Why ODU for Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing?

Our DNP program is designed for licensed, registered nurses with an APRN MSN who want to provide psychiatric services to their patients.

You will complete courses and practicums required for eligibility to take the national certification exam as an advanced practice nurse in psychiatric mental health. Topics include:

  • Psychotherapy methods and advanced diagnostics across the lifespan: adult, child, adolescent, older adults, and special populations
  • Psychopharmacology, the study of medications used to treat mental disorders
  • Culturally-centered, collaborative care in the prevention and management of mental health disorders

Core DNP courses will provide advanced practice knowledge and exposure to emerging healthcare technology, such as telehealth and informatics.

You will complete practicums in psychiatric mental health environments with clinical mentors in your own community. These practicums will let you immediately apply your knowledge of diagnosis and treatment strategies to individuals, families, and groups from diverse backgrounds.

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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Required Courses

  • 53 credit hours total, including:
    • Core DNP coursework, including an evidence-based research project
    • PMHNP content courses
    • Clinical practicums

Clinical placement is a collaborative process between the student and faculty.

Online Learning Environment

Access course materials online from any location. Teaching faculty may schedule assignments, office hours, and exams at specific times. All courses for this degree program follow ODU's regular academic calendar. 

Practicums will be completed at physical locations. Clinical placement for practicums is a collaborative process between the student and faculty.

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.


Our graduates find careers as nurse practitioners, consultants, and higher education instructors. Nurse practitioners can make a difference in settings such as:

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

Keep in mind that license requirements may vary by state.

State Licensure

This post-master's DNP program is designed to prepare students for national certification in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). National certification is usually required in order to obtain state licensure to practice in this specialty.

Licensure requirements may vary by state. Use the links here to see if we have determined whether this program will prepare you for nursing certification or licensure in your state.

We encourage you to check your state's professional nursing requirements before applying to ODU.

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How to Apply

To apply to this post-master's DNP program, you must:

  • be a licensed, registered nurse;
  • have earned an advanced practice (APRN) Master of Science in Nursing from a regionally accredited institution or foreign equivalent with a minimum 3.0 GPA; and
  • within the last five years, earned a grade of B or better in these MSN courses:
    • Advanced Pathophysiology
    • Advanced Physical Assessment
    • Advanced Pharmacology

Additional materials are required in ODU's graduate application. For more details, please visit the department's web page.

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.