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Compare online psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) programs

Provide advanced care to patients with psychiatric disorders as a psychiatric medical health nurse practitioner through an online PMHNP program.

Explore online PMHNP programs

Why enroll in a PMHNP program online?

Prepare for a specialized career

Gain real-world experience and training to prepare you for your future as a PMHNP.

Work with specific populations

Learn the latest in psychiatric disorder care through flexible, online classes.

Connect and network with peers

Choose a university with a student and faculty network that aligns with your values and interests without worrying about location.

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What does a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner do?

A PMHNP is trained to assess, diagnose, and treat the mental health needs of patients and provide therapy for patients with mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, or substance abuse problems. PMHNPs work closely with patients and may prescribe medications, provide physical and psychosocial assessments, treatment effectiveness evaluations and emergency psychiatric care. PMHNPs are patient advocates.

Most PMHNPs work traditional working hours in inpatient settings with some on-call night shifts.

Admission requirements for an online PMHNP program

Each PMHNP program is going to have different admissions requirements, but in general, most programs are going to ask for your academic history, your employment history, copies of your transcripts, and your applications. Some programs will require a registered nurse license, and a year of clinical experience. Always check the program you are interested in for specific admission requirements.

PMHNP programs are for those who already have a registered nurse degree or a bachelor’s in nursing. Online master’s in nursing programs and online bachelor’s in health and social services programs are also available.  

How to apply

Each PMHNP program offers its own admission requirements and application process. After reviewing which program is right for you, either contact the school for more information through the form on the program’s website, call the listed phone number, or email the school’s program-specific email address. 

Online PMHNP curriculum

Most PMHNP online programs include courses such as Advanced Pharmacology, Advanced Pathophysiology, Diagnostic Reasoning for Nurse Practitioners, Advanced Health Assessment, Psychopharmacology, and more. Many programs include residency visits as well as clinical hours in addition to courses that must be taken in a specific order.

If you want to learn nursing, consider the many programs, career paths, and specializations available. The healthcare field has an array of options for learners, so taking the time to learn healthcare options can be beneficial as you think about your career plans. When you are ready, edX has online FNP programs, online DNP programs, and online acute care nurse practitioner programs.

PMHNP education pathways

There are many different pathways to get to your PMHNP degree:

  • BSN to PMHNP online programs bridge the gap between learners who have an undergraduate bachelor of science in nursing degree and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners.

  • FNP to PMHNP online programs bridge the gap between family nurse practitioners and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners.

  • RN to PMHNP online programs bridge the gap between registered nurses and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners.

These online programs offer a convenient way to advance your career through an online program.

Jobs with an online PMHNP degree 

As a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, you can find a position that benefits others as an instructor, consultant, or nurse practitioner.

Nurse practitioners find careers in clinical settings, residential settings, university counseling centers, public mental health agencies, primary care medical practices, and hospitals.

After earning your degree, you must secure national certification and state licensure for the state where you will practice, as well as any additional state-specific requirements. 

PMHNP salary and career outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the median salary for a nurse practitioner as more than $120,000.Footnote 1 Between now and 2031, overall employment is expected to grow by 40 percent, which is much faster than average for all occupations.Footnote 1 A PMHNP may increase your median salary, depending on the field in which you work and your experience.

Frequently asked questions

A PMHNP is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, which is a type of advanced practice registered nurse.

To transition from a FNP to PMHNP, one route is completing a post-master's certificate.

PMHNPs attend nursing school for their undergraduate degrees before becoming a registered nurse and completing their bachelor’s and master’s degrees; psychiatrists spend 12 years in higher education prior to earning their licenses.

The average PMHNP program takes around three years to complete, though program durations vary.

A PMHNP is the psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner track within the Doctor of Nursing program. A MSN, or Master of Science in Nursing degree, is not a doctorate degree, and focuses on administrative skills or specializations such as acute care, obstetrics, or gerontology.

Online PMHNP programs have varying costs per school, and many programs can cost between $18,000 and $51,000. Many schools offer tuition discounts and programs to help fund your education. Always check the program you are interested in for exact tuition and fee costs.

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