Online MSN

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

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The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program and the post-graduate APRN certificate program at Duquesne University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

Provide your patients with both physical and mental health care.

Today’s health care environment features a strong focus on mental illness, substance abuse and mental health among vulnerable populations. By earning your MSN in Psychiatric-Mental Health, you can help meet the crucial need for health care practitioners in this field.

Choose Duquesne’s Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner MSN program and develop the skills necessary to assess, diagnose and provide treatment options to patients with mental disorders. In addition, as an advanced practice nurse in the psychiatric field, you’ll have the chance to work with families and large groups.

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Have you already earned your MSN in a different area of focus but would like to expand your scope of practice as an Psychiatric-Mental Health NP?

Duquesne University is proud to offer a Post-Master’s Certificate in Psychiatric Mental Health.

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Learn from nurse faculty who are leaders in advanced practice nursing

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Collaborate with 12-15 students in your cohort

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Receive personalized support from a team of advisors – enrollment through graduation 

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Benefit from available tuition discounts

Why earn your MSN in an online psychiatric nurse practitioner program?

Earning your MSN in Psychiatric-Mental Health will allow you to work with populations of all ages and backgrounds and assess their mental health, diagnose conditions and provide primary care services. The demand for nurse practitioners as a whole is projected to grow 26% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the national average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

An increase in substance abuse and mental health issues combined with a shortage of psychiatric-mental health professionals means patients who need mental health help are often unable to access it. And according to the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, mental illness and substance abuse contribute to larger community issues like homelessness, limited education access and legal concerns.

As a PMHP, not only will you be involved with your patients’ primary care and mental health diagnosis and treatments, you may also choose to contribute to policy development at a legislative level. Advanced practice psychiatric-mental health NPs are able to collaborate with other health care professionals to influence health care reform and quality care improvements for patients.

With our 100% online Psychiatric-Mental Health MSN you can:

  • Prepare for certification. As a graduate, you will be eligible to take the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) certification exam.
  • Complete coursework online. Only two campus visits are required.
  • Learn from faculty mentors. You’ll have the name, number and email of a campus‑based faculty member to help guide your study.
  • Leverage a flexible learning environment. Work when and where it is most convenient for you.
  • Study at a respected school. Ranked #45 Best Online Graduate Nursing Program by U.S. News & World Report for 2020.

Why choose Duquesne’s MSN-PMHNP Program?

The online BSN to PMHNP program at Duquesne allows you to complete your coursework while you continue to work, either on a part-time or full-time basis. Our MSN program will prepare you for certification and licensure as a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner who is able to evaluate, diagnose, manage and treat patients with mental health disorders, both acute and chronic.

To prepare you for certification, our faculty will work with you personally and ensure you understand and can execute the information you’ve learned through preparation exams prior to graduation.

Study with us, and you can learn to:

  • Understand the importance of relationship-based care, which includes assessment, diagnosis and management of treatment plans for mental health and psychiatric disorders.
  • Collaborate with other health care professionals to advocate for vulnerable and diverse populations and bring awareness to policy issues related to improving health outcomes and expanding access to treatment opportunities for those with mental health disorders.
  • Develop age-appropriate treatment plans for individuals with mental health conditions based on evidence-based practices and ethical guidelines. Treatment plans may include prescribed medication, psychotherapy sessions, collaboration or referrals to other specialists.
  • Provide education, guidance and coaching to your patients, their families and communities regarding mental health conditions and the treatment options available.

500 clinical hours

Online Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (MSN) Courses

44 Credit Hours | 15 Courses

The psychiatric nurse practitioner curriculum was designed for students who are already working as registered nurses and have an interest in helping patient populations in both a physical and mental health capacity. You will participate in coursework that will educate you on the proper ways to assess, diagnose and manage patients of all ages with mental health conditions and psychiatric disorders.

There is a substance abuse component to this program, where graduates may fully participate in caring for those with substance abuse problems. In conjunction with our Master of Science in Forensic Nursing program, this innovative and cutting-edge curriculum will offer you a unique perspective on mental health and forensic nursing that other MSN programs do not offer.

MSN-PMHNP Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

To qualify for our online MSN program, you must:

  • Hold a BSN from an accredited college or university with a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Hold a current, unencumbered RN license
  • Have at least one year of full-time work experience as an RN prior to registration in the clinical or specialty courses
  • Have completed an undergraduate-level statistics course with a “C” or higher

The faculty admissions committee may look more closely at nursing and science grades when making admissions decisions.

Online Admission Process

  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Professional goal statement
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Two electronically submitted references (one academic and one professional in a supervisory role)
    • The supervisor reference letters must come from a direct supervisor who is responsible for your performance evaluation
    • If you have been out of school more than five years, please speak with your Enrollment Advisor for advice
  • An interview may be required