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100% online post master’s pmhnp programs

Last Updated on September 28, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

Post Master’s PMHNP
Psychiatric Mental Health NP Certificate Online

Advance your nursing career and make a difference

Earn an additional professional credential as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) and make an impact in your community as a holistic healthcare provider.

Our post-master’s certificate program is designed for current MSN holders seeking a pathway towards a true profession of the heart, helping patients with mental illness become whole again.

  • Learn online in Herzing’s Everywhere Classroom: on your schedule, at your pace
  • Full-time and part-time options available
  • Class topics include pathophysiology, psychopharmacology, management of pharmacotherapeutics, clinical decision-making and health promotion
  • Clinical experience across the lifespan: find your professional emphasis with a clinical experience featuring pediatric care, adult care and geriatric care. Every experience counts.
  • Prepare to sit for ANCC certification and become a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC)

As your lifelong learning partner, we exist to help you reach your highest career goals. With Herzing University the next step in your career IS possible.

Classes Start April 5th

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Take your next career step with Herzing

  • CCNE-accredited*
  • 100% online classes with 540 clinical hours across the lifespan: every experience counts
  • We pledge your clinical placement
  • 180-hour, 16-week immersion experience to prepare for your first job
  • Typical program length: 20 months
  • Transfer up to 12 approved credit hours
  • 6 start dates per year – and no wait list!

Waived enrollment fee Classes start May 10th

Every experience counts.

Herzing University integrates an “Every Experience Counts” experiential learning approach in the 540-hour clinical component of our post master’s PMHNP program. We believe the best preparation for an advanced practice role is real, prescriptive learning through every day experience.

Earn clinical credit hours for unique nursing experiences—either direct patient care in your community or telemedicine/virtual care. Examples of potentially eligible activities include:

  • Grief counseling for patients and families in hospice
  • Assistance with group therapy in a mental health institution
  • Providing mental health education to inmates in a correctional facility
  • Interviewing patients in a crisis stabilization unit
  • Assessment of psychiatric patients in the emergency room

If you discover an opportunity to further develop your skills as a PMHNP you may apply for credit towards your total clinical hours.

Build your career foundation from a variety of instructive and rewarding nursing experiences. Our certificate program makes it possible.

MSN Placement Pledge Badge

Your clinical placement is our pledge.

We understand securing clinical placement as part of the post master’s PMHNP program is one of the biggest concerns students face. At Herzing, we offer guidance and support through our step-by-step Clinical Guidance Process to ensure you can get the clinical practice experiences you need.

As a Herzing student, we’ll encourage you to find your own preceptor and clinical sites as there are many benefits to doing so. However, we provide extensive support should you find difficulty along the way. With Herzing, you are never on your own.

Because of our strong relationships with healthcare providers across the U.S. and our comprehensive Clinical Guidance Process, we are confident in our ability to help you find clinical placement. So much so that if you are unable to find a clinical site on your own, we pledge to step in and help you secure clinical placement.*

* Subject to terms and conditions outlined in the enrollment agreement.

Post Master’s PMHNP program classes & curriculum details

The post master’s psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program provides students with the academic knowledge, skills and expertise to apply for certification as a PMHNP. Classes include core MSN courses, specialty concentration courses and clinical courses.

Connecting with patients virtually and providing remote care is more important than ever. Our curriculum provides instruction in the principles of telehealth, including the use of appropriate technology, provisions for coding and reimbursement, and the legal and ethical implications of remote patient encounters.

All classes are delivered online with an additional 540 hours of clinicals, including both in-person and virtual/remote experiences; 180 hours of which will be an immersion experience to best prepare you to practice as a PMHNP.

ProgramMonths*Credits
Post Master’s Certificate Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMCPMHNP)2033

*Average number of months for students to complete program

Required Direct Care Core Courses

All courses, 9.00 semester credit hours, are required. NU 610 – Advanced Health Assessment 3.00

* Post Master’s Certificate (“PMC”) program may transfer in NU 500 and NU 560. Need Program Chair approval for two (2) clinical courses for PMC students. NU 621 – Advanced Pathophysiology 3.00 NU 636 – Advanced Pharmacology 3.00

Required Courses in PMHNP Concentration

All courses, 24.00 semester credit hours, are required. NU 626 – Roles for Nurse Practitioners 3.00 NU 670 – Advanced Psychopharmacology and Health Promotion 3.00 NU 671 – Clinical Decision-Making in Psychiatric Mental Health 2.00 NU 672 – Counseling and Psychotherapy 4.00 NU 673 – Psychiatric Mental Healthcare I 4.00 NU 674 – Psychiatric Mental Healthcare II 4.00 NU 675 – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Practicum 4.00Close

Post Master’s PMHNP program enrollment requirements

Enrollment in the post master’s certificate nursing program i

Best Value Online Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Programs 2021

Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) help others overcome mental and behavioral struggles. Among licensed nurse practitioners (NPs), fewer than 2% possess a certificate within the psychiatric mental health specialty.

