Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Postgraduate Certificate

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Program at a Glance

  • This online program is designed for RNs interested in advancing their career as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP).*
  • Prepare to sit for the PMHNP-BC certification exam.
  • The postgraduate online certificate program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
  • Prepare for opportunities in both virtual or in-person mental health services.
Upcoming Start Dates

We offer multiple start dates to give you flexibility in your education, life, and work schedules.

Course Effort
15–18 Hours per Week
Course Length
10-Week Terms
Average Completion
1 year
Of Full-Time Study
Credits Required
(32 Semester Credits)
Cost per Credit
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Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Postgraduate Certificate Overview

Are you a registered nurse with a master’s degree who is interested in making an impact in one of the most critical areas of health care? With the shortage of psychiatrists along with an increased demand for mental health care, the nation is facing an urgent need for nurses equipped to provide such services.

Learn to assess, diagnose, monitor, treat, and manage psychiatric mental health disorders, medical organic brain disorders, substance abuse problems, and complex co-occurring diseases and disorders across the lifespan.

Gain the skills to:

  • Collaborate with the individual and other health care professionals to provide high-quality, holistic psychiatric mental health care services.
  • Serve as an advocate for individuals as they interact with the health care system.
  • Demonstrate the safe, effective practice of psychiatric mental health through management of both health and illness states.
  • Provide culturally sensitive care in a manner that is responsive to the client's cultural and spiritual beliefs.

Note: At this time, residents of the following states and territories may not enroll in this program: District of Columbia, Hawaii, Louisiana, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Guam. In addition, international students are not eligible to enroll in the program.

CCNE Accredited Logo

The postgraduate APRN certificate programs at Purdue Global are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

Purdue Global Is Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

The HLC ( is an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Clinical Practice Experience

Apply theoretical knowledge in a real-world setting. As part of the postgraduate certificate program, you will participate in a series of clinical practice sessions at a health care facility or clinical site to gain valuable real-world experience.

Contact an Admissions Advisor for more information about the number of hours needed to complete the clinical requirement.

Admissions Requirements

A master's degree with an upper-level major in nursing and an approved criminal background check is required. You will need to provide an official transcript that shows completion of your master's degree from an accredited institution, though an unofficial copy may be provided during the application process. Additional requirements apply. Refer to the program-specific policy page in the University Catalog or speak to an Advisor to learn more.

Ways to Save

  • Transfer Credits

    Earn credit for prior coursework completed at eligible institutions, including community colleges.

    Save Time and Money on Your Degree

  • Financial Aid

    Title IV federal financial aid is available for many of our degree programs.

    Financial Aid FAQ

  • Corporate Partner Benefits

    Employees of Purdue Global partner organizations may be eligible for special tuition reductions.

    Employee Savings and Benefits

  • Military Tuition Reduction

    55% reduction per credit for current servicemembers, 38% per credit for veterans for undergraduate programs.

    Tuition Savings for Military

Program Cost Estimator

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Prepare for Certification

Upon completion of the postgraduate certificate program, you may be eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification. This certification addresses populations across the lifespan.

After earning the certification, you may be academically eligible for licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse in any state in which the program is available for enrollment.

Faculty With Real-World Experience

Our faculty has decades of nursing experience and brings real-world knowledge to the classroom. Many hold doctorates or advanced nursing certifications; all faculty members possess at least a master’s degree; and several faculty members are certified PMHNPs.

What Courses Will I Take?

The online PMHNP Postgraduate Certificate program features immersive learning, with virtual reality (VR) assignments that encompass telehealth and group therapy sessions. Coursework trains you to synthesize theoretical and scientific knowledge to provide optimal mental health care in diverse communities.

See All Nursing Courses
Sample Courses
  • Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology Across the Life Span
  • Advanced Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics
  • Neuroscience and Psychopharmacology
  • Psychopathological Disorders and Psychotherapy

Program Requirements

  • Core Credits
  • Total Credits

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Career Opportunities

Graduates deliver critical, in-demand mental health care services. Areas of practice include virtual mental health care, acute care and primary care settings in hospitals, community centers, residential settings, prisons, private practices, or collaborative practices with other specialties.

Top 5 Skills Employers Are Looking for:

  1. Active Listening
  2. Critical Thinking
  3. Reading Comprehension
  4. Social Perceptiveness
  5. Service Orientation

Top Jobs With This Degree

Labor market, salary, and projected growth information are supplied by Emsi. Average salary range is based on national data. Projected growth represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2018–2030) at the state level and is based on your geographic location. Actual outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience, and opportunities for employment. Purdue Global cannot guarantee employment placement, salary level, or career advancement. Additional certification or licensing may be required to work in certain fields. Prior experience may be necessary for leadership positions.

Get to Know Our Faculty

Purdue Global faculty members are real-world practitioners who bring knowledge gained through the powerful combination of higher learning and industry experience.

View Nursing Faculty Directory
grad hat icon 98% Faculty members who have advanced degrees
diploma icon 51% Faculty members who hold a doctorate
tablet icon 395 Faculty publications in 2021–2022
student at desk icon More Than 38,000 Professional development hours logged by faculty in 2021–2022

Statistics include all Purdue Global faculty members and are not school or program-specific calculations. Source: Purdue Global Office of Reporting and Analysis, July 2022. 2021–2022 academic year.

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*100% Online: Some Purdue Global programs are not 100% online; some programs require you to gain hands-on experience in a real-world work environment. Contact an Admissions Advisor for additional information.

Purdue Global does not guarantee employment or career advancement. Actual outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience and opportunities for employment. Additional training and experience may be necessary for leadership positions. Additional certification or licensing may be required to work in certain fields.

Nursing Licensure: Graduates who pass the relevant certification exam may be academically eligible for licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse in any state in which the program is available for enrollment. Licensure-track programs may limit enrollment to students in certain states; please refer to Purdue Global’s State Licensure and Certifications page for state-specific licensure information. The University cannot guarantee students will be eligible to sit for or pass exams.

Please note that most states require nurses to be nationally certified and to have completed an accredited graduate nursing program in order to obtain licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse. Each national certification provider and state Board of Nursing will have eligibility requirements in addition to these educational requirements, such as passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they are eligible for state Board of Nursing approval and certification as an advanced practice registered nurse in their state. Students can obtain additional information from their state's Board of Nursing, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).