Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

Master's Degree

Online Program

Next Start Dates
July 05, 2022
October 03, 2022

27 months Estimated time to completion with full-time study1

CCNE Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education2

Online program Value and flexibility for working nurses

Mental Healthcare Needs Your Leadership

At Rasmussen, you will develop competencies as a PMHNP leader who is ready to deliver mental and behavioral healthcare to diverse populations. Our program is designed to prepare nurses for a career in mental health as holistic practitioners and expert clinicians. Every element of the program, from faculty interaction to online coursework, is created to balance patient care and the science of psychiatric mental health. You’ll experience:

  • Empowered Learning through eleven-week courses that allow flexibility to spend time on the areas you need to strengthen
  • Technology-focused nursing classes that prepare you for future technological advancements and innovations
  • Doctorally-prepared nursing faculty who will share their wealth of experiences, knowledge and connections to further your preparation in the field
  • Dedicated support team of advisors, faculty, practicum coordinators, library resources and 24/7 support center
  • Coursework and practicum experiences that prepare you to sit for the PMHNP board certification exam
  • Final practicum experience where you can choose the population and setting in the mental health area you want to focus in

Logo: CCNE accreditation 

This program specialization is NOT eligible for participation in Title IV federal student aid programs. With four start dates per year, no GRE®5 requirement and no application fee, you can start your online PMHNP program right away.

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Sample PMHNP Courses

PMHNP Courses for the Care of Mind and Body

Upon graduation, you will be eligible to sit for the national PMHNP board certification exam. You will then be prepared to help treat and diagnose mental health concerns in a variety of patient settings.

To help prepare you, we offer a unique combination of online PMHNP program courses, four practicum experiences and an immersive residential experience that ensures you are ready to be successful in your practicums. Your passions and community influence your practicum experiences. In your final practicum, you choose a setting, population base or age grouping within mental health—and we help support you through the process.

  • Foundations of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Practice (NGR 6262)

    Online // 4 Credits

    Introduces the roles, scope and standards of practice of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioners. Analyzes how ethical, legal, social and cultural factors impact mental health across the lifespan.

  • Psychopathology and Neurobiology of Mental Health Disorders (NGR 6462)

    Online // 4 Credits

    Focuses on the neurobiology and psychopathology of mental health disorders. Explores the development of mental health disorders based on nature and nurture components.

  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Practicum Experiences

    Practicum I

    In-Person // 4 Credits

    Focuses on child, adolescent and family care. Identifies the appropriate care, intervention and education for the patient, family and caregivers.

    Practicum II

    In-Person // 4 Credits

    Applies therapeutic interviewing, evaluation and formulation of treatment plans for adults with psychiatric disorders.

    Practicum III

    In-Person // 4 Credits

    Applies therapeutic interviewing, evaluation and formulation of treatment plans for aging adults with psychiatric disorders.

  • Final Practicum

    In-Person // 4 Credits

    Provides an opportunity for students to work with patients within the student’s particular areas of interest. Refines skills of therapeutic interviewing, assessment and diagnosis, and formulation of treatment plans for patients with psychiatric disorders.

PMHNP Program Design

Become an Expert Clinician and Balanced Practitioner

Be prepared for more than just certification. Every element of the PMHNP program is designed to practice the art and science balance of working with mental health patients. In addition to experienced faculty and online courses, you’ll learn through:

Residential Immersion and Pre-Clinical Readiness

A weekend campus visit, simulation, teleheath, actors and assessment-based activities help you gain the experiences needed to make sure you are prepared for clinical work.

Treatment Modalities

Modern treatment modalities training, such as telehealth, help you provide the best care in today’s innovative healthcare environment.

Four Practicum Experiences

Gain the confidence you need to help patients across the lifespan. Choose opportunities in your area of interest and where you’ll be able to make the biggest impact.

Technology-Forward Learning

Get on the cutting edge with nursing classes that better prepare you for technology-driven patient care.

Josh Hamilton

"Some of the happiest, most fulfilling moments come from watching our clients change, grow, succeed and achieve."

