Masters in Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner


Psychiatric nurses, also called mental health nurses, rely on hybrid nursing and psychiatry programs. A masters in Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner is the result of those two fields combine. In the nursing profession, most psychiatric nurse practitioners begin to investigate and then graduate in the field of psychiatric mental health.

So if you are looking for options to choose your MSN program, surely this information will be very helpful for you.

Masters in Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

What is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner?

A psychiatric NP, known as a Practicing Mental-Psychiatric Health Nurse (PMHNP). This profession will need a Masters in Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner or Doctorate degree because it is an advance nursing function. Once a registered nurse get this degree can offer their services as an independent professional.

Also can be the link in the field of psychiatry and mental health. Psychiatric NPs can work as generalists in their field or concentrate on an area of ​​this profession. The focus area can be geriatric, forensic, psycho-therapeutic or children and adolescents APPN.

Can I Get my Master’s Degree in Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Online?

Online master’s programs for psychiatric nursing professionals help students get a national certification, state licensing and practice in the field.


Most of the courses offered are online at your own pace. The clinical practice required can be completed at an approved health center near the nurse’s home.

These programs are designed for working nurses, who are already licensed as RN or BSN. And, in most cases, the nurse can complete clinical training at the center where she works.

How To Become A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

If you are wondering how long you can become a Psychiatric NP, there are some things you need to know. A psychiatric nurse practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse who completed a Master’s in Nursing Program (MSN) or a Doctoral’s Nursing Program (DNP).

Students must complete an accredited nursing program and get a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) before advance to MSN or DNP. Then obtain a State Licence when the NCLEX-RN exam is completed.


The time to become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner will depend on time to complete the required education for this profession. Below you will find the approximate time of what you need to complete a Masters in Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.

  • Students who enroll in a BSN program can complete full time in about 4 years. Online programs take between 18-24 months.
  • Students can complete a Masters in Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in about 2 years and online programs are also available.
Masters in Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Jobs and Salaries for a Masters in Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

According to BLS, the increase in the work of this profession will grow by 26% between 2018-2028. This percentage is well above the 5% average of other professions. A Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner must have a license in their state and pass a national certification exam.

Below you can find the most common employers for this profession and the average salary according to Payscale.

EmployerAverage Salary
The Veterans Administration (US)$122,000
Kaiser Permanente$120,000
Daymark Recovery Services, Inc.$108,000
Behavioral Health Group$105,000
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services$100,000

Certifications or Credentials Needed to Become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Upon completion of the MSN or DNP program, the American Nurses Accreditation Center (ANCC) offers certification for graduates. This Certification is by exam and is valid for five years and can be taken in the nurses credentialing center ANCC. These requirements must be filled:

  • Possess a current RN license.
  • Hold a postgraduate, Masters in Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, or doctoral degree from an accredited program.
  • Have worked within the PMHNP program a minimum of 500 supervised clinical hours.
  • Have completed courses in advanced health assessment, advanced pathophysiology, and advanced pharmacology.
  • Have studied content in health promotion/maintenance, differential diagnosis and disease management including prescribing medications, and clinical training in at least two areas of psychotherapy.

The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) offers certification for nurse practitioners and prepares them to work as a pediatric primary care mental health specialist (PMHS). Eligibility for requirements includes:

  • Current APRN license
  • Current certification as an APRN in the role and population foci in one of the following:
    • Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Child/Adolescent Psychiatric & Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist
    • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Graduate from an accredited MSN, DNP, or post-master’s certificate college or university with one of the following concentrations:
    • Primary Care PNP
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Child/Adolescent Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
    • Child/Adolescent Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • A minimum of 2,000 hours of APRN pediatric developmental, behavioral, and mental health (DBMH) clinical experience within the last three years
  • A new requirement was added for 2018: either one graduate-level DBMH course of at least two credits or 30 hours of DBMH continuing education in the last three years