An increasing number of Americans have sought mental health treatment over the past few years. Over 260,000 advanced practice nurses work in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and that number is projected to grow by 45% from 2019-2029.

Prospective NPs must earn a master of science in nursing (MSN). MSN programs allow candidates to specialize in certain areas, including psychiatric mental health. Most last for two years, although many online PMHNP programs feature more flexible timelines.

Read on for a list of the best online PMHNP programs in the United States.

Methodology

View our ranking methodology here.

Top 10 Best Value Online Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Programs of 2021

1.The George Washington University
2.Georgia College and State University
3.Samford University
4.The University of Texas at El Paso
5.The University of Texas at Tyler
6.Maryville University
7.Cox College
8.Duquesne University
9.Graceland University
10.Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Public Health Sciences

The Best Value Online Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Programs of 2021

1. The George Washington University

Located in the heart of Washington, D.C., GW serves students through 12,000 internship opportunities and more than 100 undergraduate programs. In 2021, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university’s nursing program 7th in the nation. The program boasts a 93% pass rate for the National Council Licensure Examination.

U.S. News & World Report designated GW’s online psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program the country’s 4th best of its kind in 2020. Comprising 50 credit hours and 600 hours of clinical experience, the program typically takes 2-4 years to complete.

  • Campus: Washington, D.C.
  • Program Length: 50 credit hours
  • Estimated Tuition Cost: $1,395 per credit; $19,800 per semester
  • Program Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Curriculum Snapshot: Trauma-informed care; neuropsychopharmacology; crisis intervention; health policy; family systems theory; psychotherapy; group therapy
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

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2. Georgia College and State University

Established in 1889 as a women’s educational center, Georgia College remains Georgia’s preeminent public liberal arts university. The institution ranked 20th on U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 list of best southern, regional universities.

Georgia College’s online psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program includes a six-semester full-time option or a nine-semester part-time track. Students can complete the 570-hour clinical component practice in their home communities.

  • Campus: Milledgeville, Georgia
  • Program Length: 39 credit hours
  • Estimated Tuition Cost: $20,478 per year
  • Program Accreditation: Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Curriculum Snapshot: Applied pharmacology; healthcare research and statistical analysis; advanced physiology and pathophysiology; nursing theory: principles and applications; foundations for psychiatric mental health nursing
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

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3. Samford University

The nation’s 87th oldest institution, Samford was established in 1841 in Marion, Alabama before moving to its current location in Birmingham. The university identifies as a Christian institution and boasts a 14:1 student-faculty ratio.

Samford’s psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program is available entirely online due to the global pandemic. Students accepted into the nursing program must pay a $750 nonrefundable admission fee which ultimately goes towards the first semester’s tuition. The program prepares candidates to seek family nurse practitioner licensure through either the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board or the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

  • Campus: Birmingham, Alabama
  • Program Length: 59 credit hours
  • Estimated Tuition Cost: $888 per credit
  • Program Accreditation: Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Curriculum Snapshot: Advanced physiology & pathophysiology; statistics for advanced practice nursing; ethical leadership and collaboration; population health and policy; common diagnostics and procedures; advanced physical assessment
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

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4. The University of Texas at El Paso

Named one of U.S. News & World Report’s College Rankings top 10 universities for upward mobility, UTEP boasts one of the country’s largest Hispanic student bodies. Approximately 83% of UTEP students identify as Hispanic.

The university’s online psych nurse practitioner program prepares students to assess, diagnose, and treat patients. While most courses are available entirely online, students must attend up to three specialty classes on campus. Most learners fulfill their on-campus requirements in their last three semesters.

