Nurses who have earned a master's degree and who either wish to expand their practice or change their patient population focus have a couple of options available to them. One option is to return to school to earn a doctoral degree in nursing. Another shorter, academic pathway is to complete a post-master's certificate program.

Earning a post-master's certificate in the field of psychiatry is beneficial to many disciplines in advanced-practice nursing. Not only can a psychiatric nurse practitioner (NP) work as a patient's primary mental health provider, but family, adult-gerontology, pediatric, and women's health NPs can benefit from this certificate as well to provide holistic care to their patients.

Choosing a PMHNP Post-Master's Certificate Program

Selecting a psychiatric NP post-master's degree program can be a difficult choice. Many are not sure quite where to begin. The following serve as starting points when selecting a psychiatric post-master's certificate program:

  • Accreditation- Ensuring adequate accreditation is essential when choosing a post-master's certificate program. The two main accreditation agencies are the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Some schools are accredited locally, but to ensure licensure and credentialing, the school should be accredited by one of these two entities.
  • Cost- The cost to attend a post-master's certificate program is one of the most significant deciding factors when choosing a school. The cost can vary greatly between schools, states, and even cities. Private schools tend to have a higher cost. Students should take into consideration not just tuition fees, but the cost of supplies and technology needs as well.
  • Length- The length of time to completion is also a major consideration. The length of time depends on the nurse's educational background; if the student has already completed advanced pharmacology, physiology, and health assessment courses, the post-master's certificate program will be shorter.
  • Online Options- Many nurses who choose to return to school are already working. Additionally, nurses can work days, evenings, nights, holidays, and weekends. Many nurses need the flexibility that online learning offers. Thankfully, more and more online programs are available for students.
  • Internship/Externship Options- Many post-master's certificate programs are contracted with local healthcare facilities so students can gain essential clinical knowledge before Students should consider the options available when selecting a school. For psychiatric post-master's certificate program students, they should look at which facility will provide them with the most robust and well-rounded experience.

Online Psychiatric Post-Master's Certificate Programs

As stated earlier, online learning is becoming more and more prevalent. However, choosing online learning versus classroom learning is an individual choice, as every student has different needs.

Online vs. Classroom-Based Psychiatric NP Post-Master's Certificate Programs

One of the advantages of online learning is the flexibility. Students can study when they want, and when they can. Night shift nurses can log on in the middle of the night. Students can study during holidays. The flexibility of online programs allows students to work with their schedule, rather than the other way around.

Another advantage is time. Students can avoid wasting time commuting, parking, and also save money on transportation. They simply need a computer and internet access.

Students can also learn at their own pace and use their individual learning and study methods. This can help students retain key concepts and perform better in the program.

One of the disadvantages of online learning is the lack of peer contact. Many students value the time spent with peers, exchanging knowledge, and overall support. While peer support can still be available with online learning, it is often via electronic communication.

Another disadvantage is that knowledge of technology is required. One must know how to use the internet and navigate the websites. While many young students are already well-versed in technology, some may not be, and this could present a challenge.

The cost of the necessary technology can also be considered a disadvantage. Students may need to purchase a computer or laptop, webcam, and other supplies which can be costly.

There are other considerations with online learning that prospective students should be aware of:

  • Accreditation- As stated earlier, more and more online programs are popping up. Students should look closely at a school's accreditation status- especially with online programs. Many schools advertise quick completion and lowest rates- but are they nationally recognized? Students need to ensure that there will not be any licensing or certification issues after graduation- which may occur if a school is not nationally accredited.
  • Program Length- Many online programs may advertise "shortest program available." Students need to look closely to make sure all the required curriculum is covered for licensure and certification.

Psychiatric Post-Master's Certificate Admission Requirements

While admission requirements may vary between schools, general admission requirements for a psychiatric post-master's certificate program may include:

  • Master's degree from an accredited school
  • Current RN/NP license
  • Submission of a resume/CV
  • A written statement of purpose/goal statement
  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher (specific GPA requirements may vary)
  • Submission of transcripts from prior educational institutions
  • Prior clinical experience

Psychiatric Post-Master's Certificate Curriculum

For advanced-practice nursing, students must complete advanced pharmacology, health assessment, and physiology courses. If not already taken, prospective students must complete these core courses. Additional courses specific to the psychiatric discipline may include:

  • Psychopharmacology
  • Differential diagnosis of mental disorders
  • Psychotherapeutics
  • Adult mental health
  • Pediatric mental health

