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Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Post-Master's Certificate)

Students gathered at St. David's School of Nursing.

The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) post-master’s certificate is a hybrid program that enables registered nurses with a graduate degree in nursing to expand their role to include evaluation, diagnosis, management and treatment of clients of all ages with psychiatric and mental healthcare needs. Graduates of this program will be prepared to provide quality, evidence-based care to a growing population with psychiatric and behavioral health needs.

The PMHNP certificate program is offered as part-time, four (4) semester track to help students balance work, school, and life demands. The certificate program is a lock-step program, requiring specific sequencing of courses. Students are required to be advised before each semester by a graduate advisor.

The certificate requires 20 semester credit hours and fulfillment of the required practicum hours.


 Contact The Graduate College for general questions about getting started with your application, funding your degree, and more.
If you have program-specific questions after reviewing the program details, we encourage you to contact the following:
 

Graduate Advisor
Dr. Kathy Smith
kss123@txstate.edu
512.716.4603
Nursing Building (NURS), Room 320

Advisor Support
Sarah Solorzano
cxq10@txstate.edu
512.716.4908
Nursing Building (NURS), Room 337

“The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner conducts psychiatric evaluations across the life span, provides a mental health diagnosis, and creates a holistic plan of care that includes medication management and psychotherapy. The PMHNP is able to practice in a variety of acute and outpatient settings providing increased access to mental health care for patients.”

—Cathy J. Messinger, APRN, DNP, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BC

Course Work

The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner graduate certificate program is a 20-credit hour lockstep program in which registered nurses with a Master of Science in Nursing degree advance their skills as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner upon successful completion of the PMHNP national board certification and licensure as an APRN. After completion of the program, students are eligible to apply to take the national PMHNP board certification and then for licensure as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse with a PMHNP specialty.

Nursing building

  Online Availability
The majority of this program may be offered online with required on-campus learning experiences typically scheduled two times per semester at the St. David’s School of Nursing in Round Rock, Texas. The on-campus learning intensives augment the online course work and allow assessment of students to ensure that advanced level competencies have been met. Due to variation in the laws of states and regulations of state Boards of Nursing, admission for non-Texas residents may be limited at this time. Additional information for international applicants is available below.

Program Mission

The PMHNP graduate certificate program prepares graduates to assume a healthcare provider role as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) to provide healthcare for clients across the lifespan with psychiatric and mental healthcare needs. The PMHNP graduate certificate program prepares graduates to evaluate, diagnose, and provide clinical management and treatment based on evidence based practice to facilitate wellness and treatments for clients and their families in a variety of settings.

Visit program website ›

Program Faculty

Faculty facilitate practicum course work online and during the on-campus intensives through skills labs and simulations; however, required clinical hours will be spent with individual preceptors in a clinical setting. The curriculum requires students to complete hours with a preceptor and log 545 required clinical hours as a combination of on-campus clinical experiences, simulations, and preceptor-led clinical practicums.

Meet our faculty ›

Career Options

Graduates of the PMHNP graduate certificate (post-masters) program will gain knowledge, skills, and competencies around the following program educational outcomes:

  • Engage in advanced nursing practice through integration of scientific findings from nursing, humanities, and sciences into the delivery of psychiatric and mental health care to diverse patients, families, and communities. 
  • Participate in organizational and systems leadership through promotion of high quality, safe patient care which emphasizes ethical decision making, effective working relationships, and a systems-perspective.
  • Lead quality improvement processes to communicate effectively, evaluate health outcomes, and advocate for changes in the care environment to improve health outcomes.
  • Synthesize and critique research to integrate the best evidence to resolve practice problems, work as a change agent, and assist in disseminating findings into clinical practice.
  • Utilize healthcare technologies and informatics to analyze and evaluate data to promote safe practice environments, cost containment and health outcomes.
  • Demonstrate leadership in professional nursing practice through commitment to reflective practice, accountability, and maintaining active roles in health policy and professional organizations. 
  • Actively participate as a member and leader of interprofessional teams to promote safety, reduce risk, and address healthcare disparities for patients and populations.
  • Integrate clinical prevention and population health concepts, including global and social determinants of health, into the diverse psychiatric and mental health care  needs of patients, communities, and populations.
  • Lead health education, treatments, and care through incorporation of biocultural perspectives of patients, communities, and populations as they relate to integrative healthcare practices in psychiatric and mental health care.
  • Practice as an advanced practice nurse using evidence based, cost effective integrative healthcare approaches to positively influence health outcomes of patients, families, and the global community.

Application Process

Step 1

Review Requirements


Application Deadlines

Deadlines U.S. Citizen International
Fall No Admission No Admission
Spring August 31 August 31
Summer I No Admission No Admission
Summer II No Admission No Admission

Application Deadline
This program has a flexible deadline.

Applications must be complete by the deadline to be considered for certain types of funding.

Decision Timeline
This program reviews applications on a firm basis.

Application Requirements

The items required for admission consideration are listed below. Additional information for applicants with international credentials can be found on our international web pages.

Application

  Review important information about the online application.


Application Fee

  • $20 nonrefundable application fee
    OR
  • $60 nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials

  Review important information about application fees.


Transcripts & GPA

  • bachelor of science in nursing (B.S.N.) degree from a regionally accredited institution and from a nursing program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or other nationally recognized nursing education accrediting body. Your B.S.N. degree must be reflected on the transcript at the time of application.
  • master of science in nursing (M.S.N.) degree from a regionally accredited institution and from a nursing program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or other nationally recognized nursing education accrediting body. Your M.S.N. degree must be reflected on the transcript at the time of application.
  • a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in graduate (masters) nursing courses from an accredited college or university.
  • minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in undergraduate and graduate nursing courses from an accredited college or university.
  • minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale in the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses).
  • grade of C or better in an upper-division statistics course. The course must be completed at the time of application and reflected on submitted transcripts.

  Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted.


GRE Scores

  • GRE not required

Documents & Other Requirements*

  • current, valid, unencumbered Registered Nurse licensure in Texas.
  • copy of registered nursing (RN) license with date issued from the BON must be uploaded into the application system.
    • multistate licenses are accepted as long as Texas is the home state. If you hold an advanced practice registered nursing (APRN) license, you must submit copy of current, valid, unencumbered licensure in Texas with date issued from the BON into the application system.
  • resume/CV
    • showing minimum equivalent of one-year full time experience as in the master’s prepared nurse role prepared for (i.e. APRN, nurse educator, nurse leader, etc.) prior to the application deadline for the program. Employment will be verified.
    • showing minimum three years full-time experience as a RN prior to the application deadline for the program. Employment will be verified.
  • three professional letters of recommendation from persons competent to assess your academic capability, clinical expertise, and interest in pursuing a career for this program. This is a form completed by your identified reference as part of the application system.
  • written personal essay and goal statements using guidelines provided for the program.
  • interview

*Please note, once a student has been offered admission, additional criteria specific to the School of Nursing must be completed and met prior to admission and the required due date while in the program.

*Applicants who are not licensed Advanced Practice Registered Nurses or Nurse Practitioners, will be required to take Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics, and Advanced Health Assessments to meet the foundational pre-requisites and requirements of an APRN degree or certificate program.

  Review important information about documents.


TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS Scores

Non-native English speakers who do not qualify for an English proficiency waiver:

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
  • official PTE scores required with a 52
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and minimum individual module scores of 6.0

This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.

  Review important information about official test scores.