Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate
Credit Hours
Month Completion
Next Start Date
Aug 15, 2022
Placement Tests
GMAT/GRE not required for admission

Prepare for psych NP certification and meet the growing need for specialized mental healthcare providers

According to a parity report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, more than half of U.S. adults and children struggling with mental illness lack the access to mental health providers that they have for other medical providers. Franklin’s post-graduate Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certificate (PMH-CERT) can help you bridge that gap. With the PMH-CERT, you’ll broaden your knowledge and your practice as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner equipped to provide a holistic approach toward healthcare.

Program Availability

On Site

Finish in 15 Months

Answer the call for specialized psychiatric care providers faster.

Built-in Clinical Hours

Apply what you learn while you learn it.

Transfer Credits Available

Eligible students can get a jumpstart by transferring up to 12 credit hours.

100% Online Coursework

Balance earning your degree with other work-life commitments.

Psych-Mental Health NP Certificate Overview

You’ll gain the knowledge and clinical skills necessary to diagnose acute, episodic and chronic mental health illnesses and provide  treatment options that include medication, psychotherapy or a combination of the two. Whether you are an RN with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), a Ph.D. in Nursing, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or an NP looking for a new specialization, our program equips you with the knowledge and skills to make much-needed behavioral and mental healthcare more accessible to individuals of any age.
Upon completing the certificate, you will be eligible for the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification examination offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Balance your ambition with existing commitments

Designed for the working nurse, the PMH-CERT provides you with an essential understanding of cognitive processes, behaviors, and how life events affect the mental health of your patients. Throughout the program you’ll engage in simulated and live patient experiences that mimic clinical practice for a seamless transition into the PMHNP role upon certification. 

With convenient 6-, 12- and 16-week online courses, you’ll build your theoretical knowledge and foundational technical skills quickly – completing your certificate in as few as 15 months. Plus, in your final year of study you’ll get hands-on learning in a simulated skills lab, as well as on-site clinical residency experience in an approved healthcare setting. 

The School of Nursing faculty will collaborate with you to secure your residency placement, however, you should plan to be ready with a site and a preceptor upon notification of acceptance so that you can get started right away on any coursework that involves a clinical rotation. While you’re probably familiar with potential clinical sites available in your area, two great options to start with are practices that are owned and managed by your employer and smaller MD/NP/DO-owned practices. Once you identify a site, we’ll help you obtain site and preceptor approval, as well as ensure that the necessary paperwork is finalized. 

Ideally, placement arrangements are identified six months in advance and formally confirmed no later than two weeks before the first clinical course. So, depending on when you start your clinical rotations, this could be during the first term.

Apply and practice your technical skills as you learn

Throughout the PMH-CERT program, you’ll learn and practice your newfound technical skills in a simulated lab environment. Later, you’ll refine your skills with a real-world internship that lets you put learned theories into clinical practice to provide comprehensive nursing care. 

As part of an interviewing and mental health assessment lab, you’ll focus on treatment modalities for individual, group and family psychotherapy including observation, interviewing skills, mental health assessments and screening mechanisms. By building your familiarity with the most current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM 5), you’ll learn to formulate a differential diagnosis and pair it with age-appropriate, evidence-based psychotherapeutic treatment. 

Save time and tuition with a transfer-friendly, post-graduate PMHNP Certificate program

If you qualify for transfer credit, you could graduate up to 9 months faster. To be eligible for up to 12 hours of transfer credit, credit hours must be from an accredited MSN program. Common sources of transfer credit include standard graduate-level courses like advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology and advanced physical assessment, as long as they have been completed within 3 to 5 years of your enrollment in Franklin’s PMHNP Certificate program. Talk with an admissions advisor to see if you may benefit from transfer credit based on previously earned MSN credit.

Earn your PMHNP certificate from a university built for busy adults

Earn your PMHNP certificate on your terms by taking classes 100% online. Accredited and nonprofit, Franklin was built from the ground-up to satisfy the needs of adult learners. Our seamless transfer process and team of academic advisors will help ease your transition to becoming a student, while our flexible course schedules help to balance your education with work, family and life. Get started on your future today.



The Doctor of Nursing Practice program and post-graduate APRN certificate program at Franklin University are pursuing initial accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Applying for accreditation does not guarantee that accreditation will be granted.

As part of the initial accreditation for the programs, a CCNE on-site evaluation is scheduled for Sept. 28-30, 2022.

In accordance with CCNE’s procedures, program constituents and other interested parties are invited to submit comments prior to the evaluation. All written third-party comments regarding Franklin University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program or post-graduate APRN certificate program must be received by CCNE by Wednesday, September 7, 2022.

Third-party comments should be submitted to

CCNE requires that all third-party comments be written in English. Comments are shared only with members of the evaluation team prior to their on-site review of the programs. At no time during the review process are these comments shared with the University. Thank you for your participation in this important process.

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Your Best Value Post-Grad PMHNP Certificate

Choose Franklin’s Post-Graduate Certificates and you’ll get more for your money while you make the most of your time. Earn your certificate in as few as 15 months with online coursework and built-in practicum hours.

Competitive Tuition

Competitive tuition rates make Franklin's post-graduate certificate programs a professional investment you can feel confident about.

Highly Recommended

97% of graduating students would recommend Franklin to their family, friends and/or colleagues.**

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Save thousands of dollars in fees by choosing Franklin over other leading programs for your post-graduate certificate.*

*Source: Internal research of leading programs (May 2022)
**Source: Franklin University, Office of Career Development Student Satisfaction Survey (Fall 2021)

Certificate – Psych-Mental Health NP Courses & Curriculum

32 Semester Hours
Major Area Required
NURS 644 - Advanced Pathophysiology (3)

This course provides an in-depth study of the physiological changes and responses to altered health states and their impact on the functional status of patients. Students will focus on the essential knowledge of human health and disease across the lifespan. Pathophysiological theories and evidence-based research serve as a basis for applying content to population groups. Prerequisite NURS 612 or 613.

