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Advance Your Career with an In-Demand Psychiatric NP Degree
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Online Psychiatric NP Program

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs) are in high demand in the United States. Some reasons for this include: a severe shortage of psychiatric mental health professionals, an increased demand for mental health services, fading stigma surrounding mental health conditions and a large population of psychiatrists who are retiring.

Almost 80% of all counties in the U.S. report a shortage of prescribing mental health service providers. To fill the psychiatric provider shortage, the medical community is looking to PMHNP’s to provide primary care in most states.

PMHNPs deliver mental health services to individuals, families and communities. They can also prescribe medication.

Nurses with a Bachelor of Science Nursing (BSN) and active RN license can go to school to become a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. See our admissions requirements.

jump to Curriculum

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners earn an annual median salary of $117,400.

You Can Afford It

Most American Sentinel College students graduate debt free* by taking advantage of flexible payment options and 0% financing. Comparing costs for higher education can be tricky. Find everything you need for a total cost comparison here and you’ll see why earning your MSN with American Sentinel College offers great value.


Course Length


Nursing Courses


Total Tuition


Clinical Fees

Why Our MSN Program Works

  • Online courses provide flexibility
  • Clinicals are completed in your area
  • Course length: 8 weeks
  • Dedicated faculty and clinical coordinators
  • Work at your own pace with no mandatory login times
  • One-on-one support: MySentinel® Student Support

MSN, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Curriculum

Earning a NP specialization in Psychiatric Mental Health will allow you to assess, diagnose and manage psychiatric conditions of patients ranging in age from children to seniors. Our rigorous curriculum covers a breadth of advanced primary care areas:

  • Advanced Role Development and Organizational Leadership
  • Policy Advocacy and Healthcare Ethics
  • Research Methods and Evidence-Based Practice

M.S. Nursing, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Specialization Curriculum

The MSN, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Specialization is 17 courses (51 credit hours) with 630 clinical hours embedded within the courses. Courses are 100% online, and clinical hours can be completed at a facility near the student’s residence and work.

*Courses may not be taken concurrently; students may take only one course at a time, and specialty courses are to be taken in the order listed. Additionally, students in this program must complete a Castlebranch background check before being scheduled for the 3P Exam.

CourseDidactic CreditsClinical CreditsClinical Hours
APRN Prerequisite Courses
N512 Advanced Pathophysiology*3
N522PE Advanced Physical Assessment*3
N521 Advanced Pharmacology*3
N523 Diagnostic Reasoning (Preparatory Course, If Required) **3

*At completion of all 3P courses (3.0 GPA) – The student will sit for the APEA 3P Exam. If a student meets the 67% benchmark, then they are eligible to continue into the NP Program.
**If an individual does not pass the APEA 3P Exam, N523 will be a required preparatory course.

CourseDidactic CreditsClinical CreditsClinical Hours
MSN Core Courses
N502 Advanced Role Development and Organizational Leadership3
N503 Policy Advocacy and Healthcare Ethics3
N515PE Research Design3
CourseDidactic CreditsClinical CreditsClinical Hours
NP Graduate Core and Population-Focused Courses
N560 Advanced Practice Psych Nursing I3
N559 Psychotropic Pharmacology3
N561 Advanced Practice Psych Nursing I Preceptorship Experience3135
N562 Advanced Practice Psych Nursing II3
N563 Advanced Practice Psych Nursing II Preceptorship Experience3135
N564 Advanced Practice Psych Nursing III3
N565 Advanced Practice Psych Nursing III Preceptorship Experience3135
N566 Psych Specialty for Advanced Practice 3
N567 Psych Specialty Preceptorship Experience390
N568 Advanced Practice Psych Nursing Integration IV3
N569 Advanced Practice Psych Nursing Integration IV Preceptorship Experience3135
Total Program3615630

Minimum requirement for Major: 51 credit hours (17 courses) 45 clinical hours = 1 credit hour
* Credit hours are equivalent to semester hours

We offer the MSN, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner degree to residents of the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

We do not offer the MSN, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner degree to residents of Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, or Washington

State Authorization, Licensure and Disclosure

American Sentinel College reviews the relevant rules and regulations for each State before enrolling students in that State. Information regarding the authorization of American Sentinel College to enroll students in the Nurse Practitioner program for each state can be found on our State Authorization and Licensure page. Additionally, important disclosures related to the licensure and certification requirements in each state can be found under each state on that page.

Have Questions About Our Nurse Practitioner Programs?

Reach out to our Nurse Practitioner Admissions Advisors, Suzette Brown, Marie Stewart and Caeley McDowell. They are specially trained to answer your specific questions regarding our Nurse Practitioner programs. They are standing by to help you meet your educational goals.

Call them at 303.557.9945.


More on the MSN, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

MSN, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, our graduates assume critical roles as primary care providers. Program outcomes:

  • Provide evidence-based, patient-centered care, which synthesizes the holistic nature of advanced practice nursing and diagnostic reasoning, to enhance patient, healthcare, and organizational outcomes critical to building quality and safe patient care capacity
  • Engage in leadership and scholarship activities that fosters collaboration and communication among interdisciplinary team members
  • Evaluate the impact between legal, social, political, economic, and ethical issues, and their influence on the provision and management of patient care services
  • Integrate clinical guidelines, research, clinical judgment, and interdisciplinary perspectives using translational processes to improve practice, health, and organizational outcomes
  • Incorporate information technology when interacting and collaborating with patient, families, and interdisciplinary team members for improved health care delivery processes and outcomes
  • Advocate for ethical and culturally sensitive policies that impact access, equity, quality and cost
  • Employ knowledge of organizational practices and complex systems to enhance delivery and quality of healthcare services
  • Apply sound ethical solutions to complex issues concerning the care of individuals and populations, and systems of care
  • Synthesize knowledge from nursing and related sciences to provide patient-centered and evidence-based care while respecting diverse beliefs and attitudes, and by allowing the patient to be a full partner in the decision-making process
  • Assume responsibility for professional growth and integrity by engaging in life-long learning and commitment to the discipline of advanced practice nursing

All coursework for the Master of Science Nursing is 100% online and includes face- to-face precepted clinical experiences in your local community. The Nurse Practitioner Specialization includes 630 precepted clinical hours and 90 practice experience hours (45 research hours are not precepted; 45 health assessment hours are not precepted).

The mission of the MSN program is to prepare highly qualified professional nursing personnel to serve global healthcare communities as administrators, educators, and informatics specialists.

For information on program eligibility requirements, please visit the Master’s Program Admissions Requirements page.


In March of 2021, American Sentinel University officially merged with Post University® to become American Sentinel College of Nursing & Health Sciences at Post University. Please pardon our appearance as we update all of our services to reflect our new name.

What you can do with a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Degree?

  • Provide primary care for patients of all ages, from children to seniors
  • Assess the mental health needs of patients
  • Diagnose psychiatric conditions of patients
  • Prescribe and administer medication
  • Create and manage treatment plans.

Outlook for Nurse Practitioners

Take a look at our latest infographic outlining the changing face of healthcare in America and the opportunities for the Nurse Practitioner.