The psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner concentration prepares graduates for advanced practice registered nurse roles by developing the knowledge and skills in areas of mental health promotion, as well as mental illness prevention, assessment, diagnosis, treatment and patient education in the care of individuals across the lifespan. Students are exposed to a unique balance of neuroscience, psychological theory and evidence-based practice. Students crystalize their understanding of this content through the use of simulation, interactive case study, discussion board activity, individual and group-based projects, writing assignments, testing and supervised practicum experiences. Informed by a balanced approach to care, students receive focused instruction in both psychotherapy and psychopharmacotherapy.
The PMHNP is prepared to assess, diagnose, treat and educate individuals, families and groups with complex psychiatric-mental health problems and do so with an interprofessional lens of quality and safety. PMHNPs work in clinical settings that include private, state or Veterans Affairs in-patient or outpatient psychiatric facilities, private psychiatric practices, and community mental health centers. PMHMPs also provide services in settings such as correctional facilities, domestic violence shelters, residential substance abuse facilities and schools.
Graduates of the PMHNP concentration are eligible to apply for the Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification exam administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Graduates will achieve advanced nursing practice competencies by demonstrating:
- Systems and organizational leadership
- Implementation of advanced nursing practice interventions
- Effective use of research and technology
- Systematic evaluation of interventions and outcomes
Student learning outcomes
Graduates will be able to:
- Synthesize knowledge and theories from nursing and related sciences to improve health outcomes for individuals, populations and systems
- Integrate prevention and population health concepts into models of care
- Demonstrate leadership to foster interprofessional collaboration that advances health care practices and influences health policies
- Integrate evidence and organizational science into practice to enhance outcomes
- Enhance patient care and safety using quality processes and improvement science
- Incorporate current and emerging health care technologies and informatics into practice
- Demonstrate core competencies in their advanced practice concentration
VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs
The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.
It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.
Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.
Degree candidacy requirements
A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.
Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.
Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.
As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.
Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.
Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.
VCU School of Nursing Student Policy and Information handbooks are located on the school’s website.
Our international and non-native English-speaking students bring different perspectives and new thinking to our nursing programs. To ensure that all incoming student are prepared for the school’s academic rigor, all international applicants and non-native English speaking applicants without a degree from a U.S. high school, college or university must provide additional information with their applications according to the English language proficiency guidelines on the program admission tab.
Visit the School of Nursing website for program-specific application instructions.
|Degree:||Semester(s) of entry:||Deadline dates:||Test requirements:|
Note: No admissions test is required for this program.
To be considered for admission to the School of Nursing, applicants must:
- Be eligible for readmission or be in good standing at the last college or university attended
- Meet the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School
- Submit a complete application with all required materials to the School of Nursing
- Have an earned baccalaureate (or higher) degree in nursing from an accredited nursing school (e.g. ACEN, CCNE, CNEA)
- Have completed a minimum of three credit hours in statistics with a minimum grade of B
- Have a current, unrestricted R.N. license from a U.S. state or territory at the time admissions application is submitted (Applicants without a R.N. license in the U.S. should consult with the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools and the Virginia Board of Nursing for the steps needed to obtain a Virginia R.N. license.)
- Provide additional information with the application according to the English language proficiency guidelines for applicants who are international or non-native English speakers without a degree from a U.S. high school, college or university (Additional information can be found on the ‘Required materials’ tab of the VCU International Admissions website.)
School of Nursing B.S. graduates who successfully completed the requirements of the VCU Honors College are eligible for guaranteed admission to the master’s program.
Forty-four graduate credit hours are required for the psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner concentration.
In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, a candidate for the degree of Master of Science in Nursing must be recommended by the faculty and must:
- Meet academic requirements of the Graduate School
- Complete all requirements for the prescribed curriculum within six calendar years of the first registration for work to be credited toward the degree
- Earn a minimum grade of B or pass grade in all nursing courses
- Earn a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all work presented for graduation
- Conform to School of Nursing policies in respect to pass/fail grading for course work or thesis study
The degree will be granted only after all requirements have been fulfilled and all fees to the university have been paid. Degrees are not granted in absentia unless written request is made to the dean and permission is granted.
|NURS 502||Advanced Pharmacology||3|
|NURS 504||Advanced Pathophysiology||3|
|NURS 511||Advanced Health Assessment||3|
|NURS 512||Foundations for Evidence-based Advanced Practice||3|
|NURS 520||Professional Transitions for the Advanced Practice Nurse||2|
|NURS 607||Epidemiology and Population Health||3|
|NURS 638||Health Policy Leadership and Advocacy||3|
|NURS 640||Teamwork In Complex Clinical Situations||3|
|NURS 521||Psychiatric Disorders Across the Lifespan||4|
|NURS 522||Psychopharmacology for Advanced Practice||3|
|NURS 597||Psychiatric Mental Health Practicum I||2|
|NURS 598||Managing Psychiatric Disorders in Special and Vulnerable Populations||2|
|NURS 602||Psychotherapy: Theory and Practice||2|
|NURS 641||Psychiatric Mental Health Practicum II||4|
|NURS 659||Psychiatric Mental Health Practicum III||4|