NURS 646 - Advanced Physical Assessment (3)

This course builds upon the student's previous health assessment knowledge offering more advanced health assessment content to provide the foundation for advanced professional nursing roles. This course emphasizes knowledge of health assessment, including physical, psychosocial, spiritual health assessment, risk assessment, and functional assessment in diverse populations in the promotion of health and prevention of disease. To maintain a nursing focus on patient responses to health, illness, or the threat of illness, the nurse must exhibit effective communication and client teaching, which is incorporated throughout the course. The importance of effective documentation and health record keeping is included. Prerequisite NURS 612 or 613.

NURS 648 - Advanced Pharmacology (3)

This course focuses on the concepts, principles, and application of pharmacotherapeutics used in the management of health problems encountered in primary care. Emphasis is placed on theories and principles of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacogenetics, which provide a foundation for critical thinking, and the application of research finding. The focus on pharmacology is aimed at the treatment of acute and chronic health problems in populations over the life span. Prerequisite NURS 612 or 613.

NURS 730 - Neurobiology and Psychopharmacology (3)

This course focuses on current evidence-based knowledge of neurobiology in relation to psychiatric mental health disorders and addresses principles of psychopharmacology. Emphasis is on neurotransmitters, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and concepts related to prescribing psychotropic drugs as treatment for psychiatric mental health disorders across the lifespan in clinical practice.

NURS 731 - Psychotherapy and Differential Diagnosis for Individuals, Groups and Families (3)

This course focuses on select psychotherapeutic treatment modalities for individual, group, and family psychotherapy. Theories and varied approaches to psychotherapy are reviewed. Differential Diagnosis formation of psychiatric mental health disorders is examined through observation, interviewing skills, mental health assessment, and screening mechanisms. Emphasis is placed on comprehensive mental health assessments with knowledge and use of the most current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM 5) to clinically formulate accurate differential diagnosis and match the diagnosis with treatment planning of age appropriate, evidence-based psychotherapeutic treatment modalities. This course has a required interviewing and mental health assessment lab of 16 hours.

NURS 732 - Psychiatric-Mental Health Advanced Practice I: Therapy Across the Lifespan (4)

This course is the initial clinical practicum that provides students an opportunity to synthesize and apply psychotherapeutic theories and concepts as they further develop advanced clinical skills for the PMHNP role. Interviewing and mental health assessment skills are reinforced. Emphasis is on cultivating competencies in conducting individual, group, and family psychotherapy across the lifespan while incorporating diverse and culturally sensitive approaches to care. 75 clinical hours.

NURS 733 - Psychiatric-Mental Health Advanced Practice II: Adult/Geriatric (4)

This course is the second clinical practicum and builds on providing the student opportunity to apply psychotherapeutic clinical skills for the PMHNP role. Emphasis is on psychiatric mental health care needs of the adult/ geriatric population. In the clinical setting the student will use comprehensive mental health assessments for decision making, to formulate differential diagnosis and match the diagnosis with a treatment plan incorporating diagnostic tests, therapy, psychotropic medication, then document and code in EMRs. 175 clinical hours.

NURS 734 - Psychiatric-Mental Health Advanced Practice III: Pediatric/Adolescent/Family (4)

This course is the third clinical practicum and builds on providing the student opportunity to apply psychotherapeutic clinical skills for the PMHNP role. Emphasis is on the specific psychiatric mental health care needs of the pediatric/adolescent/family population. In the clinical setting the student will use comprehensive mental health assessments for decision making, formulate differential diagnosis and match the diagnosis with a treatment plan incorporating diagnostic tests, therapy, psychotropic medication, then document and code in EMRs. 175 clinical hours.

NURS 793 - Psychiatric Management Capstone (4)

This is the capstone practicum course for the PMHNP student. It functions to encourage transition to practice from student to entry level independent practice. Students will integrate knowledge from previous courses to culminate their training to provide comprehensive psychiatric mental health care and the management of complex co-occurring disease processes and disorders across the lifespan. Emphasis is on the professional role of the PMHNP in disease prevention, health promotion, collaboration, quality, and APRN leadership. 175 clinical hours.

NURS 707 - Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certification Prep (1)

This course is designed to prepare the student to successfully pass the national certification exam. Emphasis will be on best test-taking practices, the application of critical thinking in diagnosis, treatment and management of care of individuals in the mental health setting.

Psych-Mental Health NP Certificate Program Details

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Nursing Careers & Jobs

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners assess mental health status, diagnose mental illness and determine effective treatment plans that may include therapy and medication. 

Nurse Psychotherapist

Nurse psychotherapists provide psychological therapy and counseling to individuals, families and groups in order to assist in behavioral and mental health challenges. 

Mental Health Program Coordinator

Mental health program coordinators plan, organize, direct and coordinate mental healthcare programs and activities for organizations, populations and communities.

Correctional Facility Nurse Practitioner

Correctional facility nurse practitioners work in jails and prisons providing comprehensive acute and emergency care to incarcerated individuals.

Substance Abuse Nurse Practitioner

Substance abuse nurse practitioners work as part of a care team in treatment centers and hospitals to diagnose and treat mental and physical symptoms related to substance abuse.

Psych-Mental Health NP Employment Outlook


From 2021-2031 jobs in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing are expected to increase by 11%

All Occupations

3,368,301 jobs
3,739,735 jobs
Show Details >

Registered Nurse

3,133,126 jobs
3,403,262 jobs

Nurse Practitioner

235,175 jobs
336,473 jobs

Source information provided by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI).

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