Dean & Graduate Program Director, School of Nursing

Dedicated Support

From start to finish, you’ll be supported by a team who understands the demands of a nurse practitioner program. Your graduate services advisor will be your dedicated guide through course scheduling, financial aid for those who qualify, program navigation and more.

Industry-Leading Faculty

Faculty and leadership are experienced nurses who have been in your shoes. Their diverse specialties, experience, accomplishments and credentials are why we chose them to support you and challenge you to be your best.

Personalized Practicums

Our clinical practicum coordinator does what it takes to make sure your clinical experiences are the right fit for you. With their support, you can focus on what matters most in your learning.

Take the Next Step—Talk to Us!

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Affordable Education

Tuition & Savings

Do the Math

We are committed to providing affordable tuition and breaking down the numbers so that you can see how achievable your goals are. With four start dates per year, 11-week terms and a total of 15 courses, full-time students can finish in nine quarters, or just over two years1 for as low as $43,375.7 This program specialization is NOT eligible for participation in Title IV federal student aid programs.

It begins with core MSN Credits
$155 cost per MSN credit
x 28 total MSN credits

Advance to PMHNP with specialization credits
$865 cost per PMHNP specialization credit
x 41 total PMHNP specialization credits

$39,805 total tuition
+ $3,570 total fees
$43,375 estimated total program cost

Explore our Tuition Estimator Tool

Other Ways to Save

Higher education should be a manageable investment. Talk to an admissions advisor and learn how our online MSN program with a PMHNP specialization can be more affordable with loans and grants, scholarship opportunities and military grants for those who qualify. Your employer may provide tuition support or reimbursement to help you fund your education.

We are also committed to helping members who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. We offer a 10% tuition grant to active-duty service members, National Guard, Reserve, retired military and veterans.8 This program is NOT eligible for participation in Title IV federal student aid programs.

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PMHNP Career Potential

Pursuing a career as a PMHNP is rewarding and allows you to work in a field that you’re passionate about. You’ll be prepared to work as a PMHNP in any of the following settings:

  • Hospitals
  • Emergency departments, clinical or private practice
  • Schools
  • Behavioral health facilities
  • Academia

Nurse Practitioners10

  • $82,960 (10th Percentile)
  • $94,890 (25th Percentile)
  • $111,680 (50th Percentile)
  • 45% Projected Growth for 2020–2030
male professional with others sitting in a circle

Entrance Requirements

Applicants to this program must hold a conferred Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from a regionally or nationally accredited college or university with a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher, possess a current unencumbered RN license that is valid in the United States and provide two letters of reference (one professional and one personal). This program is not available to residents of all states. Please speak with an admissions advisor to determine your eligibility for enrollment. A cleared background check will be required for participation at practicum sites.

Talk to an Admissions Advisor

You've Got Questions, We've Got Answers

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is this an Online PMHNP program?

    To help you prepare for a career in mental health advanced practice, our online courses are built with:

    • Empowered Learning so that you create real-world projects instead of tests and papers
    • The ability to view lectures and complete coursework on your schedule, rather than specific course times

    In addition to online courses, you'll experience:

    • One residential immersion experience where you'll travel to a campus for a weekend that prepares you for your practicums
    • Four practicum experiences to give you the confidence to help patients of all ages

  • Does the MSN program with a PMHNP specialization have required practicums?

    Practicum experiences are required in all CCNE-accredited programs, and ours have been designed to be completely manageable—even with your work and personal life responsibilities.

  • How do practicums work in an online program?

    Practicum experiences are in your own community—under the supervision of a Master’s or Doctoral degree-prepared nurse preceptor. Our clinical practicum coordinator is dedicated to making sure your clinical experiences are the right fit for you. You focus on the field within mental health that matters most to you—from setting, population base or age grouping—and gain the experience you need.

  • What is Empowered Learning™?

    Your online MSN courses are built through Empowered Learning, which allows you to:

    • Access online courses anytime, anywhere
    • Go faster when you can, and slower when you need to
    • Create real-world projects that demonstrate your new knowledge
    • Stay connected with faculty and peers from start to finish

    Learn more about Empowered Learning courses and how they put you in control of your education.

  • My life is super busy. Do I have time to do my work AND earn a degree?

