Looking at psych NP programs


Hi ,

Any suggestions for the quickest route to becoming a MHPNP? Not that I'm trying to take the easiest route because there is no such thing, but age considered, I am 59. Does anyone know of an online masters program ? Thanks-truly appreciative! (finally have BSN)


112 Posts

There are tons of online PMHNP programs (which I assume is what you meant). Literally hundreds. Fewer have PMHNP than FNP but still many.

To start, look at local universities where you live and see if they have an online program. It's good to go to a known program local to your area that also has a in-person BSN program: It will make it easier to find a job because of connections and because it will be a known school to employers. Look at their GPA and other requirements. If your cumulative GPA is higher than 3.5 you should be good almost anywhere. If you're over 3.0 you'll have options but may need to apply to more schools.

Talk to NPs where you live (even those that aren't PMHNP) and ask them where they went to school.

If there are none local to you, then you'll need to search wider. It's hard to know where to suggest without knowing where you live. If you live in Seattle then Seattle U or Gonzaga are good choices. If you're in North Carolina, UNC would be good.

The other things to consider are: Accreditation. Whether or not the school finds preceptors or if you have to find them yourself - a big problem for some students. Cost. Time to complete. If a GRE is needed to apply. Whether or not some in-person sessions are required.


462 Posts

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association has a comprehensive list of all the programs, might be easier to start there so you can break down your search by state. Where do you live? Several of the programs have a hybrid type classroom where you only need to attend campus a few days a month/semester. Another thing to consider is whether the program will find preceptors for you...if you don't have great connections already that is an additional stressor you might have to deal with if you choose a long distance program.

Specializes in PMHNP-BC. Has 38 years experience.

Thank you for your great advice. I'm in AZ and the only local online program for PMHNP is the DNP program at ASU. Thank you for your help.


462 Posts

I have heard really excellent things about that program! Look into the WICHE program too, some of the NP programs in the Western states offer in state tuition if you live in a partnering state. This isn't true for all though so you'll want to go to the the website and see which ones participate (OHSU only offers for DNP for example, and almost none of the programs in CA participate). Feel free to PM me if you'd like some support, I'm looking at getting my Psych NP myself in a year or 2 (live in CO).


5 Posts

Ive done tons of research for online Psych ANP programs, there are some really good ones out there, 2 of them that I really considered are Frontier and Eastern Kentucky, both of them happen to be in KY. I ended up wussing out and going to my local university since I did my undergrad there and just know the program, but Im about half way done now, cant wait!!!

Specializes in Emergency, Psych. Has 8 years experience.

I'm currently finishing up a PMHNP program. Expect to invest 2 - 3 years of your life. I'd go for a MSN PMHNP not the DNP. You can always get a DNP later if you want and it's not required for licensure in any state as of yet. Alot of the DNP programs are not conferring MSNs along the way so you have to wait until your DNP is complete to sit for boards. If you want opinions from students who are currently in a PMHNP program join the Facebook group PMHNP's and More . It's a FB group dedicated to PMHNP students and those looking to find a preceptor. Most PMHNP programs, even brick and mortor ones, make you find you own preceptors now and do not assist. This is far harder than it sounds.

Specializes in PMHNP-BC. Has 38 years experience.

Thank you everyone for all the good advice!


306 Posts

Has 25 years experience.

EKU has a good reputation from what I've read, and MIZZOU has an excellent program as well.