  • Campus: El Paso, Texas
  • Program Length: 46-49 credit hours
  • Estimated Tuition Cost: $552 per credit for residents; $782 per credit for nonresidents
  • Program Accreditation: Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Curriculum Snapshot: Advanced clinical psychopharmacology; nursing theory; pharmacotherapeutics; health policy and advocacy; neuroscience across the lifespan; differential diagnosis of mental disorders across the lifespan
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

5. The University of Texas at Tyler

Located alongside a river on 200 acres, UT Tyler serves more than 10,000 students through six colleges.

UT Tyler’s flexible psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) programs feature two- and three-year options structured around the learner’s availability. Working in cohorts, candidates progress through the curriculum primarily online and complete a hybrid clinical health assessment course with on-campus components. The university provides students with everything they need to become a PMHNP, including national certification exam prep.

  • Campus: Tyler, Texas
  • Program Length: 49 credit hours
  • Estimated Tuition Cost: $12,437 per year
  • Program Accreditation: Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Curriculum Snapshot: Advanced practice roles; health policy and population health; healthcare informatics; advanced pathophysiology; differential diagnosis of mental disorders; neurobiology overview; mental health and illness
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

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6. Maryville University

Prospective Maryville students can rest knowing that 98% of undergraduates obtain a job or enroll in a graduate program within six months of earning a degree. Founded in 1872, the rapidly growing institution now boasts 10,979 students and many top 10 rankings.

Maryville offers some of the best online psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner programs for busy candidates, including an accelerated master of science in nursing, a bachelor of science in nursing-to-doctor of nursing practice bridge option, and asynchronous courses. With no on-campus components, the programs let students complete clinical hours at authorized facilities in their local areas.

  • Campus: Saint Louis, Missouri
  • Program Length: 47 credit hours
  • Estimated Tuition Cost: $38,211 per year, or $813 per credit
  • Program Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Curriculum Snapshot: Psychopharmacology and mental health assessment; evidence-based practice in nursing; healthcare policy; psychiatric mental health diagnosis and management advanced pathophysiology
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

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7. Cox College

Located in Springfield, Missouri, Cox College connects students to experienced professionals, with a 10:1 student-to-professor ratio. The private college serves close to 1,000 students and has presented 7,739 diplomas, degrees, internships, and certificates as of spring 2020. Around 99% of students at the college receive financial aid.

Students in Cox College’s psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program learn to diagnose and treat mental health conditions. Candidates who wish to qualify for the national certification exam must complete 42 credit hours and around 600-660 clinical hours. While some online master of science in nursing options feature external clinical components, most coursework is online.

  • Campus: Springfield, Missouri
  • Program Length: 42 credit hours
  • Estimated Tuition Cost: $27,000 per year, or $600 per credit
  • Program Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Curriculum Snapshot: Advanced physiology and pathophysiology; ethical and legal practice in healthcare; family and child dynamics; advanced psychopharmacology; counseling and psychotherapy; advanced pharmacology
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

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8. Duquesne University

Duquesne students can pursue one of the university’s 85 distinct undergraduate degrees and multiple award-winning graduate programs. In 2020, U.S. News & World Report ranked Duquesne 4th on its list of Pennsylvania’s best value universities.

The university’s 44-credit psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program includes 550 clinical hours and takes around 3 years to complete. The program also includes a substance abuse component, which may qualify graduates to care for individuals with addiction disorders. Prospective students must demonstrate at least one year of professional experience as a registered nurse before enrolling in clinical and specialty courses.

  • Campus: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Program Length: 44 credit hours
  • Estimated Tuition Cost: $66,396 per year, or $1,509 per credit
  • Program Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Curriculum Snapshot: Evidence-based nursing practice and policy development; healthcare ethics in practice and policy; pathophysiology for advanced practice nursing; serious mental illness/substance use disorders across the lifespan
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

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9. Graceland University

Located an hour south of Des Moines, Iowa, GU boasts a storied nursing program. Established in 1910, the School of Nursing got its start as a cooperative program with the Independence Sanitarium and Hospital in Independence, Missouri.

Today, GU’s 47-credit psychiatric nurse practitioner program admits licensed registered nurses with a bachelor of science in nursing, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and a grade of B or better in any undergraduate nursing course. Applicants should also submit three references and a professional goals statement. The program does not accept candidates from Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

  • Campus: Lamoni, Iowa
  • Program Length: 47 credit hours
  • Estimated Tuition Cost: $39,010 per year, or $830 per semester hour
  • Program Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Curriculum Snapshot: Pharmacotherapeutics; theory in nursing; advanced health assessment and diagnostic reasoning; advanced pathophysiology; application of research for best practices; research methods and evidence-based practice
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

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10. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Public Health Sciences

MCPHS is a private, nonprofit institution adjacent to some of the nation’s best medical facilities. The college boasts three campuses, a thriving distance education division, and five clinics and centers that offer hands-on learning opportunities.

