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Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (DNP)

DNP Program Specialization

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs) provide mental health care for individuals across the lifespan, from infancy to old age. They also work with families and populations at risk for developing and/or having a diagnosis of psychiatric disorders or mental health problems.

PMHNPs provide mental health treatment, preventive services, consultation and leadership in hospitals, clinics, community settings and private practice. They offer a range of continuous and comprehensive services to meet patients' needs and promote optimal mental health. This includes:

  • Building relationships with patients for ongoing care.
  • Promoting mental well-being through preventive strategies.
  • Assessing, diagnosing, and treating mental health and psychiatric disorders across the lifespan.
  • Maintaining mental health through ongoing management plans.

Graduates of the PMHNP track are eligible for New York State NP certification and meet the educational requirements for national certification by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.


Course of Study

The program is open to nurses with a baccalaureate or master's degree in nursing and may be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. Admitted students without a prior master's degree in nursing from an accredited program complete 90 credits and 1130 supervised clinical practicum hours.

Students with a prior master's degree in nursing may be eligible for advanced standing, based on an assessment of the student's prior graduate record. Up to 42 credits for master's courses completed with a grade of 'B' or better, including relevant clinical hours completed for the master's degree, may be counted toward the 90 credits required for the DNP degree. Those eligible for advanced standing generally begin the program starting at the post-master's plan of study. DNP Capstone courses require a total of 500 clinical practicum hours.

Course descriptions are available in the Hunter College Graduate Catalog.

Post-Baccalaureate Entry (48 credits)

Nursing Core Courses (12 credits)

NURS 700   Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Science (3 cr)

NURS 702   Advanced Nursing Research (3 cr)

NURS 704   Healthcare Systems and Policy (3 cr)

NURS 749   Health Promotion & Disease Prevention in Diverse Pop. (3 cr)

Advanced Practice Core Courses (9 credits)

NURS 717   Advanced Pathophysiology for Nursing Practice (3 cr)

NURS 750   Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics (3 cr)

NURS 751   Advanced Health Assessment (3 cr)

Specialization Courses (27 credits, 630 practicum hours)

NURS 784   Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Psych-Mental Health Nursing Care and Practice (1 cr)

NURS 737   Mental Health Policy and Advocacy: The Role of the PMHNP (1 cr)

NURS 746   Epidemiology of Behv'l Health & Community Mental Health (1 cr)

NURS 747   Adv. Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology of the Brain (1 cr)

NURS 777   Adv. Psych-Mental Health Assessment and Intervention (3 cr)

NURS 778   Adv. Child/Adolescent Psych-Mental Health Assessment and Intervention (2 cr)

NURS 719   Psychopharmacology (3 cr)

NURS 748   Therapeutic Counseling Modalities (3 cr)

NURS 779   Family & Group Theories & Therapeutic Modalities (2 cr)

NURS 781   Comprehensive Psych-Mental Health Assessment and Intervention of Acute and Chronic Disease States (1 cr)

NURS 782   PMHNP Clinical Practicum I (4.5 cr, 315 practicum hrs)

NURS 783   PMHNP Clinical Practicum II (4.5 cr, 315 practicum hrs)

Post-Master's Curriculum (42 credits)

NURS 716   Informatics for Evidence-Based Practice (3 cr)

NURS 780   Health Care Ethics in the Life Span (3 cr)

NURS 800   Leading Systems and Organizations (3 cr)

NURS 801   Leadership for Quality Improvement (3 cr)

NURS 802   Analytic Methods for Evidence-Based Practice (3 cr)

NURS 804   Finance and Management of Advanced Practice Nursing (3 cr)

NURS 810   Clinical Genetics (3 cr)

NURS 850   Health Policy and Population-Focused DNP Practice (3 cr)

PH 750       Fundamentals of Biostatistics (3 cr)

PH 752       Fundamentals of Epidemiology (3 cr)

DNP Capstone Courses (12 credits, 500 practicum hours)

NURS 90001  Capstone 1: Internship (3 cr, 105 practicum hrs)

NURS 90002  Capstone 2: Proposal Development (3 cr, 105 practicum hrs)

NURS 90003  Capstone 3: Implementation (3 cr, 210 practicum hrs)

NURS 90004  Capstone 4: Evaluation & Dissemination (3 cr, 80 practicum hrs)

Total Credits for Degree: 90


Sample Program Plans

PMHNP Post-Baccalaureate Plan of Study (PDF)

DNP Post-Master's Plan of Study - All Tracks (PDF)


How to Apply

First, please carefully review our DNP program admission requirements. Information on the application process is available from the Office of Graduate Admissions.


For questions about the DNP program, please complete our program inquiry form.