Online Post-Master’s PMHNP Programs – What’s the Best Program for You?

Last Updated/Verified: Jul 7, 2021

Earning a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) post-master’s certificate can be a great way to break into mental health nursing as a career if you’ve already finished your MSN. Nurses need to have completed a graduate degree before they enter a post-master’s certificate program (sometimes referred to as a post-graduate certificate program). Nurses entering a post-master’s certificate program need to have a current, unencumbered nursing license, as well as one to two years of experience working in a mental health nursing setting. 

Why Get a Post-Master’s Psychiatric-Mental Health NP Certificate?

Earning a post-master’s certificate can be an efficient way to earn a specialty certification as a nurse practitioner, especially if you’re not interested in getting another graduate degree. After earning a post-master’s certificate, many psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners go on to open their own private practice. Others work within a network of mental health professionals in a counseling office. Other options include working in private or public healthcare systems, addiction rehabilitation centers, or hospitals for people with mental health issues.

Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of taking this path.


  • Provides education on both direct patient care and healthcare policy and administration
  • Efficient route to mental health specialty
  • Quicker and more cost-effective than pursuing an additional MSN or a DNP


  • May be a needless step if you do think you might want to earn a doctorate one day
  • Provides less training in leadership and administration than a DNP program
  • Culminates in a certificate and not a degree

How to Choose an Online Post-Master’s Psychiatric-Mental Health NP Certificate Program

Most PMHNP post-graduate certificate programs take roughly one to two years to complete for most students, depending on part-time or full-time study. The total number of credits required can vary depending on your prior education – most programs require approximately 20 credits for graduation. As you browse your psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner post-master’s certificate program options, you’ll see several fully online programs as well as hybrid options. A hybrid program can provide you with the one on one interaction with faculty you may not receive in an online program.

Post-Master’s PMHNP Certificate Curriculum

Over the course of your PMHNP post-master’s certificate program, you’ll take courses in advanced practice, healthcare policy, and psychiatry. Required courses may include:

  • Psychopathological disorders across the lifespan
  • Clinical psychiatric diagnostics and management for children
  • Neurobiology and psychopharmacology
  • Clinical psychiatric diagnostics and management for adults

Most post-graduate certificate programs for nurse practitioners in the psychiatric-mental health specialty require approximately 500 hours of clinical work. It’s likely that you’ll be able to complete most or all of this work at your current job if you’re working as a nurse in mental health.

List of Online Post-Master’s Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate Programs

Find out more about online PMHNP post-master’s certificate programs near you by browsing the listings below.

Select Your State:


The University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL


University of Alaska Anchorage
Anchorage, AK


University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ


Brandman University
Irvine, CA
National University
San Diego, CA


University of Colorado
Aurora, CO


Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, FL
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL


Augusta University
Augusta, GA
Georgia State University
Atlanta, GA


University of St. Francis
Joliet, IL


University of Southern Indiana
Evansville, IN


University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA


University of Kansas
Kansas City, KS
Washburn University
Topeka, KS


Eastern Kentucky University
Richmond, KY
Frontier Nursing University
Hyden, KY
University of Kentucky College of Nursing
Lexington, KY
Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, KY


McNeese State University
Lake Charles, LA
Southeastern Louisiana University
Hammond, LA


Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD


Massachusetts College Of Pharmacy And Health Sciences
Boston, MA
Regis University
Weston, MA


Maryville University
St. Louis, MO
University of Missouri - St. Louis
St. Louis, MO

New Jersey

Monmouth University
West Long Branch, NJ

New Mexico

The University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM

New York

Hunter College
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY

North Dakota

University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, ND


Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH
Ohio University
Athens, OH
Otterbein University
Westerville, OH
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH


Drexel University
Philadelphia, PA
Robert Morris University
Moon Township, PA

South Carolina

University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC

South Dakota

South Dakota State University
Brookings, SD


East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, TN
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center- Memphis
Memphis, TN


University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI