Care for the Full Spectrum of Patient Needs with Liberty’s DNP – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Degree
There is a critical shortage of mental health professionals in the United States and around the world. Regular nurse practitioners are qualified to address many health problems, but they lack expertise in the area of mental health.
That’s where Liberty’s online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) degree comes in. This program will help you develop a holistic approach to patient care, so you can qualify for a wider variety of nursing jobs.
If you are a nurse practitioner seeking specialized mental health training, Liberty can help. In this DNP program, you’ll learn how to assess, diagnose, and treat the mental health needs of your patients. Upon graduation, you’ll be eligible to obtain state licensure and national certification as a psychiatric mental health practitioner.
To qualify for this program, you must be a licensed nurse practitioner with an MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) degree. We’ll help you develop the skills needed to provide mental health services to patients in a variety of settings. You’ll also receive advanced training in nursing administration, healthcare research, and best nursing care practices.
Partner with us and prepare to take your nursing career to the next level.
Liberty’s baccalaureate degree in nursing, master’s degree in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post-graduate APRN certificate are all accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Additionally, Liberty is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Why Choose Liberty University’s PMHNP Degree?
As pioneers in distance education since 1985, we’re committed to offering high-quality programs that fit your schedule. At Liberty, you’ll benefit from flexible courses, affordable tuition rates, and practical training that equips you for the real world.
Choosing Liberty means choosing…
Flexibility | Our psych DNP program is available 100% online, and the classes have no set login times. You can complete your coursework whenever and wherever it’s most convenient for you — without needing to relocate to attend classes on campus. The best part? You can stay invested in your family and career while earning your degree!
Respected Credentials | Liberty’s online DNP – Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Upon graduation, you’ll be eligible to take the American Credentialing Center Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner national certification exam. By completing our rigorous curriculum, you can obtain state licensure and national certification as a PMHNP.
Experienced Faculty | All of our PMHNP professors have years of experience as psychiatric nurse practitioners. With their guidance, you can develop marketable skills that will help set you apart from the competition. For some of your courses, you’ll have weekly online meetings with your professors, allowing you to further benefit from their mentorship.
Biblical Principles | As a Christian university, Liberty’s goal is to help you lead with integrity in the workplace. Our courses seek to integrate ethical principles with professional knowledge. That way, you can make medical decisions that are clinically and biblically sound.
Military Tuition Discount
Lead your field with the doctoral degree you want — at a price you’ve earned. As a thank-you for your military service, Liberty University offers current and former service members like you or your spouse multiple pathways to earn a doctoral degree for only $300/credit hour. Find out how you can take advantage of this unique opportunity and reach the pinnacle of your profession — for less.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a psychiatric nurse practitioner?
Mental health nurse practitioners help patients overcome and cope with various psychiatric disorders. They can identify, treat, and manage symptoms resulting from many different mental illnesses, including anxiety, depression, substance abuse, schizophrenia, trauma, and personality disorders.
PMHNPs are also trained in regular nurse practitioner (NP) duties, so they can offer a holistic approach to healthcare — one that integrates physical and mental health concerns. By pursuing certification in psychiatric nursing, you can increase your career prospects and provide even better care to your patients.
Are psychiatric nurse practitioners in demand?
Yes! According to the Bureau of Health Workforce, the demand for PMHNPs is projected to grow 18% through 2030.* There is a critical shortage of mental health service providers around the world — and earning your psychiatric nurse practitioner degree is a great way to help meet this need.
*Bureau of Health Workforce, at Behavioral Health Workforce Projections, 2016-2030: Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners, Psychiatric Physician Assistants (viewed online October 29, 2020). Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
Can a mental health nurse practitioner prescribe medication?
You’ll want to check the requirements in your state — but in general, mental health nurse practitioners can prescribe medications and other controlled substances.
What is the difference between a psychiatric nurse practitioner and a psychiatrist?
While psychiatric NPs hold nursing degrees, psychiatrists must attend medical school. Both PMHNPs and psychiatrists typically perform many of the same duties.
However, different states have different laws governing the responsibilities of psychiatric NPs. Depending on where you work as a PMHNP, there may be some restrictions on the types of treatment or care you can provide. Be sure to check the exact requirements of the state you want to work in.
How long does it take to earn a DNP – PMHNP degree?
You can complete Liberty’s MSN to DNP – PMHNP online degree in about 3 years. We offer a fast, flexible path to graduation that lets you earn your degree without putting your life on hold.
What Will You Learn in Our MSN to DNP – PMHNP Online Program?
Learn how to meet all of your patients’ health needs — both physical and mental.
This post-MSN degree is broken down into 3 main parts: core nursing courses, project and practicum classes, and the PMHNP specialization. Throughout the program, you will explore the theoretical, clinical, and administrative aspects of nursing. With this knowledge, you can develop innovative solutions to healthcare challenges and become a leader in the industry.
Our core DNP courses provide a solid foundation in translational research, evidence-based care, leadership and policy, clinical prevention, healthcare operations, and interprofessional collaboration. You’ll learn how to approach nursing from an ethical perspective, so you can make medical decisions that are morally and scientifically sound.
Learn how to treat patients with mental health disorders and substance abuse problems. The PMHNP cognate dives into the essentials of psychiatric mental health nursing. You will analyze the various causes of mental disorders, including injury, trauma, disease, genetics, and developmental problems. You’ll also learn how to conduct diagnostic tests, treat disorders using psychotherapy and psychopharmacology, and help patients avoid acute psychiatric issues.
