Master of Science in Nursing - Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Online

Let your patience, passion for caregiving, and communication skills guide you in this MSN – Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner online program. Develop your advanced nursing practice expertise and explore how to best manage and help patients who need mental health care.

Apply by: 6/5/24
Start class: 6/22/24 Apply Now

Program Overview

Get to know our online MSN PMHNP program

This flexible online psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner degree equips you with an in-demand skill set and provides individualized attention from caring, expert faculty. Curriculum integrates psychopathology, health policy, advanced health assessment, and clinical pharmacology. By building on your foundation of evidence-based practice and completing 500 clinical hours, you will graduate ready to work with increased autonomy as a mental health nurse practitioner.

In this CCNE-accredited nursing master's program, you will gain the knowledge and insights to make independent, crucial judgments with authority. Specialized courses encourage you to think critically and with empathy to assess, diagnose, treat, and evaluate clients across the lifespan who are experiencing acute and/or chronic psychiatric disorders.

You will learn the theories related to mental health nursing, prepare to provide complete and holistic therapeutic approaches to improve the functioning of clients with mental health disorders, and become empowered to advocate for policies that lead to improved health outcomes.

The MSN – Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program offers six starts per year, 100% online coursework, and can be completed in as few as 18 months. STU offers flexible enrollment so you can choose to continue working while earning your degree. You will have access to virtual Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) and assistance with obtaining clinical sites and preceptors.

Learning Outcomes

  • Integrate advanced knowledge in nursing, related science, and leadership skills that will emphasize ethical and critical decision-making to promote safe, high quality, cost effective, and culturally appropriate care across diverse settings
  • Incorporate evidence-based research to resolve practice problems and improve knowledge
  • Apply patient-care technology, such as informatics, to enhance patient care using a collaborative approach
  • Construct processes for self-accountability of professional growth, adopt lifelong learning, and practice safely and effectively within your chosen specialty to maintain health and improve patient outcomes
  • Establish an environment of advanced practice that is conducive to the development of effective interactions with patients and other entities in communities
  • Advocate for policies that lead to improved health outcomes for populations and improvement of the quality of the health care system at the local, regional, state, national, and global levels
  • Demonstrate competence in the communication, collaboration, and consultation to advance interprofessional teams
  • Integrate clinical prevention and health promotion strategies to maintain optimal health and improve patient health outcomes
  • Apply advanced knowledge gained from nursing and other related sciences to practice as a competent health care provider
  • Integrate advanced knowledge in nursing, related science, and leadership skills that will emphasize ethical and critical decision-making to promote safe, high quality, cost effective, and culturally appropriate care across diverse settings
  • Incorporate evidence-based research to resolve practice problems and improve knowledge
  • Apply patient-care technology, such as informatics, to enhance patient care using a collaborative approach
  • Construct processes for self-accountability of professional growth, adopt lifelong learning, and practice safely and effectively within your chosen specialty to maintain health and improve patient outcomes
  • Establish an environment of advanced practice that is conducive to the development of effective interactions with patients and other entities in communities
  • Advocate for policies that lead to improved health outcomes for populations and improvement of the quality of the health care system at the local, regional, state, national, and global levels
  • Demonstrate competence in the communication, collaboration, and consultation to advance interprofessional teams
  • Integrate clinical prevention and health promotion strategies to maintain optimal health and improve patient health outcomes
  • Apply advanced knowledge gained from nursing and other related sciences to practice as a competent health care provider

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Careers

  • Correctional Facilities
  • Behavioral Health Programs
  • Residential Substance Abuse Shelters
  • Outpatient Clinics
  • Detox Centers
  • Schools
  • Mental Health Agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Private Practice
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Behavioral Health Programs
  • Residential Substance Abuse Shelters
  • Outpatient Clinics
  • Detox Centers
  • Schools
  • Mental Health Agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Private Practice
Total Tuition $30,600
Duration As few as 18 months
Credit Hours 50

Accreditation

CCNE Accredited Program

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master's degree programs in nursing, and post-graduate certificate programs in nursing at St. Thomas University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

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Call 855-215-4021

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Tuition

Take Advantage of Affordable Tuition at STU

Tuition for the MSN – Psych-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner online degree program is the same for in-state and out-of-state students and can be paid by the course.

