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Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies — Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

Location: Online
Start Term: Fall, Spring, Summer

As a psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner, you work directly with individuals or families with psychiatric disorders, providing expert care, support and compassion. This program builds on your master’s degree in nursing so you can advance your career as a certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

Aside from a total of three on-campus meetings, this part-time program’s coursework is offered entirely online with clinical experience in your community, giving you the flexibility to continue to work. You’ll gain a firm foundation in the diagnosis and management of conditions such as dementia, depression, anxiety and other psychiatric problems as well as the interaction of pharmacological agents. When you graduate, you’ll be eligible to sit for the Family Nurse/Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification examination given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and advance your career.

Learn more about the CAGS Psychiatric Nurse practitioner program. 

For admission to the program, an applicant must have:

  • A master’s degree in nursing from an accredited program by either Collegiate Commission on Nursing Education (CCNE) or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC)
  • A post-graduate grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better
  • A minimum of five years of full-time RN employment prior to the program start date
  • A current unencumbered license to practice nursing in the jurisdiction where experiential learning will occur
  • Ability to attend three required on site (MCPHS-Worcester) residencies
  • Current American Heart Association Certification for Healthcare Providers in CPR (BLS)

Application Requirements

For consideration for admission, the following application materials must be submitted:

  • Completed MCPHS Application
  • Official college transcripts from every college attended
  • 1 professional letter of recommendation
  • Photocopy of current RN license
  • Resume (may be included within application or as a separate document)

Once all supporting documents are received, your application will be complete and ready for review by the Admission Committee. Application materials can be mailed to the address below:

Online Programs
MCPHS University
Admission Office
179 Longwood Ave.
Boston, MA 02115

Worcester FNP Program
MCPHS University
Admission Office
19 Foster Street
Worcester, MA 01608


CAGS Year One: Summer*

NUR 706 Advanced Pathophysiology 3

CAGS Year One: Fall*

NUR707 Advanced Pharmacology 3

CAGS Year One: Spring*

NUR 703 Advanced Health Assessment Across Lifespan (90 clinical hours) 4

CAGS Year Two: Summer

NUR 715 Psychopharmacology for the Advanced Practice Nurse (PMHNP) 3
NUR 815 Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing I (Child and Adolescent)
(180 clinical hours)

CAGS Year Two: Fall* 

NUR 825 Psychiatric Mental Health II (Young and Middle Aged Adult
(180 clinical hours)

CAGS Year Two: Spring*

NUR 835 Psychiatric Mental Health III (Older Adult)(180 clinical hours) 6

Residency Requirement

In addition to online coursework, the CAGS program requires students to attend two residencies, generally 1-3 days in length, and one orientation during their respective tenure in the program. These residencies include: new student orientation, second residency, and final residency in May that coincides with graduation.

*Students are responsible for finding their own clinical placements within the respective specialty areas.

MCPHS University accepts nursing students into its programs from the following states:

Alaska, Arkansas, California, 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, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia

Admission into a nursing program is dependent on program availability in the state where the student is physically located at the time of matriculation. If a student moves to a different state after matriculation, continuation within the program will depend on the availability of the program within the new state where the student is physically present. It is the student's responsibility to notify the University of a change in physical presence. Program availability is subject to change.

Online tuition is calculated at a cost-per-credit rate based on the program you choose and the number of credits for which you register. Learn more about Online tuition and fees here.

Discover the Advantages of Studying Online at MCPHS

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Balance career advancement with the rest of your life by studying online, on your schedule.