Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing FAQs

What is an APRN-PMH Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing?
As described in the Scope and Standards of practice of Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Nursing ( 2007), APRN-PMH practice focuses on the application of competencies, knowledge and experience to individuals, families, or groups with complex psychiatric mental health problems. Promoting mental health in society is a significant role for the APRN-PMH, as is collaboration with the referral to other health professionals as either the patient’s needs or the APRN-PMH nurse practice focus may dictate.

How are the courses delivered online?
Blackboard Academic Suite is utilized for the internet delivery and management of courses. Faculty design course sites that include all components found in a traditional classroom and more. The system offers ability for synchronous and asynchronous communication and interaction through a discussion board and virtual classroom respectively.

How is the DNP different from the PhD?
The DNP is a practice doctorate degree for nurses seeking preparation in advanced practice roles. The PhD is primarily a researched-focused degree program, and a dissertation is required.

What types of students are admitted into the Psychiatric Mental Health DNP option?
Students admitted into the program have completed an entry level degree (MSN, BSN) into the profession of nursing, with all nursing backgrounds eligible for the Psychiatric Mental Health DNP option.

What are the application requirements and how do I apply?
DNP Admission Requirements

When should I apply?
Admission Dates & Requirements

Are there clinical requirements?
Yes, clinical experience hours must meet the requirements to sit for certification by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Clinical experiences across the lifespan are obtained in each student's community in various clinical sites with a preceptor.

Clinical experience hours are obtained in the student's current setting and in the state he or she resides.

What happens after I apply?

  • Required face to face Interviews are held in Late February/ Early March.
  • Applicants are notified of their acceptance/rejection within one month of interview.
  • The program begins in July/August of each year.
  • Students desiring to transfer courses prior to application should contact the Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Option Coordinator to ensure compatibility of courses.

Can I work and go to school?
This varies highly between student to student. This is a rigorous program. However, many students find they are able to work part-time.

Will I be eligible for certification?
Yes, the necessary hours for clinical and educational experiences need for certification are integrated within the curriculum.

Students who have APN backgrounds not in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing will take the course work leading to eligibility for national certification as a Psychiatric Family Nurse Practitioner. (two-year program) Students without any advanced practice nursing certification in any population or role focus will have additional hours in the DNP program for the Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice certification as well as the Family Nurse Practitioner certification. (three-year program)

Students already certified as a Psychiatric Mental Health APN will have clinical and educational experiences that build on their psychiatric expertise. (two-year program)

The clinical and educational experiences necessary to obtain certifications is built in to the two and three year curriculum plans.

When will I be eligible for certification?
Students are eligible for all certifications upon graduation and submission of appropriate forms and fees to ANCC.

What will the program cost?
Estimated Cost of Attendance (COA)

Are there any courses I can take in advance and if so, what is the procedure?
Yes, students can take a few courses prior to enrollment; however, students should contact the Psychiatric Mental Health Option Coordinator or the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs to make sure the course is the appropriate level prior to taking the course.

Where can I find additional information?

  • The UTHSC Psychiatric Mental Health DNP program information can be found on the Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing page. The curriculum, including clinical and didactic hours, can be found here.
  • The UTHSC College of Nursing website
  • See what previous Psychiatric Mental Health DNP students have to say about the program on YouTube!

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA)

Essentials of the Doctoral Education for Advanced Practice Nursing