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School of Nursing

School of Nursing > Academics > Doctor of Nursing Practice > Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner curriculum prepares graduates for current and future roles assessing psychiatric disorders, implementing community-based short-term psychotherapy with individuals, groups and families and implementing rehabilitation services for individuals with chronic mental illness.

Advance practice core courses in assessment, pathophysiology and pharmacology serve as a foundation for psychiatric/mental health courses that focus on neurobiological theories of psychiatric disorders, physical illness that mask as psychiatric conditions, and psychopharmacology, as well as short-term psychotherapy and rehabilitation.

Clinical practice sites are generally located in the Kansas City metropolitan area, but may extend across the state of Kansas and other communities where students are located. Clinical experiences include obtaining a beginning level of competence in completing psychiatric assessment and comprehensive evaluations, documentation according to federal and state requirements, strategies for the implementation of individual, family and group therapy and medication initiation and management. 

Upon completion, graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the Family Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and to apply for the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) license.

The PMH NP curriculum requires 79 credit hours of coursework.  The psychiatric/mental specialty course sequence is offered every other year, which may affect a student's program planning. The majority of required courses are available online, although the following required courses are only offered at the KU Medical Center campus in Kansas City: NRSG 935, NRSG 954, and NRSG 801.

Sample Plan of Study -- Preferred Plan of StudyPDF document (image)


Nursing Licensure

This program prepares students for an advanced practice specialty certification and APRN eligibility as a primary care certified nurse practitioner (CNP). APRN eligibility differs across states and many require a specialty certification. Specialty certifications are acquired through national exams that do not vary by state. For information on individual state's requirements go to the National Councils of State Boards of Nursing website.

As of July 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education implemented Regulation 34 CFR 668.43 (a) (5) (v) that requires professional nursing programs to provide information on how their curriculum meets education requirements for professional licensing in each state. You may review KU School of Nursing's information on licensure by state.

Last modified: Nov 16, 2020
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