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.