MSN: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The MSN: Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program option offers registered nurses the opportunity to expand their scope of practice to include the care of individuals, families and groups with psychiatric and mental health needs.

Our lifespan curriculum is a synthesis of knowledge derived from nursing science, neuroscience, behavioral change theories, motivational theories, learning theories and other psychotherapeutic frameworks to provide a holistic perspective from which to assess, diagnose, treat, manage and evaluate acute and chronic mental illnesses.

You will learn about neuropsychopharmacology, interprofessional collaborative practice, crisis intervention, trauma-informed care, health policy, family systems theory, psychotherapy, group therapy, care of vulnerable populations, promotion of mental health and prevention of mental illness, substance use and co-occurring disorders, and other mental illnesses across the lifespan.

Who Should Apply

If you’re already working as a nurse and are interested in advancing your education to expand your scope of practice to include the care of individuals, families and select client populations with psychiatric and mental health needs, you should consider our MSN: Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program.

Apply Now

About the Program

Complete applications that are submitted by the priority deadline will be reviewed first. Applications do not have to be verified by the priority deadline, only completed and submitted. Questions? Contact the Office of Admissions at [email protected]

View Deadlines


A completed application includes the following components:

  • Bachelor's degree in nursing from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Preferred scholastic GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Official transcripts (from all post-secondary schools)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Current resume
  • Personal statement
  • Active and unencumbered nursing licensure



  1. GW Nursing is subject to state authorization requirements in order to offer an approved nursing curriculum. View available states.


The MSN: Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program consists of 50 credit hours and 600 clinical hours. Questions about program requirements should be directed to the program director, Rhonda Schwindt.


Program of Study

MSN - Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program of study (fall entry, part-time)



For full listing of courses and descriptions, please visit the University Bulletin.


On-Campus Requirements

You must complete an on-campus component, for which you will be responsible for all travel-related expenses.


Campus Learning and Skills Intensive (CLASI)

You will come to campus the during semester you are enrolled in NURS 6222: Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning to participate in CLASI, which prepares you to perform a complete history and physical examination.


Technology Requirements

Beginning fall 2018, each student admitted to the MSN program is expected to own and have ready access to a laptop or tablet with basic productivity software for classroom use.

View Policy

You must record a minimum of 600 hours of clinical experience with an approved preceptor. You are encouraged to find your own preceptor, but we can provide information on local clinical sites if needed.  A clinical site visit will be conducted, usually during your second or final clinical course, by a faculty member.


The following clinical courses are required


  • NURS 6244 (75 clinical hours) – Family and Group Psychotherapy
  • NURS 6246 (75 clinical hours) – Individuals across the lifespan living with acute and chronic Mental Illness


  • NURS 6247 (150 clinical hours) – Population-based Psychiatric/Mental Health


  • NURS 6248 (150 clinical hours) – Integrated Application of Psychiatric/Mental Health


Required Documentation

  • Current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certificate
  • Immunization records including vaccination or immunity to hepatitis B; measles, mumps and rubella (MMR); varicella; diphtheria; polio and tetanus
  • Documentation of negative test results for tuberculosis (purified protein derivative (PPD) and/or chest x-ray)


Questions about clinical placement requirements should be directed to [email protected].

Graduate tuition is charged per credit hour, unless otherwise noted, and is listed under “School of Nursing” by the university’s Student Accounts Office. Rates vary by program and are subject to change without prior notice. Changes to a student’s program or course load may result in additional tuition charges and fees.

Learn more about financial aid opportunities at GW Nursing.