Helpful Resources

Other Degree Programs

List of Post Master's Certificate Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Programs

Select Your State:


SchoolContact Information
The University of Alabama
50 University Boulevard East
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
(205) 348-6639


SchoolContact Information
University of Alaska Anchorage
3211 Providence Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
(907) 786-4406


SchoolContact Information
Arizona State University
411 N Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(480) 965-7788
University of Arizona
1305 N. Martin | PO Box 210203
Tucson, AZ 85721
(520) 626-6154


SchoolContact Information
Brandman University
16355 Laguna Canyon Road
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 341-9800
Cal State LA
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032
(323) 343-3000
California State University Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90840
(562) 985-4111
California State University San Marcos
Graduate Certificate Programs
333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd
San Marcos, CA 92096
(760) 750-4000
National University
9388 Lightwave Ave
San Diego, CA 92123
(800) 628-8648


SchoolContact Information
University of Colorado
Graduate Certificate Programs
12950 E. Montview Boulevard
Aurora, CO 80045
(303) 724-2152


SchoolContact Information
University of Saint Joseph
Graduate Certificate Programs
1678 Asylum Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06117
(186) 023-2457 x1
Yale University
Graduate Certificate Programs
400 West Campus Drive
Orange, CT 06477
(203) 785-2389


SchoolContact Information
Florida Atlantic University
Graduate Certificate Programs
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431
(561) 297-6261
Florida International University
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199
(305) 348-7703
Florida State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
600 W. College Avenue
Tallahassee, FL 32306
(850) 644-5621
University of Miami
P.O. Box 248153
Coral Gables, FL 33124
(305) 284-3666


SchoolContact Information
Augusta University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1120 15th Street
Augusta, GA 30912
(706) 721-9767
Georgia College
231 W. Hancock St.
Milledgeville,, GA 31061
(800) 342-0471
Georgia Southern University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1332 Southern Drive
Statesboro, GA 30458
(912) 478-4636
Georgia State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
33 Gilmer St SE
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 413-2000


SchoolContact Information
Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing
511 NE Greenleaf Street
Peoria, IL 61603
(309) 655-2201
University of St. Francis
500 Wilcox St.
Joliet, IL 60435
(800) 735-7500


SchoolContact Information
University of Southern Indiana
Graduate Certificate Programs
8600 University Blvd.
Evansville, IN 47712
(812) 464-8600


SchoolContact Information
University of Kansas
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66160
(913) 588-1619
Washburn University
1700 SW College Ave
Topeka, KS 66621
(785) 670-1010


SchoolContact Information
Eastern Kentucky University
521 Lancaster Ave
Richmond, KY 40475
(859) 622-1000
Frontier Nursing University
Graduate Certificate Programs
195 School Street
Hyden, KY 41749
(606) 672-2312
University of Kentucky College of Nursing
Graduate Certificate Programs
315 College of Nursing Building 751 Rose Street
Lexington, KY 40536
(859) 323-5108
Western Kentucky University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1906 College Heights Blvd
Bowling Green, KY 42101
(270) 745-0111


SchoolContact Information
McNeese State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
4205 Ryan Street
Lake Charles, LA 70609
(337) 475-5000
Southeastern Louisiana University
500 W University Ave
Hammond, LA 70402
(985) 549-5637


SchoolContact Information
Johns Hopkins University
525 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21205
(410) 955-4766


SchoolContact Information
Massachusetts College Of Pharmacy And Health Sciences
Graduate Certificate Programs
179 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 879-5964
MGH Institute Of Health Professions
Graduate Certificate Programs
36 1st Avenue
Boston, MA 02129
(617) 726-2947
Regis University
Graduate Certificate Programs
235 Wellesley Street
Weston, MA 02493
(781) 768-7000


SchoolContact Information
The College of St. Scholastica
Graduate Certificate Programs
1200 Kenwood Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811
(800) 447-5444
University of Minnesota
Graduate Certificate Programs
308 Harvard Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
(612) 624-9600
Winona State University Rochester
Graduate Certificate Programs
859 30th Ave SE
Rochester, MN 55904
(507) 285-7100


SchoolContact Information
The University of Southern Mississippi
Graduate Certificate Programs
118 College Drive
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
(601) 266-1000


SchoolContact Information
Maryville University
Graduate Certificate Programs
650 Maryville University Drive
St. Louis, MO 63141
(314) 529-9300
University of Missouri - St. Louis
Graduate Certificate Programs
1 University Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63121
(314) 516-5000


