Wilkes University

Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioners assist patients who need comprehensive mental health care.

Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioners provide primary mental health care to patients of all ages. Focused clinical practice prepares the psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner to provide comprehensive care in a variety of settings including hospitals, outpatient offices, clinics, and rehabilitation facilities. Nurse practitioners in the psychiatric/mental health field assess, diagnose, and treat mental illness with therapy, rehabilitation, and prescriptive drugs. Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the ANCC examination for Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

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Online Format

The Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program is held online*. Required clinical hours are completed in an approved location where students reside.

Residency Requirement

*A brief on-campus residency is required for students enrolled in NSG 500: Advanced Health Assessment. Additional residencies may be required for the following clinical courses based on the location of the student's clinical practice site:

  • NSG 535 – Advanced Practice in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing I (3 credits)
  • NSG 536 – Advanced Practice in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing II (3 credits)

Admission Requirements

• GPA of 3.0 or higher from an associate's-(for RN to MSN program) or baccalaureate- (for full MSN program) degree-granting institution which is programmatically (ACEN, NLNAC, CCNE) accredited. Students who have graduated from a non-programmatically accredited institution and meet all other admission requirements will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Admission is not guaranteed.
• RN License
• Completed application
• Resume
• Minimum one year of clinical experience
• Official transcripts from degree-granting institution.


RNs who hold an associate degree but not a bachelor’s can accelerate the path to an advanced degree with our 52-credit RN to MSN program. Two bridge courses bring students to the graduate level, allowing them to earn a master’s degree in our Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program. A pass-through bachelor's degree in nursing is not granted as part of this program. Graduates are eligible for national board certification. The spring 2018 application closed Sept 1. Students looking to apply will fill out the spring 2019 application.


Nurses ready to rise to the next level in their careers can enroll in our 42-credit MSN. A bachelor’s degree in nursing is required for admission. New students may apply to start in fall 2018.

Post-Graduate APRN Certificate Program

A Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner post-graduate/ APRN certificate program is available for nurses who have earned a master's degree. Students seeking this certification will complete the Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner curriculum. A review of official transcripts will determine a student's course of study. In addition to the admission requirements listed above, an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) license and national board certification are required, as appropriate. New students may apply to start in fall 2018.

Course of Study

Graduate Nursing Core (24 credits)

NSG 500 Advanced Health Assessment (3 credits)
NSG 501 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Science (3 credits)
NSG 502 Advanced Nursing Research (3 credits)
NSG 504 Advanced Role Development in Nursing (3 credits)
NSG 505 Health Policy and Politics for Advancing
Nursing Practice (3 credits)
NSG 530 Advanced Pathophysiology (3 credits)
NSG 533 Advanced Pharmacology (3 credits)
NSG 590 Scholarly Review (3 credits)

 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Curriculum (18 credits)

NSG 526 Clinical Modalities in Advanced Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing Practice (3 credits)
NSG 527 Psychopathology, Theories, and Advanced Clinical Modalities (3 credits)
NSG 535 Advanced Practice in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing I (3 credits)
NSG 536 Advanced Practice in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing II (3 credits)
NSG 550 Diagnostic Reasoning for Nurse Practitioners (2 credits)
NSG 551 Mental Health Perspectives of Culturally Diverse, Rural, and Underserved Populations (2 credits)
NSG 552 Psychopharmacology (2 credits)

For More Information

Jessica DiBernardo
Graduate Nursing Admissions Counselor
Wilkes University
(570) 408-4404