Psychiatric-Mental Health

The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program prepares nurses to provide effective care for patients with complex psychiatric and physical health needs.

Certification & Career

Graduates are prepared to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Psychiatric-Mental Health NP (PMHNP) certification exam upon completion. This exam tests knowledge and skills related to psychiatric advanced practice across the lifespan.

Psychiatric Mental Health NPs work in a variety of settings, including acute care environments, outpatient clinics, schools, prisons, health homes and behavioral health homes, long-term care facilities and private practice offices. These advanced practice nurses complete assessments and provide treatment, including therapy and medication prescription and management.

Clinical Hours

Students complete a minimum of 560 clinical practicum hours for the ANCC Certification. The first clinical practicum may be with any preceptor who is licensed in his or her respective state to provide psychotherapy. The second and third clinical practicum may be with a CNS, NP or MD preceptor. Clinical placements are determined by students’ areas of interest, career goals and preceptor availability.

Remaining hours are focused on a DNP project. This quality-improvement project will be grounded in a clinical problem. Students will work closely with a DNP advisor to formulate a capstone project.

Prior Experience

Applicants must have a minimum of one year of RN experience with excellent assessment skills at the generalist level before undertaking advanced practice. For those who do not meet this requirement, the part-time option is offered to allow nurses to continue working to gain experience.


The program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. Full-time students can complete the program in nine semesters. Part-time students will receive individualized schema.

Students must attend a one- or two- day, on-campus orientation in the first fall semester of their program and return to campus to defend their DNP project in the final semester of their program. For more information, visit the On-Campus Requirement page.


If you have specific questions about the program, contact the Office of Student Recruitment at 513-558-3600 or