Tuition breakdown:

Total Tuition $30,600
Per Credit Hour $585

Calendar

See our application deadlines and course schedules below

The MSN – Psych-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner online program is delivered in an online format ideal for working professionals, conveniently featuring multiple start dates each year. Choose the start date that's best for you. Time to completion may vary depending on your start date and course availability. Speak with your Enrollment Specialist for more details.

TermStart DateApp DeadlineDocument DeadlineRegistration DeadlineTuition DeadlineClass End DateTerm Length
Summer 15/11/244/24/244/29/245/3/245/8/246/21/246 weeks
Summer 26/22/246/5/246/10/246/14/246/19/248/2/246 weeks
Fall 18/17/248/1/248/5/248/9/248/14/2410/11/247 weeks
Fall 210/12/249/26/249/30/2410/4/2410/9/2412/6/247 weeks

Now enrolling:

Apply Date 6/5/24
Class Starts 6/22/24

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Admissions

Know the qualifications for our online MSN PMHNP program

Our very reasonable admission requirements allow students from diverse academic backgrounds greater access to the MSN – Psych-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner online program. You must possess an unencumbered RN license, a bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited nursing school, and submit transcripts from all institutions previously attended. Due to in-person clinical requirements, only students currently residing in Florida and Georgia can enter this program.

Admission Requirements:

  • Free Application
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Active RN license

MSN – Psych-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Online Admission Requirements

The following are required for admission to the MSN – Psych-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner online program:

  • Completed free application
  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited nursing school
  • Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions (Unofficial transcripts are accepted)
  • 3.0 or higher GPA
  • Active and unencumbered Florida or Georgia nursing license
  • Residency in Florida or Georgia for clinicals

Official transcripts can be sent to St. Thomas University through Parchment and National Student Clearinghouse. Unofficial transcripts and other documents can be uploaded via your Admissions Portal or emailed to [email protected].

Courses

Read about our MSN PMHNP online classes

The MSN – Psych-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner requires students to complete a total of 500 clinical hours to graduate from the program. There are four Psychiatric Management clinical courses with 125 clinical hours required for each: NUR 620CL, NUR 630CL, NUR 640CL, and NUR 650CL. Each clinical course runs over a seven-week period (six weeks during the summer), and the required hours must be completed by the end of each course. See course descriptions for more details.

Prior to beginning clinical courses, you are required to complete and submit proof of the following:

  • Current unencumbered RN licensure
  • Current professional liability insurance
  • Criminal background check
  • Other background checks as required by clinical facilities
  • Drug screening
  • Basic life support (CPR) certification
  • Annual physical examination
  • Current immunizations

Finding Clinical Sites and Preceptors

Finding a clinical preceptor and site are essential components for completing this program. STU strongly encourages students to secure their own preceptors, as this is the best way to accommodate schedule and location to the student’s needs. We strongly encourage students to have an alternate preceptor available if needed.

Suitable preceptors are Psych-Mental Health APRNs and licensed psychiatrists. Psychologists may not serve as preceptors. The scope of the clinicals covers medication management and psychiatric evaluation.

If assistance with clinical placement is needed, you may be required to commute outside your local area, as STU cannot guarantee a clinical site within your immediate location. Please note that your clinical site could be up to 100 miles from your residence.

Restrictions on Clinical Sites

We highly encourage all clinical hours to be conducted in the primary care setting for this program. Students are restricted from completing clinical rotations on their assigned unit. Your immediate supervisor at your place of employment may not serve as your preceptor. Students are not permitted to perform clinical rotations during hours they are working as an employee at a facility. Students are also not allowed to be paid during clinical hours.

MSN PMHNP students can conduct their clinical hours in the private office of a licensed psychiatrist or APRN. Other suitable locations are at a mental health clinic or hospital with a licensed psychiatrist or Psych-Mental Health nurse practitioner.

