Online Coursework 

Graduate in just 2.5 years

7-1-7 Model 

Take one course at a time, with a break between

Faith-Based

Earn your MSN rooted in Christian values

BSN to MSN-PMHNP Program

Meet the demand for compassionate psychiatric mental health care

The need for mental health care has grown dramatically in the past decade. As a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) you will be prepared to provide holistic care to patients across the lifespan with mental health or substance abuse disorders.

Spring Arbor University’s BSN to MSN-PMHNP online program is faith-based, in which you will expand your nursing knowledge while thoughtfully applying the perspective of Christ to your mission to help patients with acute and chronic psychiatric mental health disorders. 

SAU is CCNE-accredited* and recognized by Colleges of Distinction for its engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community and successful outcomes.

*See full accreditation information in our Fast Facts section. 

As a student in the MSN PMHNP online program, you will: 

  • Develop an advanced clinical practice for assessing, diagnosing, and intervening in individuals, groups, and families' dysfunctional coping patterns and psychiatric disorders.
  • Enhance skills to serve patients with major psychiatric disorders, considering factors like epidemiology, age, socioeconomic background, cultural norms and level of disease risk.
  • Learn to deliver compassionate care and advocate for the healthcare needs of underserved populations, as exemplified by the Christian worldview.
  • Continue working full-time as you earn your degree on your schedule.
  • Learn from highly educated, talented faculty who build close relationships with students in small class sizes 
  • Receive 1:1 support from a dedicated Student Success Advisor who will support you from start to graduation.

Graduate prepared to take the national PMHNP certification exam (PMHNP-BC™).

NUR712 Neurobiology and Psychopathology Across the Lifespan

This course builds on the knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology, Providing a rigorous examination of neurobiology as it relates to mental health disorders across the lifespan. Students will explore the relationship between neurobiology and psychopathology, examining epidemiology and etiology of select mental health disorders. Emphasis will be placed on genetics, development, and trauma as they relate to neurobiology and psychopathology. This course introduces the students to mental health assessment strategies that are sensitive to the psychosocial needs of mental health clients. 

NUR713 Psychopharmacology Across the Lifespan

This course builds on the knowledge of neurobiology and psychopathology, applying evidence-based principles and best practices related to psychopharmacology to treat psychiatric mental health disorders across the lifespan. Students will gain advanced knowledge about pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, neuro-pharmacological mechanisms, risks, benefits, and adverse effects of psychotropic medications. Focus will be on examination and application of neuropsychopharmacology and diagnostic reasoning with a focus on comorbid physical and mental health conditions commonly seen in psychiatric/mental health settings. Integration of psychotherapeutic interventions in the treatment planning of psychiatric mental health symptoms and disorders will be explored. Pre-Requisite: NUR 712

Program Details
  • 50 credits 
  • $752 per credit hour
  • 570 clinical hours
  • Just one 3-day campus residency in year two

Designed for Working Nurses

  • Online, asynchronous coursework
  • 6 intakes per year
  • Take one seven-week course at a time and enjoy a week off in between
  • Flexible login times — complete your assignments on your schedule

Inspiring Outcomes

  • Ranked on a national and regional level for its academic quality and value
  • One of the top fastest-growing job fields in nursing
Admission Requirements
  • BSN degree from an accredited program
  • 3.0 GPA from most recent 60 credits
  • A current nursing license
  • Online application
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Short personal statement
NUR714 Advanced Practice in Psychiatric-Mental Health I: Adults

This course will focus on developing advanced knowledge and skills required to assess, diagnose, and interpret appropriate screening tools, laboratory tests, and behavioral assessments related to mental health disorders affecting adults and older adults. This course examines major adult disorders; looking at epidemiology, health and mental health promotion and prevention, risk factors, taxonomy, cultural factors, assessment issues specific to adults and older adults, use of rating scales, as well as evidence-based adult-specific treatments. Individual therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychopharmacological interventions, trauma-based interventions, and combinations of these treatments will all be emphasized. Students will develop treatment plans to address the psychiatric mental health disorders affecting this population

NUR715 Advanced Practice in Psychiatric Mental Health II: Children/Adolescents/Young Adults

This course will focus on developing advanced knowledge and skills required to assess, diagnose, and interpret appropriate screening tools, laboratory tests, and behavioral assessments related to mental health disorders affecting children, adolescents, and young adults. This course examines major childhood disorders; looking at epidemiology, health and mental health promotion and prevention, risk factors, taxonomy, cultural factors, assessment issues specific to children, adolescents, and young adults, use of rating scales, as well as evidence-based child and adolescent-specific treatments. Individual therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, family-based interventions, psychopharmacological interventions, trauma-based interventions, and combinations of these treatments will all be presented. Students will develop treatment plans to address the psychiatric mental health disorders affecting this population. 

