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Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Fulfill the Nation’s Growing Need for Psychiatric and Mental Health Care

Mental health and physical health are inextricably connected — one can affect the other — yet nearly half of all Americans lack access to proper mental health care.*

The role of the PMHNP is to assess, diagnose and treat the mental health and substance abuse needs of patients across the life span, including children, adolescents, adults and the elderly. Yet, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, only 4.7% of the practicing 355,000 licensed NPs in the U.S. are certified in psychiatric/mental health — the need for more is critical.

Wilkes University’s online MSN-PMHNP program offers a pathway for you to fill this need. It provides the essential skills to complete comprehensive mental health assessments and provide individual, family and group psychotherapy to treat your patients properly and with compassion. You’ll develop competence in prescribing and monitoring medications used to treat complex psychiatric disorders and substance abuse.

In this advanced practice nursing program, you’ll learn to apply discerning knowledge and critical thinking to provide evidence-based mental and behavioral health care for patients of all ages, considering culturally diverse, rural and underserved populations.

*National Institute of Mental Health

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Clinical Placement Support

Wilkes’ dedicated clinical placement team works with you to offer a high-quality placement experience that meets University and national guidelines and prepares you for success in our psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner program.

Clinical placement services are built into the program's cost so you can focus on your coursework and the core competencies you need to succeed. We partner with you to:

  • Research and find a nearby site aligned with your interest in psychiatric and mental health. 
  • Secure a preceptor to mentor and support you.
  • Organize all necessary documents and clearance requirements before the start of your clinicals.
  • Monitor your schedule and placement hours to ensure compliance.
Online PMHNP Admission Requirements

Applicants are reviewed on an individual basis and will be evaluated for admission based on the criteria for each program. These admission standards represent the minimum eligibility requirements for the program.  Admission committee members reserve the right to request additional information from candidates for a more in-depth review of qualifications.


Associate Degree in Nursing (RN) to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) – PMHNP

  • Associate degree in nursing with a 3.0 GPA
  • Unencumbered RN license*
  • One year of clinical experience (by the start of the NP clinical courses)
  • Resume

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) – PMHNP

  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) with a 3.0 GPA
  • Unencumbered RN license*
  • One year of clinical experience (by the start of the NP clinical courses)
  • Resume

Post-Graduate/APRN Certificate – PMHNP

  • MSN, DNP or BSN-DNP degree with a 3.0 GPA
  • Unencumbered RN license*
  • Resume

*Applications presenting a history of disciplinary action on professional licenses will be subject to an additional review by the Special Licensure Discrepancy Committee of the University.

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* The baccalaureate degree in nursing/master's degree in nursing/ Doctor of Nursing Practice and post graduate APRN certificate programs at Wilkes University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (