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.


  • Develop and foster therapeutic relationships as a basis for the provision of holistic and compassionate care to individuals, families, and populations across the lifespan who are at risk of developing and/or have a psychiatric disorder or mental health problem.
  • Provide holistic, compassionate, and recovery-oriented care consistent with current legal, ethical and evidence-based standards of advanced practice psychiatric/mental health nursing to individuals, families, and populations across the lifespan.
  • Demonstrate cultural competence through the delivery of mental health care which recognizes and acknowledges the influence of culture and spiritual beliefs on health outcomes.
  • Engage in professional leadership skills to manage, integrate, and coordinate client care services across the continuum of care.
  • Collaborate and consult with other members of the interprofessional team to support improved health and enhanced quality of life for individuals, families, and populations across the lifespan experiencing psychiatric/mental health needs.
  • Implement strategies to promote health policies that improve mental health, prevent disease, reduce stigma, and improve access to care for individuals, families, and populations across the lifespan experiencing mental health needs.
  • Apply information technology and knowledge-based resources to manage data that informs clinical practice.
  • Synthesize theoretical, scientific, and clinical knowledge to promote health, prevent disease, and manage mental illnesses with pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions for individuals, families, and populations 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.

Application Deadlines

Fall 2024

Application Open: 11/01/23

Priority: 01/09/24
Release Date: Rolling

Final: 07/01/24
Release Date: Rolling

Spring 2024

Application Open: 07/08/24

Priority: 08/01/24
Release Date: Rolling

Final: 12/01/24
Release Date: Rolling



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 Office of Admissions.

Program of Study


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

Technology Requirements

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.

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].

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/CV
  • Statement of Purpose
  • 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.
No Prerequisites

At the conclusion of this MSN program, you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate leadership based upon advanced knowledge.

  2. Promote and improve quality in the workplace through quality improvement practices.

  3. Synthesize knowledge of nursing practice, theory and research as a foundation for advanced nursing practice.

  4. Demonstrate continued professional development through ongoing education.

  5. Build an interdisciplinary professional network that includes collaboration and teamwork.

  6. Promote positive changes in health care delivery and nursing practice.

  7. Engage in caring and collaborative relationships with patients/clients for shared decision-making.

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].

Frequently Asked Questions