MSN-Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

We offer two tracks to reach your educational and professional goals of becoming a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). You can choose to complete the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)-PMHNP as a standalone pathway or continue on to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)-Executive Leadership degree.

The advantage to Edgewood College’s program structure is that after receiving the MSN-PMHNP, you can seek certification and work in that capacity while continuing on with your doctoral-level coursework to also complete the DNP.

MSN-Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

MSN-Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner AND
DNP-Executive Leadership


Online Psych NP Program Tuition and Financial Aid

Attending graduate school is one of the best investments you will ever make in yourself and your future. While the benefits related to personal development and growth are priceless, you can also expect your Master's in Nursing or DNP degree to expand your career options and enhance your earning power in the marketplace. Remember, completing your graduate degree is an investment in yourself and your career. Be sure to consider not only the total cost of your education, but think about how that total breaks down in terms of monthly costs, which can make your investment feel more manageable and affordable. 

Financing your Edgewood College Degree

Most graduate students are working professionals who take courses part-time. Typically, a full-time student completes their MSN in 3 years.

Tuition for this program is located on the Tuition and Financial Aid page.

Financial Aid

Graduate students are eligible for financial aid in the form of Federal Stafford Loans. Learn more about Stafford Loans, including eligibility requirements and application instructions.

Graduate Student Financial Aid

Our admissions and financial aid counselors have worked with thousands of students who have questioned how they could afford to complete their graduate education. They will use their experience to suggest creative solutions for financing your education. We work with students and organizations to manage tuition reimbursement plans, extend tuition discounts to various corporate partners in the region, offer third party billing and monthly payment plans, and work with veterans to maximize their available aid.

Online Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program: Learning Outcomes

Edgewood College's online PMHNP program prepares students with the necessary skills to be successful in the mental health field. 

As a graduate of our psychiatric NP program, you will be able to:

  • Provide psychiatric, mental, and emotional healthcare to patients across their lifespan
  • Manage the psychiatric and mental healthcare needs of a diverse population
  • Step into leadership roles within the healthcare system
  • Conduct psychotherapy/psychiatric interviewing
  • Diagnose and treat major psychopathological disorders
  • Aid in diagnostic reasoning and clinical decision-making
  • Perform a comprehensive patient health history and physical assessment


Admission Requirements

  1. Provide evidence of a baccalaureate or more advanced degree from a nursing program accredited by a national nursing accreditation body with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for regular admission status. The cumulative grade point average is computed on the highest degree held at the time of application to the Edgewood College graduate program.
  2. Complete and submit graduate application to Graduate and Professional Studies Admissions.
  3. Request that official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate academic credits received from any post-secondary institutions be sent directly to Graduate and Professional Studies Admissions.
  4. Provide two letters of recommendation from nursing supervisors, and/or colleagues who can focus on the candidate’s probability of success in graduate school.
  5. Please complete and essay, no more than 500 words, addressing your ambition to be admitted to the PMHNP Program based upon these questions: 
    1. What makes you believe that you will be a good fit to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner (personality, education, experiences, etc. )? 
    2. In the next five years following the completion of your PMHNP program, what are your goals and dreams in your role as a provider, advocate, and leader in the mental health community?
  6. Currently hold a license as a registered professional nurse.
  7. Prior to beginning the MSN program’s practicum requirements, students will be required to complete a health form, criminal background check, and proof of a current RN license from the state/country in which they plan to complete their practicum.
  8. Program Directors will review all qualified applications and arrange applicant interviews. Program Directors are responsible for making the final decision of students eligible for admission. Students will be notified in writing of their acceptance to the PMHNP program by the School of Nursing Dean. Admission to the program is competitive; even students who meet the minimum requirements may not be admitted. Because of enrollment limits in the PMHNP, the School of Nursing may deny admission to qualified students.

Application Deadlines:

Students are admitted to the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program using a rolling admissions format. Eligible applicants successfully applying by May 15th are ensured consideration for admission. Any applications received after May 15th will be considered on a space-availability basis. If space permits after the May 15th deadline, eligible applicants will be reviewed in a timely manner. 

Career Outlook for Master’s in Psychiatric Nursing Graduates

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five adults in the United States live with some form of mental illness.

No matter the level of severity, living with mental illness can take a toll on one's personal and professional life — making the need for skilled mental health professionals a top priority for medical facilities across the country.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the employment of mental health counselors is projected to grow by 22% from 2021 to 2031 and that the employment of all nurse practitioners is set to grow by 40% in a similar timeframe. As a licensed nurse practitioner, you can expect to make around $123,780, according to the same Bureau of Labor Statistics report. 

After graduating from Edgewood College's online psychiatric NP program, you will be equipped to work in a variety of healthcare environments, including:

  • Doctor's offices
  • Schools and universities
  • Healthcare clinics
  • Hospitals

PMHNP Online Program FAQ

Why should I consider working in mental healthcare as a nurse?

Mental health nurses play an important role in providing both physical and mental care to individuals with psychiatric illnesses. Practicing mental healthcare as a nurse can be an extremely rewarding career that gives you the opportunity to:

  • Support those with a variety of mental health issues
  • Contribute to tailored treatment plans for patients
  • Provide specialized assistance to those experiencing conditions such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, substance use disorder, and eating disorders

Working in mental healthcare as a nurse allows you to bring your clinical background to the forefront of the battle against mental health disorders. Working with patients to live with or overcome their mental health disorders is rewarding work that truly makes a difference in your community.

What are the steps for becoming a certified PMHNP?

Generally, the requirements for becoming a certified psychiatric health nurse practitioner include completing an accredited nursing program and obtaining a registered nursing license in the appropriate jurisdiction.

Additionally, you must then complete a master's in psychiatric nursing or mental health certification for nurses.

What is the difference between a PMHNP and a psychiatrist?

While both psychiatric health nurse practitioners and psychiatrists diagnose and treat mental health issues, their backgrounds are very different.

Psychiatrists have a medical degree, with additional years of specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions.

Psychiatric health nurse practitioners also have an advanced degree, usually a Master's in Psychiatric Nursing. In addition to their advanced degree, they've undertaken specialized training to master the art of psychiatric nursing.

Though both roles are important when it comes to giving proper care to mental health patients, there is an important distinction between the two. 

What does a typical day as a psychiatric nurse practitioner look like?

After you earn your certification in psychiatric nursing and land your desired role, you can expect your typical day to include:

  • Meeting patients and assessing their mental health needs
  • Developing and/or managing a patient’s treatment plan
  • Having conversations with the patient to facilitate discussions about their mental health and ensure compliance with interventions
  • Maintaining clear, accurate records of patient care while adhering to confidentiality protocols

Work Towards Your Psychiatric Nursing Certification at Edgewood College

The post-master's PMHNP online program at Edgewood College prepares healthcare professionals to assist mental health patients in a multitude of healthcare facilities.

Apply today to learn more about our PMHNP programs online.