You must take the following courses.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course will provide a forum for the student to examine the roles of the advanced practice nurse. The content will include professional practice issues for the advanced practice nurse, working independently and collaborating with other health care professionals within the multidisciplinary/multiagency team. This course will also look at the scope of practice, professional responsibilities, informatics, and financial aspects of advanced practice.

Learning Outcomes

  • Articulate marketing and negotiating strategies to promote acceptance of the advance practice nurse within the practice management system.
  • Investigate ethical issues and the cope of practice that governs the advanced practice nurse in Florida and/or other states.
  • Evaluate the interprofessional collaborative healthcare team function of the Advanced Practice Nurse.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course explores nursing as an art and science; and how knowledge has developed relevant to phenomena of interest. Each student will develop skills needed to critically analyze and synthesize relevant literature in the area of a specific phenomenon. Throughout the course, the student will enhance the skills to translate evidenced based research into evidenced based practice, while evaluating research project outcomes through discussions. The student will acquire skills in learning interrelationship between nursing theory, research, and practice along with the nature of scientific knowledge. The students will enrich their critical analysis and theory in the development of evidence-based advanced practice nursing protocols.

Learning Outcomes

  • Critique and assess theories and conceptual models from nursing and related fields.
  • Provide high-quality care to clients using the appropriate theories from the field of nursing.
  • Effectively implement the principles of research and evidence-based practice.
  • Understand the application of both classic and modern literature on development and implementation of Middle Range Theory and evidence-based practice (EBP).
  • Critically appraise research study and articulate findings.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This is a fully online course that provides the student with the advanced understanding of pathophysiology related to human illness, disease prevention and treatment, within a systems framework. Emphasis is placed on biological theories and principles that provide a basis for understanding pathophysiology as an alteration in the normal physiology functioning of subsystems from conception to end of life and the chemical agents that are capable of producing biologic responses within the body. The course uses critical thinking processes to analyze diverse client presentations of selected illness for symptomatology, pathophysiology, and health care implications.

Learning Outcomes

  • Compare physiological and psychologies changes over the lifespan.
  • Evaluate physiologic responses to illness and treatment modalities.
  • Incorporate and implement evidence-based knowledge regarding changes in selected disease states.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course helps students acquire knowledge and skills in the conduct of a comprehensive health assessment including the physical, psychological, social, functional and environmental aspects of health. Data collection, interpretation, documentation and dissemination of assessment data is studied. Techniques of interview, observation, percussion, palpation, inspection and auscultation in assessing clients across the life span are reviewed in simulated and actual environments.

Learning Outcomes

  • Synthesize the roles of the professional nurse in conducting a health history on a variety of patients across the lifespan.
  • Distinguish normal and abnormal health and physical assessment findings between normal and abnormal variations associated with ethnic/racial origins, socioeconomic status, cultural/spiritual beliefs, gender, and age.
  • Utilize special assessments and techniques to certain populations such as obstetric, pediatric, and the elderly population.
  • Evaluate health/illness beliefs, culture, values, attitudes, behavior, and lifestyle to collaboratively plan with the patient to promote ideal health.
  • Assess evidence-based care for promoting wellness, health promotion, and disease prevention for individuals, families, groups, communities, and diverse populations across the lifespan in a variety of healthcare environments.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Analyze the complexities of health service delivery to diverse populations using social ecological models to provide a deeper understanding of the impacts of health policy, social justice, structural inequities, and the value systems of diverse groups, as well as variables related to gender, age, lifestyle, religion, culture, social class, race, and, geography

Learning Outcomes

  • Employ culturally competent care practices for self, individuals, and families.
  • Describe conceptual models and theories of cultural diversity and analyze the cultural patterns and behaviors of cultural values of diverse populations.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course focuses on influencing public policy related to the health system and resources at the state/national/global level. Emphasis will be placed on how health policies are formulated, how to affect this process, and how it impacts clinical practice and health care delivery.