SchoolContact Information
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Graduate Certificate Programs
42nd and Emile
Omaha, NE 68198
(402) 559-4000


SchoolContact Information
University of Nevada, Reno
1664 N. Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89557
(775) 784-1110

New Hampshire

SchoolContact Information
Rivier University
420 South Main Street
Nashua, NH 03060
(603) 888-1311
The University of New Hampshire
Hewitt Hall, 4 Library Way
Durham, NH 03824
(603) 862-1177

New Jersey

SchoolContact Information
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1000 River Rd
Teaneck, NJ 07666
(201) 692-2000
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Avenue
West Long Branch, NJ 07764
(732) 571-3400

New Mexico

SchoolContact Information
The University of New Mexico
2502 Marble Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM 87131
(505) 272-0858

New York

SchoolContact Information
Adelphi University
Graduate Certificate Programs
One South Ave, P.O. Box 701
Garden City, NY 11530
(800) 233-5744
Binghamton University
Graduate Certificate Programs
4400 Vestal Parkway East
Binghamton, NY 13902
(607) 777-2000
D'Youville College
Graduate Certificate Programs
320 Porter Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14201
(716) 829-8000
Hunter College
695 Park Ave
NY, NY 10065
(212) 772-4000
NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
Graduate Certificate Programs
433 First Avenue
New York, NY 10010
(212) 998-5300
St. John Fisher College
3690 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14618
(585) 385-8000
Stony Brook University
101 Nicolls Road
Stony Brook, NY 11794
(631) 689-8333

North Dakota

SchoolContact Information
University of North Dakota
Graduate Certificate Programs
3501 University Ave
Grand Forks, ND 58202
(701) 777-3000


SchoolContact Information
Case Western Reserve University
Graduate Certificate Programs
10900 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 368-2000
Kent State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1375 University Esplanade
Kent, OH 44242
(330) 672-7930
Ohio University

Athens, OH 45701
(740) 593-1000
Otterbein University
1 South Grove Street
Westerville, OH 43081
(614) 890-3000
The University of Akron
Graduate Certificate Programs
302 E Buchtel Ave
Akron, OH 44325
(330) 972-7111
University of Cincinnati
2600 Clifton Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45220
(513) 556-0000
Ursuline College
Graduate Certificate Programs
2550 Lander Rd
Pepper Pike, OH 44124
(440) 449-4200


SchoolContact Information
Drexel University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1601 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 895-2000
Robert Morris University
Graduate Certificate Programs
6001 University Blvd
Moon Township, PA 15108
(800) 762-0097
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Graduate Certificate Programs
418 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-8281

South Carolina

SchoolContact Information
University of South Carolina
Graduate Certificate Programs
1601 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29208
(803) 777-7412

South Dakota

SchoolContact Information
South Dakota State University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1004 Campanile Dr
Brookings, SD 57007
(605) 688-4114


SchoolContact Information
East Tennessee State University
807 University Pkwy
Johnson City, TN 37614
(855) 590-3878
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center- Memphis
Graduate Certificate Programs
910 Madison Ave
Memphis, TN 38163
(901) 448-5500
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
1200 Volunteer Blvd.
Knoxville, TN 37996
(865) 974-4151
Union University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1050 Union University Drive
Jackson, TN 38305
(731) 661-6545


SchoolContact Information
Texas Tech University
3601 4th St.
Lubbock, TX 79430
(806) 743-2730
The University of Texas at Austin
110 Inner Campus Drive
Austin, TX 78712
(512) 471-3434
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
1201 W University Dr
Edinburg, TX 78539
(888) 882-4026
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio - UT Health San Antonio
7703 Floyd Curl Dr
San Antonio, TX 78229
(210) 567-7000


SchoolContact Information
University of Vermont
Graduate Certificate Programs
The University of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05405
(802) 656-3131


SchoolContact Information
Radford University
E Main St
Radford, VA 24141
(540) 831-5000
Shenandoah University
1460 University Dr
Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 665-4500
University of Virginia
Graduate Certificate Programs
225 Jeanette Lancaster Way
Charlottesville, VA 22903-3388
(434) 924-0141
Virginia Commonwealth University
Graduate Certificate Programs
1100 East Leigh Street
Richmond, VA 23298
(804) 828-0724


SchoolContact Information
University of Washington
Graduate Certificate Programs
1410 NE Campus Parkway
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-2100


SchoolContact Information
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Graduate Certificate Programs
702 West Johnson Street. Suite 1101
Madison, WI 53715
(608) 263-2400

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.