Post-Master's Certificate - PMHNP

Provide critical access to psychiatric and mental healthcare in your community.

Broaden your career opportunities as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) through an online, faith-based certificate program that aligns with your life and values.

Spring Arbor University's online Post-Master’s Certificate – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMC-Psych Mental Health NP) program equips you with the clinical expertise to diagnose and treat psychiatric and mental health conditions and serve patients across the lifespan. 

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

As a student in the online PMC-Psych Mental Health NP program, you can:

  • Continue working full-time as you earn your degree on your own schedule.
  • Enjoy a week off in between classes with our 7-1-7 model (7-week courses, 1-week breaks).
  • Receive dedicated support from a Student Success Coach who will guide you through the program, helping you find a work-school-life-balance.
  • Join a close community of motivated students and caring faculty.
  • Graduate prepared to take the PMHNP certification exam (PMHNP-BC™).
  • Experience spiritual growth through a quality educational journey rooted in faith.

For more information about our online PMC-Psych Mental Health NP program, request a program guide.

Fast Facts
Program Details
  • 16 to 22 months (depending on completion of prerequisite courses)
  • $739 per credit hour
  • 500 clinical hours

Designed for Working Nurses

  • Take one seven-week course at a time and enjoy a week off in between
  • Begin your certificate at the right time for you — choose from six intake dates a year
  • Flexible login times — complete your assignments on your own schedule

Inspiring Outcomes

  • Experience a unique, quality educational program in preparation for certification 
  • Ranked on a national and regional level for its academic quality and value

A Caring Community

  • Small class sizes and caring, connected faculty provide a personal learning experience
  • Dedicated student success advisor to support you from enrollment to graduation, as well as career development support
  • Faith-based educational philosophy that considers Christian perspectives in nursing practice and values spiritual growth
NUR712: Neurobiology and Psychopathology 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. The focus will be on the 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.

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

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.

Grow as a Christ-Centered PMHPNP

The online Post-Master's Certificate Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program will develop your advanced nursing knowledge and clinical reasoning while empowering your spiritual growth.

As a student in the program, you will:

  • Build a Leadership Mindset: Reach a new level of professionalism and intellectual development as you evolve into a nursing leader. Learn how to collaboratively design, coordinate and evaluate patient-centered psychiatric-mental healthcare.
  • Gain Advanced Nursing Competencies: Establish a foundation in theory and advanced clinical practice for assessing, diagnosing and intervening in dysfunctional coping patterns and psychiatric disorders of individuals across the lifespan.
  • Understand Population-Specific Care: Develop skills in psychotherapeutic treatment modalities to serve patients with major psychiatric disorders, considering factors like epidemiology, age, socioeconomic background, cultural norms and level of disease risk.
  • Grow a Spirit of Service: Address psychiatric-mental healthcare disparities by delivering compassionate care and advocating for underserved populations and their healthcare needs, as exemplified by the Christian worldview.
Online Post-Master's Certificate PMHNP Program Curriculum

For a complete listing of courses, download a program guide.

Featured courses:

NUR712: Neurobiology and Psychopathology Across the Lifespan

 

Admission Requirements & Prerequisites

Admission Requirements 

  • MSN degree from an accredited program 
  • Official graduate transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended
  • 3.0 GPA calculated from the most recent 60 academic credits
  • A current nursing license from your state of employment
  • Online application
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Short personal statement

Prerequisite Courses 

  • Advanced Pharmacology
  • Advanced Pathophysiology
  • Advanced Health Assessment
  • Some additional prerequisites may apply
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 PMC-Psych Mental Health NP program provides academic quality with competitively priced tuition of $739 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

Learn More

Gain access to full course descriptions, program details and tuition information.

The Role of the Psych Mental Health NP

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. They may work in:

  • Mental health private practices
  • Inpatient centers
  • Public health organizations
  • Schools and universities
  • Correctional institutions

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and 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.

Spring Arbor University's’S Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program and Post-Master’s Certificate (PMC) program are scheduled for an accreditation review by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Accreditations & State Authorization

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and 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.

Post-Master's PMHNP Career Outlook

Over half of U.S. counties have no practicing psychiatrists.* Getting certified from Spring Arbor University's online PMC-Psych Mental Health NP program will help you expand critical access to psychiatric mental healthcare in underserved communities.

Benefits of Becoming a PMHNP

Becoming a PMHNP can fulfill your passion for service and mental healthcare advocacy for patients and families across the lifespan. Other benefits include: 

  • Increased salary and career opportunities
  • Better work-life balance with a more traditional work schedule
  • New level of independence and leadership
  • Versatility to work in a wide range of care environments

Job Outlook

The job outlook for all types of NPs is exploding. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that projected employment for this profession is expected to grow 52% through the year 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage** of PMHNPs is $125,000, which is 50% higher than that of 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