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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's degree 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
  • promote mental health in hospital and community settings
  • contribute to policy development and healthcare reform

When you graduate, you will be eligible to take the national certification 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 in ODU's DNP program.

You'll be required to take part in onsite learning approximately once a semester at ODU or Shenandoah University.

ODU School of Nursing and Shenandoah University Eleanor Wade Custer School of Nursing are both accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

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

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Ranked #53

Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs, 2019 - U.S. News & World Report

100% average pass rate

for graduates of Shenandoah's PMHNP certificate program, 2016-2018

Mental health nurse practioner

Virginia Scholarships

In Virginia, 40% of the population live in areas with a shortage of mental health practitioners.

To fill this gap, the Virginia Healthcare Foundation is offering scholarships to advanced practice nurses seeking a post-master’s certificate as a PMHNP.

VHCF PMHNP Scholarships

Required Courses

  • 50 credit hours
  • Includes clinical practicum

You'll earn a Master of Science in Nursing from Old Dominion and a certificate of endorsement in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner from Shenandoah.

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 or Shenandoah's Winchester 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$547 per credit hour*
  • Out-of-state Students$595 per credit hour

Rates are effective Summer 2019 and subject to change.
* In-state rate assumes residency requirements are met.

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Sound Interesting?Let’s Get Started

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.

Want to get started now?

You may be able to take up to four courses (12 credit hours) as a non-degree graduate student, before you are accepted into a specific degree program. 

Please contact us to discuss this option with an expert advisor.

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.