    The MSN degree program is built for working professionals like you with online Empowered Learning courses, which allow you to learn by doing, manage your pace and stay connected to faculty and peers. You can participate in live sessions or listen to the recorded sessions when it's convenient. Our model allows for flexibility in each course. No weekly deadlines mean you have the ability to manage your schedule within each term while also striving to complete your degree as quickly as possible.

  • Do I have to pursue a specialization?

    Yes, in the MSN Nurse Practitioner program, you will pursue an advanced practice Psychiatric-Mental Health specialization.

    We also offer these specializations at the MSN level:

    • Nursing Leadership and Administration
    • Nursing Education
    • Healthcare Technology, Simulation and Informatics

  • Where is the MSN program offered?

    Our MSN degree program is offered online with practicum experiences in your own community. This program is not available to residents of all states. Please speak with an admissions advisor to determine your eligibility for enrollment.

  • Is this MSN degree program aligned with advanced nursing standards?

    Rasmussen University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

    Our MSN degree curriculum is aligned with the National League for Nursing (NLN) Outcomes and Competencies for Graduates of Nursing Programs, Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) Competencies, and the Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing, a set of standards designed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

  • What other types of student support can I expect?

    In addition to clinical practicum coordinators, advisors and experienced faculty and leadership, you’ll have access to our student support services before and after graduation. Our School of Nursing librarian is ready to help you fully leverage our research and writing resources, including over 400,000 e-books and electronic reference materials. Advanced context is right at your fingertips, from clinical consults and integrating psychotherapy into care plans to alternative assessment planning across the lifespan.

    Through our dedicated career services team, you can receive assistance with job-search strategies, resume building, interview practice and employer networking—online and available anytime.

  • Can I advance my degree further after my MSN?

    Yes, our MSN program offers a seamless pathway to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree when you’re ready to take that next step. Our DNP program is ideal for nurses called to lead at the highest levels in healthcare and public health and policy.

Don't See Your Question Here?

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Call: 877-308-9946

  1. Completion time is dependent on the number of courses completed each term.
  2. The Master of Science in Nursing degree program at Rasmussen University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.
  3. As of July 14, 2021, Rasmussen University had 8,524 students enrolled in School of Nursing programs. As of June 30, 2021, Rasmussen University had 19,539 nursing alumni. This number represents the total number of those who graduated from a School of Nursing program between March 20, 2006, and June 30, 2021. For the spring quarter of 2021 (April - June), Rasmussen University had 603 full-time and adjunct nursing faculty.
  4. Tuition for MBA, MHRM, MHA and MSN programs is $155 per credit ($125 per credit for MPH), excludes MSN Nurse Practitioner specializations. Students in all programs must maintain continuous enrollment to remain eligible for the tuition pricing of $155/$125 per credit. A student who withdraws and re-enrolls will be required to pay the tuition price offered at the time of their re-enrollment. Students who receive the tuition price of $155/$125 per credit cannot use any additional discounts, grants and/or scholarships. If a student needs to retake one or more courses in the degree program, the total cost of the program will exceed $10,000. Program cost breakdown: $7,440 in tuition + $2,460 in fees = $9,900 in program cost ($7,000 in tuition + $2,870 in fees = $9,870 in program cost for MPH). Program availability varies by campus and state; please see the Rasmussen University Catalog for details.
  5. GRE® is a registered trademark of Educational Testing Service.
  6. 28 core MSN credits can be completed for $155 per credit. 41 PMHNP credits can be completed for $865 per credit.
  7. Program cost breakdown: 28 core MSN credits at $155 per credit ($4,340) plus 41 PMHNP specialization credits at $865 per credit ($35,465) and $3,570 in fees = total program cost of $43,375. Program availability varies by state. Please see Rasmussen University catalog for details.
  8. Students cannot receive both corporate and military grants.
  9. 2019 Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Salary Survey, September 2019, Clinical Advisor. This data does not represent starting salaries and reflects an average. Employment conditions in your area may vary.
  10. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, [salary data accessed October 6, 2021] Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [career information accessed October 6, 2021] BLS salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries. Employment conditions in your area may vary.
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