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

Last Updated/Verified: Dec 17, 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.

Compare the 2021 Top Ranked Online PMHNP Post-Master's Certificate Programs

Finding a great online Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Post-Master's Certificate program is the first step for NPs who wish to enter this unique area of care. For those interested in switching to this specialty, we have analyzed and ranked the best online PMHNP Post-Master's Certificate programs below. Browse to find a great program option, or visit our Methodology page to find out more about how we develop our rankings.

1.
Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL

Overview:

Florida State's post-master's certificate in Psychiatric Mental Health is available to NPs who wish to advance their nursing careers in this specialty. The program covers comprehensive and integrative psychiatric health care. Its theory-based courses are delivered online, and supervised clinicals across three psychotherapeutic modalities must be completed in person.

Highlights:

  • Prerequisites include advanced health assessment, pathophysiology, and pharmacology
  • Real-time video conferencing occurs in many courses
  • Additional pediatric or APRN coursework may be required
Graduate Certificate Programs
2.
Washburn University

Topeka, KS

Overview:

Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas offers an online Psychiatric Mental Health post-master's certificate program for NPs seeking to specialize. Courses from the public university teach students to assess and care for patients with psychiatric disorders across all age groups, using both pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods.

Highlights:

  • Online courses are mostly self-paced rather than scheduled
  • Clinicals may be completed at locations convenient to students
  • Graduates are eligible to test for national board certification
3.
Southeastern Louisiana University

Hammond, LA

Overview:

With a focus on medical and psychiatric integrative care, Southeastern Louisiana University offers a Psychiatric Mental Health certificate only for advanced nurses licensed in the state of Louisiana. The online offering includes both theory and didactic courses, including diagnosing psychiatric disorders and psychopharmacology.

Highlights:

  • In-person practicums must be completed in-state
  • Graduates can apply for the advanced practice PMHNP license and exam
  • Readies graduates to treat mental health conditions across all ages

 

4.
National University

San Diego, CA

Overview:

Based in San Diego, National University offers an online Psychiatric-Mental Health post-master's certificate program for advanced nurses. The specialty teaches students how to make psychiatric assessments, diagnoses and treatment plans for patients in a number of clinical settings. NU is veteran-founded and veteran-focused.

Highlights:

  • Fast-paced courses are delivered via both asynchronous and synchronous methods
  • Graduates can sit for the Psychiatric-Mental Health, competency-based exam
  • NU is a non-profit university geared toward working adults
Graduate Certificate Programs
5.
Massachusetts College Of Pharmacy And Health Sciences

Boston, MA

Overview:

Based in Boston, the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences offers an online Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certificate program for nurses with advanced degrees. Students engage directly with patients of all ages to deliver care for their psychiatric conditions. Courses cover advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, psychopharmacology, and mental health counseling.

Highlights:

  • Three on-campus meetings are required to complete the program
  • Students complete home-state based, in-person clinicals
  • MCPHS is an almost 200-year-old institution of higher learning
Graduate Certificate Programs

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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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:

Alabama

The University of Alabama
  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner- Post Graduate Certificate
Tuscaloosa, AL

Alaska

University of Alaska Anchorage
  • Graduate Certificate in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Hybrid
Anchorage, AK

Arizona

University of Arizona
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate
Tucson, AZ

California

Brandman University
  • Post Doctoral Certificate, Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Hybrid
Irvine, CA
National University
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate
San Diego, CA

Colorado

University of Colorado
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Aurora, CO

Florida

Florida Atlantic University
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Boca Raton, FL
Florida State University
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Certificate
Tallahassee, FL

Georgia

Augusta University
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
Augusta, GA
Georgia College
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Post-Masters Certificate
Milledgeville, GA
Georgia State University
  • Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Hybrid
Atlanta, GA

Illinois

Lewis University
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Post-Masters Certificate
Romeoville, IL
University of St. Francis
  • Post Master’s Certificate: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Joliet, IL

Indiana

University of Southern Indiana
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMH)
Evansville, IN

Iowa

University of Iowa
  • Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Iowa City, IA

Kansas

University of Kansas
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate
Kansas City, KS
Washburn University
  • Post-Graduate Certificate - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Online Program
Topeka, KS

Kentucky

Eastern Kentucky University
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate (Post-MSN)
Richmond, KY
Frontier Nursing University
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Hyden, KY
University of Kentucky College of Nursing
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing Hybrid
Lexington, KY
Western Kentucky University
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Bowling Green, KY

Louisiana

McNeese State University
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Lake Charles, LA
Southeastern Louisiana University
  • Nurse Practitioner to Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Hammond, LA

Maryland

Johns Hopkins University
  • Post-Master's Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate
Baltimore, MD

Massachusetts

Massachusetts College Of Pharmacy And Health Sciences
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (CAGS)
Boston, MA
Regis College
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Weston, MA

Missouri

Maryville University
  • PMHNP (Psychiatric Mental Health)
St. Louis, MO
University of Missouri - St. Louis
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Hybrid
St. Louis, MO

New Jersey

Monmouth University
  • Advanced Practice Nursing: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
West Long Branch, NJ

New Mexico

The University of New Mexico
  • Post Master's Certificate Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Hybrid
Albuquerque, NM

New York

Hunter College
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Advanced Certificate Hybrid
NY, NY
Stony Brook University
  • Advanced Certificate - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Hybrid
Stony Brook, NY

North Dakota

University of North Dakota
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Grand Forks, ND

Ohio

Case Western Reserve University
  • Family Systems Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Hybrid
Cleveland, OH
Ohio University
  • Post-Master's Online Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate
Athens, OH
Otterbein University
  • Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Post-Master’s Certificate Hybrid
Westerville, OH
University of Cincinnati
  • Post-Master's Certificate - Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Hybrid
Cincinnati, OH

Pennsylvania

Drexel University
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Hybrid
Philadelphia, PA
Robert Morris University
  • Post-Master's Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Online Campus
Moon Township, PA

South Carolina

Anderson University
  • Post-Graduate Nursing Certificate - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Anderson, SC
University of South Carolina
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
Columbia, SC

South Dakota

South Dakota State University
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Brookings, SD

Tennessee

East Tennessee State University
  • Post-Graduate Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate Hybrid
Johnson City, TN
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center- Memphis
  • Post-DNP Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Memphis, TN

Vermont

Norwich University
  • Post-Master’s Certificate: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
Northfield, VT

Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Hybrid
Madison, WI