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Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (DNP), 2-Year

A D'Youville instructor offers guidance to a student in the nursing lab.

Embrace leadership roles with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

Overview & Distinctions


Greater access to healthcare and a shortage in mental health professionals has lead to a growing demand for nursing professionals who have the clinical preparation and knowledge to provide holistic care to individuals, families and groups experiencing mental health dysfunction.

The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) plan of study in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program allows you to expand on what you’ve learned as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) to assume leadership roles in mental health care, research, administration and education.

The D’Youville doctoral program combines traditional coursework, clinical fieldwork and graduate-level research to professional nurses who want to broaden their mental health care knowledge and enhance their professional career prospects.

If you’re interested in advancing your career as a Doctor of Nursing Practice (Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner), D’Youville's nursing program is an ideal place to learn. Established in 1942, the School of Nursing has earned a reputation as a leading resource in the region for high-quality, student-centered education.

What You'll Learn

As a student in D’Youville’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner) program, you’ll learn from working mental health professionals and educators who have real-world experience diagnosing and treating mental health disorders across the lifespan. You’ll be educated on the application of theory into practice as the D’Youville faculty shares their extensive knowledge of advanced practice with you and prepares you for a robust variety of career opportunities across the mental health field.

Our program is designed to foster a deeper understanding of mental health illness and issues using contextual perspectives, environmental issues and personality structures in the holistic treatment of patients. You’ll learn to apply theory to individuals, families and groups to promote wellness to those experiencing dysfunction.

Why Choose D'Youville?

  • The D’Youville faculty are experienced mental health experts and recognized for their student-centered approach that emphasizes individualized instruction and career guidance.
  • Students benefit from an individualized plan of study that is created for them after a detailed evaluation of their transcripts and documented clinical hours.
  • You can begin your study in either the fall or the spring semester.
  • Our flexible program is designed for both working professionals who want to pursue their degree part-time and students who are able to dedicate themselves to full-time study.
  • D’Youville’s nursing program reflects the our mission to educate professionals who contribute to the world community through leadership and service to others.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

Applicants to D’Youville’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner) degree program require the following:

Application Requirements

  • Official transcripts from all college/universities attended;
  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree in nursing from a CCNE or NLNAC accredited program at a college or university (or CNO in Ontario);
  • Completion of a master's degree with specialty preparation as an advanced practice nurse (nursing practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist or nurse midwife) from a CCNE or NLNAC accredited program at a college or university (or CNO in Ontario);
  • Minimum graduate grade point average of 3.25 (based on a 4.0 system);
  • A current license to practice professional nursing in New York State or Ontario;
  • A current certification in CPR;
  • Current national certification (or exam eligibility) as an advanced practice nurse in a specialty area (where applicable);
  • Documentation of the number of clinical hours completed in prior master's degree program;
  • At least two years of relevant professional experience;
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae;
  • Evidence of active membership in at least one professional organization;
  • Favorable review with a panel of D'Youville nursing faculty;
  • Three letters of reference; the faculty prefer that one come from a college-level professor if possible, and at least one from an employer or colleague with an advanced or terminal degree, focusing on the applicant's potential for success in the doctoral program;
  • A written personal statement outlining how the applicant expects the degree to assist in achieving specific career goals.

An applicant may choose to submit GRE scores if they believe their application does not adequately reflect their potential to succeed in a doctoral program.


Applicants to Doctor of Nursing Practice (Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner) degree program must complete the following undergraduate course prerequisites:

Undergraduate Courses

Canadian students must submit a 'course-by-course' evaluation (or equivalent) of all Canadian college and/or university transcripts through the World Education Services (WES).

Use the Online Course Equivalency database to see whether the courses you've taken at other institutions can be counted towards a degree at D'Youville.



Course requirements for the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner include:

Courses Requirements: In the Major

Course # Course Name Credits
NUR 701 Health Literacy and Population Health Outcomes 3
NUR 702 Evidence-based Practice and IT in Health Care Delivery 4
NUR 703 Biostatistics for Advanced Nursing Leaders 2
NUR 704 Community-based Care of the Aging Population 3
NUR 705 Ethical Topics in Advanced Nursing Practice Seminar 3
NUR 711 Translational Capstone I (Identify Project) 2
NUR 712 Translational Capstone (Design/Pilot Project) 2
NUR 713 Translational Capstone (Implementation/Evaluation) 3
NUR 709 Advanced Practice Role for Doctoral Nursing Leaders 3
NUR 800* Continuing Clinical Practicum 2
NUR 900* Continuing Capstone Experience 1
  TOTAL 28

* = if necessary

Course Requirements: Interdisciplinary

Course # Course Name Credits
HSA 653 Health Care Law: Legal and Ethical issues 3
HSA 652 (or) HSA 648 Health Care Economics and Policy Making (or) Introduction to Financial Management Health Care Budgeting 3
HSA 705 (or) HSA 670 Leadership through Communication (or) Health Care Consulting 3

Total Credits Required for DNP

Total Credits required for Doctor of Nursing Practice (Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner): 37

An individual assessment will be made of each applicant’s transcripts to determine what additional courses or clinical hours may be needed to satisfy the DNP requirements.



D’Youville’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) plan of study in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares graduates to accept leadership roles to meet the growing demand for mental health care.

Career Outlook

As access to health care increases, the population ages, and the role is more widely recognized by the public as a source for primary health care, the demand for individuals with Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees with a focus on mental health will continue to increase across the spectrum of health care services.

As a Doctor of Nursing Practice (Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Practitioner), you’ll have the experience and credentials to not only meet the growing demand from hospitals, private practices and research facilities, but to assume leadership roles in the treatment and education of mental health issues.

A PMHNP focus provides DNPs with the specialized knowledge and understanding of mental health issues needed to provide holistic care to individuals, families and groups across all ages and from all backgrounds.

Job prospects for DNPs

A DNP degree can greatly expand your career options, allowing you to assume an advanced role as a health care professional. Typically, nurses with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree can seek expanded career opportunities in:


Nurses with DNP degrees often find themselves assuming a larger role in developing patient treatment plans, conducting research and using their knowledge to develop new policies and procedures for mental health care administration.


The advanced knowledge you’ll gain while earning your DNP with a PMHNP focus can help you successfully obtain new roles in research facilities analyzing the effects of therapy on client outcomes, exploring the stigma associated with mental illness and developing treatment for individuals in need of mental health care.

Private Practice

Many nurses with doctorates are transitioning into private psychotherapy practice as they become the holistic care provider for individuals, families and groups in need of mental health care.

Physicians’ Offices

As physicians discover the benefits of partnering with advanced practice nurses with doctorates, they are expanding their practices to bridge the gap between their own offerings and growing health care demands.

Public Health

As a valued source of expertise for all facets of the mental health care spectrum, DNPs with a PMHNP focus are increasingly relied upon by policymakers and public health professionals to address public health treatment and the socioeconomic issues associated with mental health care.

For more information about careers in nursing, visit: and

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