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Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Advanced Certificate)

Two D'Youville students practice on an artificial patient.

Gain experience and education as you become eligible to take the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner exam.

Overview & Distinctions


An advanced certificate in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner will prepare you to assess, diagnose and manage acute and chronic mental health conditions across all ages as you provide care to individuals, families and groups.

D’Youville’s program is designed for students who have already earned a master’s degree in nursing and are prepared to take a leadership role as a member of the mental health care team with prescriptive privileges to provide a holistic, patient-centered approach to patients facing mental health problems.

As a student, you will benefit from a simple scheduling structure with all classes held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and you will be able to complete the program in 12 to 24 months.

As a graduate of the program, you will be prepared to take the exam for board certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to further demonstrate your expertise in the mental health field.

If you’re interested in advancing your career by obtaining an advanced certificate in 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 Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner advanced certificate program, you will:

  • Learn to assess, diagnose and manage acute and chronic mental health conditions;
  • Gain experience and skills to promote mental health and educate patients about mental illness prevention and recovery;
  • Receive practical experience in the study of the physiology of the brain and pathological processes associated with various mental disorders;
  • Benefit from the opportunity to work closely with experienced faculty mentors and others throughout the nursing community.

Why Choose D'Youville?

  • Our faculty are clinical experts in their fields and recognized for their student-centered approach that emphasizes individualized instruction and knowledgeable career guidance.
  • Research has shown that teamwork across clinical specialties improves patient outcomes and D'Youville has created an environment that promotes a team-learning approach. D'Youville's unique interdisciplinary education lab offers the opportunity to practice treating patients (played by actors) alongside a team of students from seven other health care majors at the college — all under the supervision of a skilled instructor.
  • The nursing program at D'Youville reflects the institution’s mission to educate professionals who contribute to the world community through leadership and service to others.
  • D'Youville's Doctor of Nursing Practice (Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner) program provides an ideal option to students interested in furthering their education after completion of their master's degree.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

In addition to the general admission requirements for the graduate programs at D'Youville, applicants to the post-master's certificate in psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner must present the following:

  • Master of science degree in nursing
  • Active, unrestricted licensure as a registered nurse in New York state or Ontario if Canadian
  • Baccalaureate-level health assessment, pathophysiology and pharmacology courses or equivalent
  • Interview with the program director/faculty
  • At least two references on clinical performance from a supervisor or colleague
  • Current CPR certification
  • 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)

A minimum of one year of experience as a registered nurse is recommended.



Course requirements for the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (MS) include:

Clinical Component

Course # Course Name Credits
NUR 611 APN Role Transition/Policy 2
NUR 631 Advanced Health Assessment 3
NUR 631L Advanced Health Assessment Lab 1
NUR 706 Co-management of Medical Disorder for APNs 1
NUR 707 Foundations PMHNP-APN I 3
NUR 708 Foundations PMHNP-APN II 3
NUR 714 Clinical Practicum in Community-based Family Care 2
NUR 715 PHHNP Clinical Practicum I 3
NUR 716 PHHNP Clinical Practicum II 4

Supportive Component

Course # Course Name Credits
NUR 632 Advanced Pharmacology 3
NUR 633 Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology 3
NUR 672 Advanced Psycho-Pharmacology 1
NUR 673 Advanced Psycho-Pathology 1

Total Credits Required

Total Credits required for post-master's certificate in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: 30



The D’Youville advanced certificate in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program gives advanced practice nurses the in-depth understanding of mental health disorders and skills necessary to treat a growing patient base and provides them the educational preparation to obtain certification.

A Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner's Role

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners are providers of holistic care and possess an understanding of all dimensions of patient care. They assess, diagnose and provide treatment using an in-depth understanding of mental health disorders. They treat patients of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds as they work with individuals, families and groups.

PMHNPs are employed in traditional outpatient and inpatient settings, though as holders of advanced degrees, they are often involved in research, consulting and private practice.

Career Outlook

Demand for nurse practitioners is expected to grow 31 percent from 2014 to 2024 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 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics views the job opportunities for nurse practitioners as excellent and notes employers may offer flexible work schedules, childcare and educational benefits.

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