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Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program

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Fridays 8:30–11:00 a.m. and 1:00–4:00 p.m.

505-272-4223 |

A PMHNP is an advanced practice nurse who provides holistic mental health care across the lifespan. PMHNP’s are prepared to treat a range of psychiatric disorders including, but not limited to, substance use and other addictive disorders. A PMHNP uses an integrated approach, working both autonomously and in collaboration with an interdisciplinary team.

The PMHNP scope of practice includes:

  • Comprehensive assessment, diagnosis, and development of treatment plans
  • Medication management
  • Individual, group, or family psychotherapies
  • Complementary alternative therapies, in the context of cultural and ethnic sensitivity
  • Promote health and wellness to prevent the progression of diseases through patient education

What to Expect During Your Education

  • This intensive, two-year commitment begins in the summer and continues for six consecutive terms.
  • The degree awarded at the completion of the program is a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).
  • MSN core courses are available online. Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) core courses are a mix of online delivery and on-the-ground classroom experiences.
  • UNM College of Nursing faculty will arrange and provide clinical oversight for students in a variety of rural and metropolitan sites.
  • Students may be expected to travel outside the Albuquerque area for a portion of their clinical rotations. Students are responsible for any costs associated with clinical rotations.
  • Clinical sites and preceptors may be arranged in the student's hometown, if appropriate.
  • Graduates are eligible to become certified as psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners in New Mexico and nationally, after successfully passing the certification exams. The credentialing agency is the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Check out our current licensure/certification first-time pass rates.

Additional information regarding psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (scope of practice, job opportunities, etc.) is available at American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) or the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (ACNP).

Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Concentration Program of Studies

COURSECredit HoursDidactic creditsClinical CreditsClinical Hours
NURS 501 Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice (MSN Core)33
NURS 503 Research in Nursing (MSN Core)33
NURS 526 Pathophysiology for Advanced Nursing Practice (APRN Core)33
NURS 540 Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning (APRN Core)321 (lab)50 (lab)
NURS 543 Pharmacological Principles of Clinical Therapeutics (APRN Core)33
NURS 584 Integrated Behavioral Health Care in Common Psychiatric Presentations33
NURS 505 Health Care Policy, Systems & Financing for Advanced Practice (MSN Core)33
NURS 583 Psychotherapy, Behavior Change, and Health Promotion / Disease Prevention Across the Life span33
NURS 588 Advanced Practicum I33
NURS 585 Advanced Assessment, Neurobiology, & Psychopharmacology of Psychiatric Disorders Across the Life span33
NURS 588 Advanced Practicum I33150
NURS 586 Diagnosis & Management of Adults for PMHNP33
NURS 589 Advanced Practicum II33150
NURS 594 Advanced Practice Seminar11
NURS 596 / NURS 597 Comprehensive / Exam11
NURS 595 Fieldwork (Clinical)44200
NURS 587 Diagnosis & Management of Children & Older Adults for PMHNP33

Note: Students with previous coursework or competency-based clinical hours in psychiatric mental health evaluation and management during their initial Master of Science in Nursing program may have clinical hours reduced in N595 at the discretion of the faculty.

Outcome of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Education

At the completion of the program the graduate will be prepared to:

  1. Provide full-scope psychiatric and behavioral health care, utilizing both independent and collaborative approaches, to individuals and families across the life span, including management of acute and chronic mental health problems, health promotion and disease prevention.
  2. Integrate ethical principles in decision-making and evaluation of psychiatric care related to individuals, families, populations and systems of care.
  3. Use and articulate evidence-based research as the basis for practice.
  4. Participate in quality assurance and evaluation of mental health care delivery.
  5. Empower and motivate individuals and families to be full participants in their own psychiatric and behavioral health care.
  6. Assume professional responsibility for maintaining and advancing clinical practice competencies.
  7. Advocate for systems and policies that reduce mental health disparities, facilitate access to behavioral health care, and address cultural diversity and rural populations.
  8. Identify evidence-based psychopharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions in the management of complex acute and chronic psychiatric disorders in diverse groups of adults and across the life span.
  9. Evaluate complex acute and chronic mental health advanced practice nursing care using selected outcome measures.
  10. Describe the complexity of legal and ethical decision-making with adults who have acute and chronic mental health issues in the primary, secondary and tertiary care settings.