Learning Outcomes

  • Critically appraise health policies proposals and policies that encompass ethics, global health, health care disparities, uninsured, under-insured, complex health care financing issues, and the health care reform (Affordable Care Act).
  • Analyze and discuss health services research, evidence-based practice policy and politics for implementation at the institutional, local, state, and federal level.
  • Articulate social justice, health equity, and new policy issues to improve care delivery, patient outcomes, and the profession of nursing.
  • Utilize leadership skills when developing and implementing policies in the workplace, government, professional organizations, and the community.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course will provide knowledge of pharmacokinetics that will enable the student to safely and appropriately select pharmacologic agents for the management of common acute and chronic health problems of diverse populations. Specific content of the course covers representative drugs of a pharmacologic group, indications for use, drug selection, titration of dose, key adverse effects, and monitoring of therapy and alternative therapy.

Learning Outcomes

  • Differentiate the pharmacological actions of medications used to treat common diseases.
  • Create individualized pharmacotherapy plans based on patient-specific conditions.
  • Explain the relationship between pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of broad categories of drugs across the lifespan.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course will cover the common psychoactive medications, classes, uses, effects, side effects, and prescriptive implications related to nursing care of clients with psychiatric mental health illness. This course provides direction for the psychiatric mental health nurse who functions in an advanced role in a variety of settings. The emphasis of the course will focus on the selection, use and monitoring of psychotropic medications and the ethical and legal considerations of psycho-pharmacology.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of the major classes of psychopharmacological agents commonly used in the treatment of various psychiatric disorders.
  • Assess current evidence related to efficacy, prescribing patterns, side effects, drug interactions, cost effectiveness, chemical dependence, gender and genetic issues, and new classes of psychopharmacological agents.
  • Employ evidence-based research and practice findings to develop effective prescribing patterns that include initiating, dosing, discontinuing, combining, and switching medications.
  • Develop relevant client education strategies in relation to health promotion, side-effect management, and prevention of relapse.
  • Develop and assess plans for care for clients undergoing psychopharmacotherapy that include identifying nursing interventions, monitoring activities, and expected outcomes of care.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course will cover an in-depth investigation of the neurobiological basis of major psychiatric illnesses for individuals across the lifespan. Coursework will focus on various pathologies in psychiatry providing conceptual models and theories to the practice of psychiatric mental health nursing. The emphasis of the course will be on the different modes and the theory related to mental health nursing.

Learning Outcomes

  • Articulate the etiological theories, the diagnostic process and nomenclature of psychiatric disorders.
  • Create contemporary treatment approaches for common psychiatric disorders.
  • Discern between different major categories of psychiatric disorders.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course will provide content on the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation of adults who are experiencing acute and/or chronic psychiatric disorders. The course focuses on learning evidenced-based practice and theoretical and conceptual models for assessing, planning, and treating psychiatric disorders. The main purpose is to promote, maintain, and restore wellness in adults. By the end of the course students will be prepared to provide complete and holistic therapeutic approaches to improve the functioning of clients with mental health disorders.

Learning Outcomes

  • Employ evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to manage screening activities and identify health promotion needs on clients with mental health issues.
  • Provide guidance and counseling on environmental, lifestyle, and developmental issues for clients with mental health issues.
  • Build collaborative, interdisciplinary relationships to provide optimal care to patients with mental health diseases in a way that is appropriate for their age and culture.
  • Manage patients with mental and psychiatric disorders.
  • Use the Diagnostic Statistical Manual as a tool for assessment and diagnosis of mental illnesses and to better understand a client's potential needs.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 2
This clinical course will provide experience in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation of adults who are experiencing acute and/or chronic psychiatric disorders. The clinical course is founded on evidenced-based practice and application of theoretical and conceptual models for assessing, planning, and treating major psychiatric disorders. The main purpose is to promote, maintain, and restore wellness in adults. Throughout this clinical course, student will provide complete and holistic therapeutic approaches to improve the functioning of clients with mental health disorders.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course provides advanced comprehensive knowledge for the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner student to utilize group psychotherapy techniques that can be applied with groups and families. The course is based on the theoretical and conceptual models of group dynamics and founded on evidence-based practices in assessing, planning, treating, and evaluating dysfunctional patterns in group settings. Throughout this course students will learn tools and techniques for promoting and maintaining effective and therapeutic communication patterns in a variety of group settings.

