Program Description

The MSN/Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program option is a 55 credit hour program with 780 clinical practicum hours. This program provides BSN-prepared registered nurses (RNs) access to a high quality education to serve a specific population of patients, families, and communities in rural settings. The MSN/PMHNP program prepares advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to be psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners for patients across the lifespan in acute and non-acute settings. Graduates will be eligible for certification as a PMHNP by the American Nurse Credentialing Centers (ANCC). There is an option for students in this track to take three additional graduate nursing education classes to earn a post-masters certificate in nursing education.

Admission to the PMHNP program is during the fall semester. All courses are fully online except those denoted as hybrid. Hybrid courses will require students to travel to campus no more than two times per semester.


The MSN/PMHNP plan of study for full-time students can be completed in 2.5 calendar years. Students may develop a part-time plan of study with input from their faculty adviser.

Clinical Requirements

The MSN/PMHNP program requires 780 precepted clinical hours in acute and non-acute settings. Preceptors are advanced practice nurses, physicians, or physician assistants with at least one year of experience in their chosen specialty area. The Graduate Nursing Handbook explains the process of selecting a preceptor and provides specific guidelines for each course.

Students are responsible to locate their own preceptors and schedule hours for each clinical course. Information on potential new preceptors is made available through the Student Graduate Nursing Site on Blackboard.

Students must be licensed and/or practicing in states included in the NLC Compact. States NOT included in the compact are: California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Hawaii, & Alaska, US Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements and deadlines are posted on the MSN Applications and Forms page. A BSN degree is required for admission.

Requirements upon Acceptance

Upon acceptance into the MSN/PMHNP track, learners must provide documentation of the following onto our online documentation system from CastleBranch:

  • Satisfactory criminal background check and drug screen
  • Annual TB skin test
  • Immunizations including Hepatitis B and Varicella
  • American Heart Association (AHA) CPR Certification for healthcare providers
  • Malpractice Insurance
  • Active, unencumbered nursing license

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