Program Tuition

Spring Arbor University is recognized as a “Best Value” school by U.S. News & World Report. The online BSN to MSN Psych Mental Health NP program provides academic quality with competitively priced tuition of $752 per credit hour.

You may also be eligible to receive financial aid. SAU will work with you to determine any benefits for which you qualify, including student aid, military discounts and tax benefits.

Accreditations & State Authorization

The nursing programs at Spring Arbor University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE),* which ensures students, employers and graduate nursing programs that SAU graduates have received an education that meets CCNE’s rigorous standards. 

*The master's degree program in nursing at Spring Arbor University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

MSN-PMHNP Program Online: Fast Facts
Upcoming Start Dates

Next application deadline:

  • December 5, 2022

Next start date:

  • January 16, 2023
Grow as a Christ-Centered Nurse

At Spring Arbor University, it is a privilege to provide a Christ-centered nursing education to our students and to participate in their journey. You will grow spiritually, personally and professionally throughout this program and will gain a better understanding of what it means to live out your faith as a nurse. 

While the Christian faith is the foundation of our program, we welcome all students regardless of personal faith. All students will benefit from introspection and critical thinking as they consider how to meaningfully care for patients of different faith backgrounds.

Online MSN Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program Curriculum

This in-demand specialization is taught by faculty who draw on their own experiences providing mental health care. Below are a few sample courses in this degree. For a full list, download a brochure. 

Psych NP Facts and Figures
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PMHNP’s can make up to 50% more than RNs

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52% growth anticipated in Nurse Practitioner roles by 2030

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18% of adults in the U.S live with some form of mental illness

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There are only enough mental health care professionals available across the country to meet roughly 26% of the need for services

PMHNP Career Outlook

Over half of U.S. counties have no practicing psychiatrists.* You will prepare to expand critical access to psychiatric-mental healthcare through Spring Arbor University's online MSN Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program.

Similar to psychiatrists, PMHNPs can prescribe medication, perform examinations, diagnose illnesses and provide treatment for patients with mental health disorders and substance abuse problems.

PMHNPs are becoming increasingly integral to medical teams as more hospitals and healthcare facilities utilize their expertise. In some states, PMHNPs can practice independently.

PMHNPs may work in:

  • Mental health private practice
  • Inpatient centers and behavioral health hospitals
  • Public health organizations
  • Schools and universities
  • Correctional institutions

The median annual wage** of PMHNPs is $125,000, which is 50 percent higher than RNs.*** PMHNPs also tend to earn higher salaries than nurse practitioners certified in other specialties.

*National Council for Mental Wellbeing

**American Association of Nurse Practitioners

***U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

PMHNPs may work in:

  • Mental health private practice
  • Inpatient centers and behavioral health hospitals
  • Public health organizations
  • Schools and universities
  • Correctional institutions

The median annual wage** of PMHNPs is $125,000, which is 50 percent higher than RNs.*** PMHNPs also tend to earn higher salaries than nurse practitioners certified in other specialties.

*National Council for Mental Wellbeing

**American Association of Nurse Practitioners

***U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

Where do psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners work?

Psychiatric mental health NPs work in community health centers, hospitals, private practices, schools and other organizations. Increasingly, they also provide patient care via telehealth.

What type of care does a psych NP provide?

These nurse practitioners perform mental health assessments, diagnosis and treatment; psychotherapy; psychotropic medication prescription and management; and advocacy for patients, populations and their families.

What in does a student typically need to know about the SAU Online program
  • There are typically our nursing classes have 20-25 students.
  • With SAU’s online BSN to MSN-PMHNP programs can be completed in just under 2.5 years
  • Enjoy a week off in between classes with our 7-1-7 model (7-week courses, 1-week breaks).
What are the entrance requirements for the BSN to MSN-PMHNP Program?

To be accepted in SAU’s MSN programs, you must meet the following requirements:

A BSN degree from a regionally accredited institution and nursing program (CCNE or NLN)

Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended

A 3.0 GPA calculated from the most recent 60 academic credits

Unrestricted, unencumbered, current nursing license from the state of employment