May 26, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
    
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Nursing - Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (BPMH/DPMH) - DNP


Grad Nursing - Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Image


74 credits

3.0 GPA required.

There are three tracks to obtain a DNP:

  • BS to DNP (BPMH): students with a bachelor’s who are pursuing a doctorate
  • Post-Master’s DNP New Role/Specialty (DPMH): students with a master’s who are pursing a doctorate and want to change professional roles
  • Post-Master’s DNP Non-Role Change (DPMH): students with a master’s who are pursuing a doctorate and do not desire a professional role change

A Plan of Study is available on the Doctor of Nursing Practice website.

Description of Program (DNP)


Graduates of the DNP programs are prepared for a variety of advanced nursing roles such as nurse leaders, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialists. Graduates of the DNP program are prepared for the highest level of clinical nursing practice.

Nursing science core courses, taken by all graduate students, build on students’ baccalaureate nursing knowledge to integrate scientific underpinnings for practice, understand nursing information management and decision making, and advocate for health promotion. Students develop evidence-based knowledge and skills to enhance the quality and safety of health care while demonstrating leadership and professionalism. Courses within the selected programs of Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner ; Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist ; Family Nurse Practitioner ; Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner ; Nursing Leadership ; or Nursing Leadership: Practice and Leadership Innovations  provide specialized knowledge and practice opportunities in each advanced nursing role. A unique feature of this program is the targeted emphasis on the nurse’s use of advanced knowledge and skills of health promotion with individuals, families, and systems in diverse populations to address health care needs within complex environments.

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)


Students choosing the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program are prepared with specialized knowledge, skills, and abilities to provide care across the lifespan to individuals, families, groups, and communities with behavioral and mental health problems/disorders or the potential for such problems. In addition to nursing science core courses and direct care core courses, content includes psychopharmacology, psychopathology, neurobiology, psychiatric assessment and diagnostic interpretation, and therapeutic modalities. Clinical practicums under the supervision of qualified preceptors will focus on psychiatric-mental health care in a variety of specialty areas with a rural emphasis. All Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students complete a clinical project within the clinical setting.

A total of 1,000 clinical/practicum hours are required for all graduates of a DNP program. This program provides 840 clinical hours. The remaining clinical/practicum hours may come from a previous master’s degree (appropriateness determined by faculty), or additional clinical/practicum courses may be necessary to achieve the 1,000 clinical hours requirement for DNP.

Traditional Track (BS to DNP) (BPMH)


Students with a bachelor’s degree who are pursuing a doctorate.

1080 Clinical Hours (1 clinical credit = 60 hours of contact time)

(BS to DNP) Electives (3 credits)


Choose any 3 credits at the 600/700-level. Students are encouraged to meet with their advisor for direction on appropriate options.

Post-Master’s DNP (MS to DNP) (DPMH)


A total of 72 credits are required for DNP. Students receive credit for completion of their master’s degree plus credit for experience.

Students who have graduated from a nationally accredited graduate program in nursing with a master’s degree and are certified or eligible for certification as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) may pursue a Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

There are two options for APRNs who wish to pursue a Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Both options include pre-admission requirements and Nursing Science Core Courses.

(MS to DNP) Required Courses for Tracks 1 & 2 (40 credits)


(MS to DNP) Choose One Track: New Role or No Role Change


Students who desire a DNP and a role change should select Track 1. Students who desire a DNP without a role change should select Track 2.

Track 1 (MS to DNP): PMHNP New Role


Students who have a master’s or doctoral degree from a nationally accredited graduate program in nursing and are certified or eligible for certification as an APRN and wish to become eligible for certification as a PHMHNP can earn a DNP and prepare for certification in a new APRN specialty.

Track 2 (MS to DNP): No Role Change


This option provides APRNs who already have a master’s degree in nursing from a nationally accredited graduate program and are nationally certified or eligible for certification as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) the opportunity to earn a DNP. The Clinical Scholarship Project is completed with the guidance of a clinical mentor by all DNP students and involves demonstration of knowledge and skills to enhance the quality and safety of health care in a variety of settings and for a variety of populations.

*Clinical/practicum hour ratio is 1 credit hour to 60 clinical/practice hours.

960 Clinical Hours (1 clinical credit = 60 hours of contact time)

Track 2 (MS to DNP): No Role Change Electives (15 credits)

Choose any 15 credits at 600/700-level. Students are encouraged to meet with their advisor for direction on appropriate options.