit campus a few times for face-to-face immersion experiences. These include an orientation experience during the student’s first summer and an intensive skills practice experience as part of the advanced assessment course.


Can I Complete My Degree Part

Students enrolled in our Accelerated or Veteran Bachelor of Science in Nursing program may only attend the program on a full-time basis due to its accelerated format.

Students enrolled in our RN to BSN or RN to MSN programs may only enroll on a part-time basis.

Students enrolled in a graduate program have the ability to enroll in most tracks on a part-time basis. To review your program of study options, visit the MSN, DNP or certificate webpage in the specialty area of your choice. PhD applicants should contact the program director directly.

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What Does A Pmhnp Do

Some of the duties that a PMHNP could take on include:

  • Create healthcare plans, based on outpatient or home-based care for acute or chronic mental health care conditions
  • Provide consultations
  • Prescribe medications per their state laws
  • Prescribe and offer various treatments, such as psychotherapy, medication therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, etc.
  • Work alongside doctors for referrals and to provide patient care
  • Participate and/or initiate research
  • Education on mental health disorders
  • Contribute to policy development, quality improvement, practice evaluation, and healthcare reform

What Is A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Best Online MSN in Acute Care Programs

A psychiatric nurse practitioner or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner is in charge of assessing patients’ mental health statuses by reviewing their pertinent medical history, conducting complete psychiatric examinations, and identifying risk factors that may impair mental health. They also can interpret tests ordered by psychologists or psychiatrists.

These nurse practitioners provide support to families of patients and the mental health community, too. Often mental illness affects more than just the patient. Mental health professionals such as a PMNHP can offer therapy and treatment to the family as a group.

They may also work with patients that have behavioral problems, including substance abuse. Mental health care is an intricate part of substance abuse recovery.

PMHNPs can have their own private practices, but many work in psychiatric hospitals or dedicated mental health units. They treat patients of all ages, but can specialize in pediatric or geriatric care, for example.

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Are Online Rn To Msn Pmhnp Programs Available

Yes. A modest number of universities in our directory now offer Online RN to MSN Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner degrees. However, we should point out that youll find much more variety in Online RN to MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Programs. Feel free to compare the two!

  • Undergraduate Phase: Just like an on-campus RN to MSN program, youll be required to earn credits in upper-level undergraduate courses before you can proceed to the MS or MSN. These courses are usually offered through distance learning, making it easy to work while you study.
  • Graduate Phase: Its relatively easy to take standard MS or MSN courses online, but remember that you must participate in clinical practicums in order to graduate. You can earn your clinical hours in your own community. On the other hand, you may be expected to find the site and a clinical preceptor who is willing to supervise you.

Another thing to watch out for? Any program that claims its 100% online. A number of universitiesespecially the ones with good reputationswill expect you to visit the campus for training and assessment. For example:

We give two thumbs up to online programs with on-campus componentsthe hands-on training and networking opportunities are invaluablebut they will involve extra costs . Budget for every part of the degree.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Faqs

What Do Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners Wear on the Job?

Depending on where a psychiatric nurse practitioner works, the dress code can be variable.

Psychiatric NPs working in acute care may wear scrubs and a lab coat with the facility logo. They can also wear professional, business attire with or without a lab coat. It depends on the facility.

Psychiatric NPs working in the clinic setting can wear business attire. A lab coat may or may not be required by the organization. Some feel that providers who do not wear scrubs and a lab coat are more “approachable” therefore allowing patients to be more receptive to care. It helps place patients at ease and makes them feel more comfortable. Many psychiatric nurse practitioners prefer a less âclinicalâ environment when treating patients, and shunning the scrubs and lab coat helps build a quiet, comforting environment.

Regardless of the setting, psychiatric nurse practitioners must also consider safety when choosing professional attire. Sometimes patients experience acute mental illnesses and may view the provider as a threat. Dangling jewelry, lanyards, strings, neckties, and even belt loops can be grabbed and used to harm a provider. Dressing for safety as well as professionalism is essential in the field of mental health.

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Online Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Programs

Prospective psychiatric nurse practitioner students are often incredibly busy with work, family, and other obligations. This has prompted many schools to offer online programs to accommodate these students. Keep in mind, however, that some online programs may still require a few trips to campus for various orientations, and clinical hours will still need to be completed in person.

