Why ODU for Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing?

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association reports a shortage in psychiatric mental-health nurses. There is consistent growth in the mental health field, contributing to the need for qualified, trained professionals.

Answer the call for caring by earning a Master of Science in Nursing specializing in psychiatric mental health. You'll learn how to:

  • assess and diagnose individuals and families with psychiatric disorders
  • identify risk factors for psychiatric illness
  • provide psychotherapy and prescribe medication and other mental health resources
  • promote mental health in hospital and community settings
  • contribute to policy development and healthcare reform

When you graduate from this psychiatric nurse practitioner program from ODU, you will be eligible to take the national certification exam for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). You'll need this certification to get a state license to practice as an independent provider with prescriptive authority. You can also apply to continue your studies in ODU's DNP program.

You'll be required to take part in on-site learning approximately once a semester.

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master's degree program in nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Old Dominion University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

* Note: This program is not available in the state of Washington.

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Ranked #58 (tie)

Best Online Master's in Nursing Programs, 2023
U.S. News & World Report

Ranked #15

Best Online Master's in Nursing for Veterans, 2023
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Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program Required Courses

  • 42 credit hours
  • Includes clinical practicum (504 hours total)

This program is designed to be completed in two years (five semesters) with full-time study.

Online Learning Environment

Access course materials online from any location. Some courses have live, online meetings while some courses do not. Instructors also may schedule assignments, office hours, and exams at specific times. All courses follow a regular academic calendar.

You'll complete clinical practicums at a physical location. These are negotiated on an individual basis.

For certain courses, you must visit ODU's Virginia Beach campus, usually only once during the semester. This is for training and/or testing with standardized patients or simulation instruction.

Careers in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing

With an MSN and focus in mental health, you can make a positive impact as a nurse practitioner, consultant, or instructor. You can also find a career as a nurse practitioner in settings such as:

  • primary care medical practices
  • hospitals
  • university counseling centers
  • public mental health agencies
  • residential treatment
  • clinical settings

Calculating Cost

  • In-state Virginia Residents$571 per credit hour*
  • Out-of-state Students$595 per credit hour

Rates are effective Summer 2022 and subject to change.
* In-state rate assumes residency requirements are met.

State Licensure

This program is designed to prepare students for national certification as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). This certification is usually required to get a state license to practice as an independent provider with prescriptive authority.

Use the links here to see if we have determined whether this program will prepare you for licensure in your state. We encourage you to check your state's requirements before applying to ODU.

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How to Apply

You must meet general requirements for graduate admission and have a current license as a registered nurse. ODU prefers that applicants hold an undergraduate degree in nursing from a NLNAC or CCNE accredited program or a bachelor's degree in a related field. You must be accepted as a degree-seeking student in order to register for nursing courses.

Meet Your Team

You'll have a dedicated academic advisor for this program.

Contact us if you have questions about admission requirements, transferring credits, or application deadlines.