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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

Students in the PMHNP CAGS program must have evidence of successful completion of the following courses:

  • Advanced Pathophysiology across the lifespan
  • Advanced Pharmacology across the lifespan Advanced Health Assessment across the lifespan
  • Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse
  • Scholarship for Advanced Nursing Building an Evidence-Based Practice
  • Human Diversity Social and Policy Issues
  • Translating and Integrating Scholarship Practicum

The courses must have been completed with a letter grade of B or higher at an accredited 4 year academic institution. Students who have not completed the academic equivalent of these courses previously will be required to take the course in order to complete the CAGS.


Year One: Semester One

NUR 701 Professional Role Development for Advanced Practice Nursing* 3
NUR 706 Advanced Pathophysiology 3

Year One: Semester Two

NUR 707 Advanced Pharmacology 3

Year One: Semester Three

NUR 703 Advanced Health Assessment Across the Lifespan (90 clinical hours) 5
NUR801 Survey of Telemedicine 1

Year Two: Semester Four

NUR 715 Psychopharmacology for the Advanced Practice Nurse (PMHNP) 3
NUR 805 Basic Counseling Theory & Techniques for
the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
NUR 805C Basic Counseling Theory & Techniques for the
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Clinical (90 clinical hours)

Year Two: Semester Five

NUR 806 Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner I 3
NUR 806C Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner I
Clinical (225 clinical hours)

Year Two: Semester Six

NUR 807 Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner II 3
NUR 807 Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner II
Clinical (225 clinical hours)

Residency Requirement

In addition to coursework, the PMHNP CAGS program requires students to attend three on campus residencies, generally which are 1-3 days in length. These residencies include: a new student orientation, a second year residency which takes place prior to entering track specific clinical coursework at the beginning of Year Two, and a final residency that coincides with the student's graduation.

*Students who have completed a previous Masters in Nursing Nurse Practitioner Program that included a distinct Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner role course and are currently licensed as a Nurse Practitioner may not be required to complete this course. Please contact the School of Nursing for additional information.

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

Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C.

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.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Certification Pass Rates

2021 ANCC: 100%

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.

The online testing in the program is monitored and proctored by ProctorU. Learn more about ProctorU using the information below.


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.