Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program prepares graduates for advanced specialty practice with a dual emphasis on intervention through psychotherapy and psychopharmacology. PMHNPs intervene with vulnerable populations and promote mental health across the lifespan.

Mental health is a critical calling, and the world needs providers now more than ever. Earning your PMHNP requires a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to become a nurse practitioner (CNP) and certification by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Oak Point University is your answer to get the qualifications, skills, and confidence that you need for success.

The primary focus of the program is to prepare the graduate to:

  • promote, maintain, supervise, and restore mental health,
  • identify health risks, and
  • assess, diagnose, and manage mental health issues.

This program prepares advanced practice nurses to manage:

  • psychiatric mental health disorders,
  • medical organic brain disorders,
  • substance abuse problems, and
  • complex co-occurring disease processes and disorders across the lifespan

to deliver primary and preventive care, and to participate in the development of appropriate policy and evidence-based practice.

The ability to function as an educator, leader, consultant, advocate, and change agent is essential to the development of clinical expertise in this role.

100% Online coursework

Complete coursework on your schedule—anytime, anywhere.

Only 4 In-Person Weekend Labs*

Simulate real-world scenarios in our intensive, skill-building labs at our state-of-the-art facility in Oak Brook.

Clinical Placement Assistance

Leverage your existing network or work with us to find the proper clinical placement—our valued partners are vital to the Oak Point community.

Two Pathways for PMHNP Specialization

Master of Science in Nursing Option

The MSN option is designed for the student who has:

  • a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and
  • an active RN license.

The curriculum is comprised of a minimum of:

  • 46.5 credit hours including
  • 510 clinical hours.


Post-Master Certificate Option

The Post-Master’s Certificate option is designed for the student who has:

  • a Master of Science in Nursing and
  • an active CNP license.

The curriculum is comprised of a minimum of:

  • 24.5 credit hours including
  • 510 clinical hours.


Created for Today’s Mental Health Advocates

Ideal candidates who are:

  • self-motivated and seek flexible learning options that blend the convenience of online classes with hands-on, skill-building labs for simulating real-world scenarios.
  • savvy professionals seeking to differentiate themselves with specialized skills.
  • continuous learners taking advantage of professional growth opportunities.
  • passionate healthcare advocates who want to lead, not manage.

Graduate Skill- and Certification-Ready

Clinical Practice Experience

Graduate students will complete a series of clinical practice sessions designed to provide the opportunity for the application of theoretical knowledge while working with a designated, qualified preceptor. The clinical practice experience occurs in a variety of clinical sites.

Certification Exams

Upon completion of the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner MSN and post-graduate certificate programs, individuals will be eligible to sit for the psychiatric-mental certification examination offered by the:

  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

The Critical Need for Mental Health Experts

Experts suggest that growth for mental health experts will continue due to an aging population, a shortage of mental health workers, and increased government support for nursing programs post-COVID-19. For 2016–2026, the national projected labor market growth rate for mental health nursing-related jobs is 28.2%­, much greater than the average of 5.2%.

Important updates regarding the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).