What Are Your On

WesternUs Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Program

On-campus requirements vary by program and specialty. Students enrolled in our Bachelor of Science in Nursing program spend the duration of the program on our Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, Virginia.

Most graduate programs are delivered in a distance format with online courses and some on-campus experiences for testing and training, which typically take place in our state-of-the-art simulation facilities at VSTC. For example, nurse practitioner students are required to come to campus for Campus Learning and Skills Intensive when enrolled in NURS 6222 and for Objective Structured Clinical Examinations during their second clinical course. For specific on-campus requirements for graduate programs, please visit the webpage for your respective specialty area of interest.

All nurse practitioner students are also required to complete an end of program skills assessment. During this final on-campus simulation-based learning event, students have an opportunity to showcase their assessment, diagnostic reasoning, and patient management skills.

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Msn Degrees For Psychiatric/mental Health Nurse Practitioners: Program Content And Structure

Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner MSN programs, which take between 16 and 24 months to complete on a full-time basis, consist of two primary components: didactic and clinical:

Didactic Coursework

The coursework of a psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner masters degree is based on a holistic model of psychiatric and mental healthcare. Coursework prepares students to diagnose and treat simple and complex psychiatric and mental health problems ranging from adjustment disorders to serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar illnesses, and major depression.

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education is the national accrediting agency of nurse practitioner programs in the U.S. Accredited MSN Nurse Practitioner programs with a focus on psychiatric/mental health prepare graduates to provide mental health promotion and mental illness diagnoses and treatment across the lifespan.

Students of these programs may also choose to further specialize their MSN by focusing on a subspecialty of psychiatric/mental health, such as:

  • Child and Adolescent Health
  • Forensics
  • Substance Abuse Disorders

The didactic curriculum content of a Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner MSN program addresses the three Ps found within all graduate programs that prepare advanced practice registered nurses advanced pharmacology, physical assessment, and physiology/pathophysiology.

Clinical Experiences

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Approximately 1 in 5 U.S. adults live with mental illness. In turn, mental disorders are significantly comorbid with other chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, adding to the complexity of caring for these individuals and the burden of illness on the patient. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners are strategically capable of providing comprehensive, integrated mental health and social care services in community-based, rural and urban health care settings.

Our MSN Program focuses on developing the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver psychiatric mental health advanced practice nursing to all ages, especially to those in rural and underserved areas. In addition to our other admission requirements, if you possess one or more of the following, you will be most competitive for selection: 1) greater than one year of post licensure medical-surgical nursing experience and/or 2) an American Nurses Credentialing Center Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Certification .

On-campus intensives and state-of-the-art simulation techniques supplement an established program designed to prepare you for management of patients across all psychiatric and mental health care settings. Examples of practice settings include emergency departments, inpatient hospitalist and intensive care services, residential mental health care facilities, DoD/VA facilities, Department of Corrections and substance abuse treatment facilities.


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What Do Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners Do

PMHNPs’ scope of duties typically includes performing mental health assessments, diagnosing patients, and completing psychiatric evaluations. They also identify risk factors and develop care plans. PMHNPs can provide psychotherapy or crisis intervention and prescribe medication.

These NPs follow a holistic approach to healthcare, informing and educating patients and their families about various mental health issues. Common responsibilities of psychiatric NPs include diagnosing mental health issues, such as mood disorders, anxiety/trauma disorders, substance use disorders, psychotic disorders, and neurodevelopmental disorders.

What Is An Online Psychiatric

MSN Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

If youre thinking about furthering your education by enrolling in an online psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner program, youre making a smart move. Nurse practitioners are in high demand, and a specialty in the often underserved mental health field can make you a valuable asset to any health care organization. By choosing an online program, youre allowing yourself the flexibility to learn on your own time. While all nurse practitioner programs will require some in-person training, most of your work will be completed at your own convenience. Faculty members who run online nurse practitioner programs are usually nurse practitioners themselves, and they understand the challenging and tiring schedules that nurses deal with on a regular basis. Your professors will likely be willing to work with you when you run into tough scheduling conflicts or need deadline adjustments due to your work schedule.

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