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Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (MS)


Prepare for leadership in nursing at a respected source for high-quality, student-centered education — D’Youville.

A Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) is specialized in providing mental health services and care to individuals, families and groups. As a student in the program, you will learn the real-world skills needed to advance your nursing career as you become specifically prepared to deliver safe, competent and quality mental health services to persons of all ages.

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 two years of full-time study.

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 as a PMHNP, D’Youville’s nursing program is an ideal place to learn. Established in 1942, the Patricia H. Garman School of Nursing has earned a reputation as a leading resource in the region for high-quality, student-centered education.

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 as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program provides an ideal option for students interested in furthering their education after completion of their master's degree.

What you'll 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 primary care and behavioral health settings

Careers in Nursing

The D’Youville two-year Master of Science in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program prepares graduates to work in integrated primary care and behavioral health settings and to achieve certification through licensure examination.

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

For more information about careers in nursing, visit: and

Rachel Rainey, Woman smiles at the camera wearing graduation regalia holding up a D'Youville University Diploma.
Rachel Rainey

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

I began nursing undergrad in 2017, and now I’m graduating with my masters as a psychiatric nurse practitioner in 2024. I love how I have remained close with staff through all these years, and they look out for me as if I’m family.

Cindy Adymy Headshot
Cindy Adymy MSN, RN

Clinical Associate Professor of Nursing, Director of Prelicensure Programs

I became a nurse because I wanted to work with physically handicapped children. After my first clinical experience, I knew I wanted to be in the hospital, working with patients and their families. I continued my education and worked as a Clinical Nurse Specialist, in orthopedics/trauma.  It wasn't until we moved to a different state that I transitioned into teaching. This has provided me with the fulfilling opportunity to see my nursing students grow - from novice to experienced nurse.

Admission Requirements

We recommend that applicants to D'Youville's psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (MS) hold at least one year of practice as a registered nurse.

Program Requirements

In addition to the general admission requirements for graduate programs at D’Youville College, applicants for the master of science degree in psychiatric mental health must present the following:

  1. Completed online graduate application for admission (no application fee)
  2. Completion of a baccalaureate degree in nursing or from a CCNE or NLNAC (ACEN) accredited program at a college or university in the US (or by the CNO in Ontario).
  3. Evidence of capability to succeed in a graduate program based on an overall undergraduate GPA of at least a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
  4. Official transcripts from all college/ universities attended. Non- U.S. students must submit ‘course-by-course’ evaluation (or equivalent) of all college and/or university transcripts through the World Education Services (WES) or other approved foreign transcript evaluation agencies.
  5. An overall G.P.A. of at least 3.0. Applicants with a baccalaureate degree in nursing, earned more than five years ago, with an overall G.P.A. less than 3.0 but more than or equal to 2.7, who have achieved significant professional success as documented on curricula vitae, may submit an application for consideration. Preferential admissions will be given to applicants with a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher.
  6. Active unencumbered licensure as a registered nurse in New York or in Ontario for Canadian students.
  7. A current CPR certification with a psychomotor component.
  8. At least one year of experience as a registered nurse in psych-mental health or a related field is required.
  9. Baccalaureate-level health assessment, pathophysiology and pharmacology courses or equivalent.
  10. Two references on clinical performance with one reference from a professional with an advanced degree attesting to the clinical knowledge, skills, leadership and the ability to be a good applicant. Other acceptable references include supervisor, manager or former professor. 
  11. Writing assignment on your philosophy of nursing, 2 pages in length, double space and 12-point font that includes philosophy of nursing focused on past experience, what influencing nursing has had on your career, why you chose to pursue this degree, how you see this degree enhancing your career and how you will utilize this degree to advance patient care and health care outcomes.
  12. A student who meets the entry requirements and is currently or previously enrolled in a nurse practitioner program at another college or university must obtain a letter from that School of Nursing stating the student is in good standing, not on probation, and able to register for classes. Students who were dismissed from a graduate nursing program will not be considered for admission.
  13.  Applicants who work full-time are not eligible for planned 2-year completion of the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner track.

Canadian RN students must submit two licensure items:

  • A copy of original Certificate of Registration (issued upon passing of initial examination)
  • A copy of Annual Registration Renewal (showing current unencumbered license)

Applicants to D'Youville's psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (MS) must complete the following undergraduate course prerequisites:

  • Statistics
  • Health Assessment (or equivalent)
  • Pathophysiology (or equivalent)
  • Pharmacology (or equivalent)

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.

Transfer Credit Policy

Students may transfer up to nine graduate credits with grades of B or better into their program at the discretion of the program director. Credits must be earned from an accredited institution in courses required by the program being pursued.


Find detailed course information for the Master of Science in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program, tools to plan your education, and complete academic policies and procedures in the D'Youville academic catalog.

Credit Hour Details

Clinical Component

Number Name Credits
NUR-631 Advanced Health Assessment 3
NUR-631L Advanced Health Assessment Lab 1
NUR-706 Co-MGT for Medical Disorders for APN's 1
NUR-707 Foundations of PMH for APRNs I 3
NUR-708 Foundations of PMH for APRNs II 3
NUR-714 Clin Practicum in Comm-Based Family Care 2
NUR-715 Psy Mental Health Clinical Practicum I 3
NUR-716 Psy Mental Health Clinical Practicum II 4
Total Credits 20

Supportive Component

Number Name Credits
NUR-611 APN Role Transit Policy Sem 2
NUR-632 Advanced Pharmacology 3
NUR-633 Advanced Physiology & Pathophysiology 3
NUR-672 Advanced Psychopharmacology 1
NUR-673 Advanced Psychopathophysiology 1
Total Credits 10

Project Component

Number Name Credits
NUR-600 Theory Development in Nursing Research 3
NUR-601 Research Methods in Nursing 3
Total Credits 6

Project Component

Number Name Credits
NUR-610 Project Seminar Design & Proposal 3
NUR-629 Project Advisement: Implement and Evaluation 1-3
Total Credits 4-6
Total Credits 40-42

Interprofessional Education Labs

Nursing students at D'Youville learn to work as part of a collaborative healthcare team through Interprofessional Education Labs.