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FACULTY/STAFF > DEPARTMENTS & OFFICESSCHOOL OF NURSING AND HEALTH SCIENCES > DEPARTMENT OF NURSING > CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS > PSYCHIATRIC MENTAL HEALTH NURSE PRACTITIONER
Post-Masters/Post-Doctoral Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Certificate Program

The prevalence of mental illness and substance dependence in both adults and children leads to emotional and financial burden on patients, families, and society as a whole. Untreated mental disorders compromise developmental achievement and place youth at risk for school failure, teenage pregnancy, suicide, violence, and the development of comorbid psychiatric and substance abuse disorders. Compounding these problems is a shortage of psychiatric providers equipped to manage patients experiencing mental illness. Additionally, there is an increased focus on integration of mental health in primary care as health care providers are recognizing the inter-complexities and multiple medical comorbidities in patients with mental health diagnoses.

The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) certification program is a 31 credit program designed to increase psychiatric providers and meet the needs of pediatric to geriatric patients experiencing psychiatric conditions. This certification program will provide strong educational preparation in psychiatric differential diagnosis and holistic management with an emphasis on both pharmacology and psychotherapy.

This certification program is intended to attract Primary Care Nurse Practitioners (Family, Adult, and Pediatric NPs) and Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (A-PMHNPs) who want to expand their knowledge and manage care of individuals across the lifespan experiencing psychiatric problems. Upon program completion, individuals are eligible for national certification as a PMHNP.

Educational Objectives:

The PMHNP Certification Program is designed to prepare certified registered PMHNPs who:

1. Utilize expert communication and leadership skills with interdisciplinary teams to ensure

quality of care of patients experiencing mental illness;


2. Employ clinical reasoning to aid in the differential diagnosis of both medical and

psychiatric disorders across the lifespan;


3. Utilize pharmacologic, non-pharmacologic and complementary interventions using an

evidence-based practice approach in the provision of treatment to individuals across the

lifespan experiencing acute and chronic psychiatric disorders;


4. Function as team leaders to facilitate collaborative, interprofessional teamwork to ensure

safe, patient-centered care;


5. Demonstrate culturally competent care in the provision of treatment to individuals across

the life span experiencing acute and chronic psychiatric disorders.


Curriculum:

The PMHNP certification program includes a total of 31 credits and 616 clinical hours. The program can be completed in 5 semesters and begins in the summer semester. Courses are offered one day per week and practicum experiences are individually tailored to meet the course objectives as well as the learning needs of the student. There is also an option of completing the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree while taking the PMHNP certification courses.

Year 1
Summer (5 credits, 56 clinical hours)
NURS 9010 Principles of Biological Psychiatry (2 credits)
NURS 9120 Health Assessment of Children and Adolescents (2 credits)
NURS 9125 Health Assessment of Children and Adolescents Practicum (1 credit, 56 clinical hours)

Fall (8 credits, 112 clinical hours)
NURS 9110 Psychopharmacology Across the Lifespan (3 credits)
NURS 9210 Psychiatric Diagnosis Across the Lifespan (3 credits)
NURS 9230 Psychiatric Diagnosis Across the Lifespan- Practicum for the APRN (2 credits, 112 clinical hours)

Spring (9 credits, 224 clinial hours)
NURS 9310 Management of Psychiatric Disorders Across the Lifespan I (3 credits)
NURS 9340 Management of Psychiatric Disorders Across the Lifespan I- Practicum for the APRN (2 credits,112 clinical hours)
NURS 9510 Family Therapy (2 credits)
NURS 9515 Family Therapy Practicum (2 credits, 112 clinical hours)

Year 2
Summer (4 credits, 112 hours)
NURS 9330 Individual Therapy (2 credits)
NURS 9335 Individual Therapy Practicum (2 credits, 112 clinical hours)

Fall (5 credits, 112 clinical hours)
NURS 9320 Management of Psychiatric Disorders Across the Lifespan II (3 credits)
NURS 9350 Management of Psychiatric Disorders Across the Lifespan II- Practicum for the APRN (2 credits, 112 clinical hours)

Admission Standards:

A requirement for admission to the program is national certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP), or Adult PMHNP. All students applying to the program will undergo a transcript review. Necessary pre-requisites include graduate level courses in Pharmacology, Pathophysiology, and Advanced Physical Assessment/Diagnosis. Other admission requirements include:
  • A master's or doctoral degree in nursing from an accredited college or university
  • National certification as a nurse practitioner
  • A minimum QPA of 3.25*
  • Current CV or resume
  • Essay on goals and expectations for education and career
  • A faculty interview
  • 2 professional letters of recommendations
*If the QPA is below 3.25 the student may be given the option of taking the GRE for admission consideration