Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The Post-Master’s Psychiatric–Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Certificate option is designed for individuals who have a master’s degree in nursing and have found a high rate of psychiatric problems in their practice that are difficult to assess and manage. Just as medical problems go unrecognized in psychiatric settings, psychiatric problems are also unrecognized in non-psychiatric settings. The prevalence of psychiatric disorders in the general population is on the increase and constitutes a major public health problem. An estimated 10-20 percent of primary health care clients suffer from a well-defined and chronic psychiatric disorder. Approximately 50 percent of all psychiatric patients are being treated in primary care settings. Despite previous assumptions that these problems were self-limiting and benign, more recent studies show that a considerable proportion are chronic and associated with significant disability and increased utilization of costly health care services. Most people with treatable psychiatric conditions are under-diagnosed, under-treated, or entirely untreated.
This Post-Master’s Certificate option builds on the existing curriculum of the PMHNP specialty. The plan of study includes all the required courses currently offered in the PMHNP specialty except for the research courses and is determined through completion of a gap analysis. Previous courses taken may be eligible for waiver. A plan of study may be obtained from the Student Affairs Office.
The Post-Master’s Psychiatric–Mental Health Certificate option is intended to prepare students to become eligible to apply for certification in advanced psychiatric–mental health nursing through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.