Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (M.S.N.)

M.S.N. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

PMHNPs are needed in medical facilities to change mental healthcare practice, reduce mental health stigma, and increase access to care.

Program Overview

Texas State's nationally recognized MSN-PMHNP program is designed for Registered Nurses who want to advance their nursing role to provide evidence-based, high-quality psychiatric mental health care. Hallmarks of our program include small class sizes and On-Campus Intensives (OCIs). OCIs are immersive learning experiences for students to participate in simulations and engage with peers, faculty, and expert guest lecturers.

Read about how Texas State's St. David’s School of Nursing has been named among the Best Online Master’s in Nursing programs for 2022.

Course Work

The non-thesis MSN-PMHNP program is a combination of online course work and clinical practicum hours. Students complete the practicum hours one-on-one with a preceptor in the state of Texas, in addition to on-campus simulation and labs. Students engage in the application of evidence-based practice in their focus area in their capstone course. Course work includes:

  • Neuroscience, Epigenetics, and Psychopharmacology
  • Diagnostics and Clinical Management for Adult-Geriatric Clients
  • Diagnostics and Clinical Management for Pediatric Clients
  • Integrative Clinical Management Across the Lifespan
DegreeHoursThesis OptionMinor Option
Thesis Option
Minor Option
No Minor

Online Availability

Part of this program may be offered online. 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.

What Our Alumni Say

"The Texas State University PMHNP program prepares students to be a holistic mental health care provider. The program focus is not only to approach patient care using evidence-based clinical knowledge and skills, but also with deep compassion and an empathetic manner that sees their humanity.”

Dr. Cathy Messinger, Clinical Associate Professor and PMHNP Coordinator

Program Details

The MSN-PMHNP degree delivery format, small class sizes, focused semesters, and precepted practicum experiences will provide increased flexibility and opportunity for the students in Central Texas and beyond.

Program Mission

The St. David’s School of Nursing at Texas State University educates and prepares graduates using innovative teaching strategies and state-of-the-art technology. Graduates provide ethical, safe, and effective patient-centered care and contribute to present and emerging research and health management practices. Graduates demonstrate competence in clinical judgment, collaborate as members and leaders of interprofessional healthcare teams, and utilize scientifically-based interventions. As caring professional nurses, graduates manage illness; promote, maintain, and restore health; and provide end-of-life care for diverse individuals, families, populations, and global communities across the lifespan.

Career Options

Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner graduates are employed in a wide variety of clinical settings. Settings can include inpatient acute psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation units, outpatient psychiatric clinics, and even their own private practice clinics. Graduates are qualified to take the PMHNP national certification examination. Certification is a requirement for licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). Graduates are well-prepared to pursue doctoral study either as new graduates or later in their careers.

Program Faculty

St. David’s School of Nursing faculty are expert advanced nursing leaders and clinicians who bring diverse knowledge and skills into their teaching. In addition to maintaining currency in clinical practice, faculty engage in service and scholarly pursuits. Faculty are highly active in research, service, and clinical practice and frequently present at local, national, and international conferences. Recognition and publication of faculty scholarship are evident in publications in professional journals, engagement in interprofessional scholarship and grantsmanship. Faculty scholarship extends to student engagement in translational science capstone projects that often result in faculty-student presentations and publications, providing graduates with scholarly recognition prior to graduation.

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 individuals.

Graduate Advisor
Dr. Kathy Smith
Nursing Building (NURS), Room 320


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Application Deadlines

DeadlinesU.S. CitizenInternational
U.S. Citizen
January 25 (*Flexible)
January 25 (*Flexible through June 1)

*A flexible deadline means applications received after the standard deadline may be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis with no guarantees for admission consideration.

This program is no longer accepting applications for fall 2023.

Funding Information
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.

Admission 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.

  • Review important information about the online application.

    • $55 nonrefundable application fee
    • $90 nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials

    Review important information about application fees.

    • bachelor of science in nursing (B.S.N.) degree from a regionally accredited institution and from a nursing program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or other nationally recognized nursing education accrediting body. The student's B.S.N. degree must be reflected on the transcript at the time of application. (Non-U.S. degrees must be equivalent to a four-year U.S. Bachelor’s degree. In most cases, three-year degrees are not considered. Visit our International FAQs for more information.)
    • a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
    • minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses) (Effective Fall 2024: a 3.0 overall GPA or a 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work, plus any completed graduate courses)
    • minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale in your nursing course work
    • 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

    • GRE not required

    Approved English Proficiency Exam Scores

    Applicants are required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score that meets the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a country on our exempt countries list.

    • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
    • official PTE scores required with a 52 overall
    • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
      • minimum individual module scores of 6.0
    • official Duolingo Scores required with a 110 overall
    • official TOEFL Essentials scores required with an 8.5 overall

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

    Review important information about official test scores.

    • current, valid, unencumbered Registered Nurse license in Texas with date issued from the Board of Nursing uploaded into the application system. Multistate licenses are accepted as long as Texas is declared the home state.
    • professional essay and goals statements
    • resume/CV showing a minimum of one year full-time equivalent experience as a Registered Nurse prior to the application deadline. Employment will be verified.
    • three professional forms of recommendation from persons competent to assess the applicant’s 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.
    • interview

    *Please note once a student has been offered admission, additional criteria must be completed and met prior to admission and the required due dates as listed by the School of Nursing.

    Review important information about documents.

  • If you are an international applicant, you can apply to this program; however, please be aware that you must:

    • be available to complete certain degree requirements in the state of Texas
    • have a bachelor of science in nursing (B.S.N.) degree from a regionally accredited institution and from a nursing program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or other nationally-recognized nursing education accrediting body. Your B.S.N. degree must be reflected on your transcript when you apply.

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