Before graduating, you will complete extensive DNP and PMHNP practicums, allowing you to gain marketable, hands-on experience. You’ll also write and defend a scholarly project based on original research, so you can contribute to the base of knowledge in your field.
Please note: In support of students and in compliance with the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) requirements, Liberty University School of Nursing DNP and APRN Certificate programs work with students to provide precepted practicum placements. During this time of COVID 19, many hospitals and clinics have closed their sites to nurse practitioner and DNP students. This may lead to sites being unavailable to students for a time. This inability to place students in practicum sites may delay enrollment in practicum courses and ultimately graduation.
- NURS 700 – Advanced Nursing Research
- NURS 721 – Leadership, Policy, and Ethics
- NURS 752 – Clinical Psychopharmacology
- NURS 753 – Psychotherapeutic Theories, Frameworks, and Modalities
DNP – Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Online Degree Information
- This program falls under the School of Nursing.
- Download and review the Degree Completion Plan for Liberty University’s DNP – PMHNP program.
- View the Graduate Nursing Course Guides (login required).
- Please review our FAQ sheet for more information.
- Some courses have synchronous login times.
Additional Psychiatric DNP in Mental Health Program Information
Students must hold a current and active RN license within the United States.
Enrollment in one of Liberty University’s licensure programs does not guarantee a degree from Liberty or qualification for licensure. Students are responsible for meeting all academic and professional requirements for graduation. Further information regarding these academic and professional requirements are outlined on this program page and on the full admission page linked on the Admission Requirements tab. Students enrolled in a licensure program are responsible for knowing the material outlined for their program. Further, it is the sole responsibility of the student, not the institution, to obtain information regarding prerequisites for licensure as outlined by their particular state Board of Nursing.
Licensure requirements for any state are subject to change without notice. Liberty University is not responsible for knowing when changes occur. Additionally, there might be other states with unique licensure requirements. Please reference our State Requirements for NP and APRN Licensure page for further information.
Liberty University Online State Approval Disclosure
Students residing in the state of Washington are currently unable to complete their practicum within the state. However, it is possible for students to complete their practicum in neighboring states. Please contact the School of Nursing for more information.
The School of Nursing is unable to approve students to participate in practicums in the state of California. This is due to CA regulations which indicate that out-of-state Nurse Practitioner programs requesting clinical placements in a clinical practice setting must now obtain board approval. The board has not created an application or formalized process at this time. Students may be eligible for an appeal if they are able to complete the practicum requirements in a neighboring state.
Currently, Liberty’s DNP programs are not approved for students to participate in practicum requirements in the state of Louisiana. The LA Board of Nursing requires approval for all APRN programs and practicums. The School of Nursing will be seeking board approval; however, until granted, students are not permitted to participate in clinical/practicums in the state.
DNP – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Jobs
By earning a psychiatric DNP degree, you could work as a clinical researcher or nursing administrator. You’ll also be qualified to work as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) in the following settings:
- Behavioral health clinics
- Correctional facilities
- Domestic violence shelters
- General practitioners’ offices
- Inpatient or outpatient psychiatric facilities
- Mental health agencies
- Private practices
- Residential treatment centers
- Veteran psychiatric facilities
Admission Requirements for Liberty’s Psych DNP Program Online
A regionally or nationally accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing with a 3.0 or above GPA is required for admission in good standing. Please visit our admission requirements page for more detailed admissions related information. An interview may be requested for selected applicants.
At this time, our DNP – PMHNP program is unable to accept international students or students residing in New York.
In support of students and in compliance with the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) requirements, Liberty University School of Nursing DNP and APRN Certificate programs work with students to provide precepted practicum placements. During this time of COVID 19, many hospitals and clinics have closed their sites to nurse practitioner and DNP students. This may lead to sites being unavailable to students for a time. This inability to place students in practicum sites may delay enrollment in practicum courses and ultimately graduation.
All applicants must submit the following:
- Admission application
- Application fee*
- Official college transcripts**
- Current and active RN license
- Active APRN license and active national certification for nurse practitioners
- American Heart Association BLS for healthcare providers with AED
- 1 professional or academic recommender contact information
- Statement of purpose
- Practicum hour verification form
- Proof of English proficiency
*There is no upfront application fee; however, a deferred $50 application fee will be assessed during financial check-in. This fee is waived for qualifying service members, veterans, and military spouses — documentation verifying military status is required.
**Upon admission, if official transcripts do not show successfully passed graduate coursework in the following areas, students may be required to take additional courses as prerequisites to NURS 751: advanced physical health assessment, pathophysiology, pharmacology.
Highlights of Liberty University’s Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner School Online
- Liberty is ranked in the top 1% of more than 2,100 online colleges and universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility by BestColleges.com — and one of the top 10 online schools in America by Niche.com. Earning your online DNP – PMHNP degree from a nonprofit university with this kind of recognition will set you apart from others in your field.
- Your success is our success, which is why we’re committed to providing quality academics at an affordable tuition rate. While other colleges are increasing their tuition, we have frozen tuition rates for our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs for the past 6 years — and counting.
- Our MSN to DNP – Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner degree is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
- Liberty is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
- Upon graduation, you’ll be eligible to take the American Credentialing Center Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner exam.
- Our PMHNP courses are only 8 weeks long, with 8 different start dates offered each year and no set login times.
Doctoral Nursing Information and Q&A Webinar
Below is an archived recording of the Doctoral Nursing informational webinar. Please note that this webinar covers all nursing doctoral programs. If you have further questions about a specific program, please request information.