Learning Outcomes

  • Evaluate the appropriateness of clinical modalities for individuals with specific mental illnesses.
  • Examine current research findings of clinical modalities used in treating individuals with mental illnesses.
  • Provide individual therapies that promote mental health for individuals and families across their lifespan.
  • Understand clinical modalities used in health promotion and treatment of individuals with mental illness across their lifespan.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 2
This clinical course provides clinical experience for the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner student to utilize group psychotherapy techniques that can be applied with groups and families. This course is based on the theoretical and conceptual models of group dynamics and is founded on application of evidence-based practices in assessing, planning, treating, and evaluating dysfunctional patterns in group settings. Throughout this clinical course students will apply tools and techniques for promoting and maintaining effective and therapeutic communication patterns in a variety of group settings.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course provides advanced comprehensive knowledge for the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner student to become proficient in psychiatric and mental health issues. The course is founded on evidenced-based practice, and focuses on learning theoretical and conceptual models for psychiatric assessment, differential diagnosis, application of diagnostic criteria, appropriate diagnostic testing, diagnostic formulation, and treatment of psychiatric disorders in child and adolescent clients. Throughout this course students will learn tools and techniques for promoting and maintaining effective and therapeutic communication patterns in a variety of settings.

Learning Outcomes

  • Provide individual and group therapies to promote mental health for individuals and families across the lifespan.
  • Incorporate assessment findings and differential diagnoses to pinpoint and prioritize treatment of acute and chronic psychiatric disorders.
  • Provide culturally informed mental health care in populations across the lifespan with complex acute and chronic psychiatric disorders.
  • Demonstrate beginning skills of providing quality mental health care.
  • Conduct self-evaluation of clinical practice experiences and foster professional growth.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 2
This clinical course for the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner student provides opportunities for application of didactic concepts to actual patient care situations experiencing psychiatric and mental health issues. The course is founded on evidence-based practice and focuses on application of theoretical and conceptual models for psychiatric assessment, differential diagnosis, application of diagnostic criteria, appropriate diagnostic testing, diagnostic formulation, and treatment of psychiatric disorders in child and adolescent clients. Throughout this course students will apply tools and techniques for promoting and maintaining effective and therapeutic communication patterns in a variety of settings.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course provides advanced comprehensive knowledge for the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner student to become proficient in psychiatric mental health issues that occur in adults and older adults. The course is founded on evidenced-based practice, and focuses on learning theoretical and conceptual models for psychiatric assessment, differential diagnosis, application of diagnostic criteria, appropriate diagnostic testing, diagnostic formulation and treatment of major psychiatric disorders in adult and older adult clients. Throughout this course student will learn tools and techniques for promoting and maintaining effective and therapeutic communication patterns in various settings.

Learning Outcomes

  • Determine individual and group therapies to encourage mental health for individuals and families across the lifespan.
  • Use assessment findings and differential diagnoses to identify and prioritize treatment of acute and chronic psychiatric disorders.
  • Provide culturally informed mental health care to populations across the lifespan with complex acute and chronic psychiatric disorders.
  • Cultivate professional growth and advanced practice nursing role development through critical self-evaluation of clinical practice experiences.
  • Collaborate with other health care professionals and community providers.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 2
This clinical course for the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner student provides opportunities for application of didactic concepts to actual patient care situations with adults and older adults experiencing psychiatric and mental health issues. The course is founded on evidenced-based practice, and focuses on application of theoretical and conceptual models for psychiatric assessment, differential diagnosis, application of diagnostic criteria, appropriate diagnostic testing, diagnostic formulation and treatment of psychiatric disorders in adult and older adult clients. Throughout this course students will apply tools and techniques for promoting and maintaining effective and therapeutic communication patterns in various settings.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course provides students with comprehensive knowledge in psychiatric and mental health issues of clients across the life span.  Students will learn how to apply knowledge obtained throughout the certification program and will identify opportunities for collaboration, consulting, and referral within the context of the advanced psychiatric mental health nursing role.

Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze current and relevant research on professional mental health nursing practice.
  • Construct an evidence-based research problem regarding advanced nursing practice.
  • Assess health outcomes to identify the effectiveness of treatment, need for changes, and health status of the client.
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