MCPHS’s School of Nursing offers a mostly online psychiatric nurse practitioner program that requires only two years of part-time study. Candidates gain a foundational knowledge base allowing them to treat diverse patients afflicted with a variety of mental health conditions. Learners must attend three residencies at the MCPHS Worcester campus before graduating.

  • Campus: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Program Length: 45 credit hours
  • Estimated Tuition Cost: $48,650 per year
  • Program Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Curriculum Snapshot: Advanced pathophysiology; human diversity; social and policy issues; survey of telemedicine; professional role development for advanced practice nursing
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

11. Clarkson College

Established in 1888, Clarkson College was Omaha, Nebraska’s first school for nursing. The private, nonprofit institution offers a variety of medical and healthcare programs, including nursing, healthcare business, community health, health education leadership, and radiology.

A specialty track featured in the registered nurse-to-master of science in nursing bridge option, Clarkson College’s psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program addresses essential concepts in the field, including healthy patient-practitioner relationships and psychiatric assessment. Candidates also complete two service experiences, an interprofessional education course, and a residency. Prospective nurse educators seeking financial assistance can take advantage of the college’s Nurse Faculty Loan Program.

  • Campus: Omaha, Nebraska
  • Program Length: 51 credit hours
  • Estimated Tuition Cost: $7,720 per 12 credit hours
  • Program Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Curriculum Snapshot: Advanced physical assessment; advanced nutrition; complex psychiatric mental health concepts; advanced pathophysiology; pharmacology for practitioners; foundations of psychiatric mental health
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

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12. Briar Cliff University

A Catholic liberal arts university, BCU was founded by the Sisters of Saint Francis in 1930. As of 2020, the university boasts 1,076 students and a student-to-instructor ratio of 14:1. Around 93% of learners receive financial aid.

BCU’s three-year psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program comprises 52 credit hours and 600 clinical hours. Clinicals take place in rural and underserved settings. Applicants do not need to provide GRE scores. Graduates are eligible to take the American Nurses Credentialing Center certification exam.

  • Campus: Sioux City, Iowa
  • Program Length: 52 credit hours
  • Estimated Tuition Cost: $26,005 per year
  • Program Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Curriculum Snapshot: Theoretical foundations for advanced practice; advanced pathophysiology; advanced pharmacology; health promotion; cultural competence in healthcare foundations of advanced practice
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

Applying to an Online Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program

The admission process for online psychiatric nurse practitioner programs is similar to that of many other MSN degrees.

Students should have a bachelor’s degree and be licensed as a registered nurse (RN). While many programs require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, some do offer RN-to-MSN programs. Applicants with an associate degree in nursing, an active license, and work experience are considered for these programs.

A minimum GPA of 2.5-3.0 is required, as well as competitive GRE or MAT scores. Personal essays and recommendation letters are common requirements at schools. Some schools need an interview or verifiable job experience in nursing or psychiatric/mental health care.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are you interested in pursuing a career as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner? A master’s degree in nursing or a doctorate in nursing practice are required for psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (DNP). An MSN usually takes two years to finish, however a DNP can take three to four years.
  • What exactly is accreditation, and why is it so crucial? Ensure that the PMHNP program you choose is accredited. MSN programs that are accredited must meet nationally recognized quality requirements for the nursing profession. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing are the two main accrediting bodies offering MSN degrees. Unaccredited program graduates are unable to get state licenses and have limited work opportunities.
  • As a nurse practitioner, what can you do? NPs work as a bridge between a nurse practitioner and a physician. Patients are diagnosed by NPs, who then prescribe medication. Many states allow NPs to do all of these activities on their own, whereas others require advanced practice nurses to collaborate with physicians.
  • What exactly is the role of a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner? PMHNPs work with people who have mental, emotional, or behavioral problems. Psychiatric assessments, diagnoses, and therapy may be performed by these NPs. Regular psychotherapy sessions or the use of prescription medication could be part of the treatment plan. Clinics, mental facilities, emergency services, and hospitals are among places where PMHNPs work.

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