Master of Science in Nursing: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Become a leader in mental health care and treatment. 

Nurse practitioners (NPs) focus on the health and well-being being of whole person. The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program qualifies graduates to assess, diagnose and treat individuals’ and groups’ mental health needs. PMHNPs prescribe medication and administer psychotherapy as part of their patients’ treatment plans. Most PMHNPs maintain their own medical practices, but some work under the supervision of a physician according to state guidelines.

This MSN degree offers a combination of advanced theory and clinical education. Coursework topics include psychiatric nursing theory, pathophysiology, health assessment, quality healthcare improvement, health policy, and research design. Through hands-on clinical experiences, students gain the skills necessary to practice with autonomy.

Entry Paths & Courses of Study
The MSN: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner degree is a 43- to 49-credit program of study depending upon entry path. The PMHNP Post-Master Certificate requires a minimum of 19 credits.

M.S. Nursing – for nursing baccalaureate-prepared RNs

MSN Bridge Option – for non-nursing baccalaureate-prepared RNs

RN to MS Option – for experienced
associate degree or diploma prepared RNs

Post-Master’s Certificate – for RNs with an MSN degree seeking PMHNP-BC

Rivier offers multiple term starts throughout the year.

Licensure & Accreditation
Registered nurses (RNs) who complete this advanced degree coursework and clinical practicum (if necessary) are qualified to sit for the national exam to become a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC).

The overall American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) pass rate for first-time Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner candidates is 88.03%. This pass rate exceeds the overall ANCC pass rate of 81.69%.

Rivier University’s ASN, BSN, MSN, Post-Master’s Certificates and DNP programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, Ga 30326, (404) 975-5000,

Visit the Department of Nursing and Health Professions
Rivier’s high-quality, hands-on bachelor’s and master’s programs prepare students for leadership roles in a global environment. For more information, Visit the Department of Nursing and Health Professions.


MSN: Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner graduates can pursue leadership roles as:

  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Many other nursing leadership roles

Rivier’s Career Development Center (CDC) provides professional advising, assistance with resume development and career planning, and job search information. For a complete list of CDC resources, .