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Washington State University


Doctor of Nursing Practice – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The DNP-PMHNP prepares you to provide psychiatric and mental health services using a full scope of therapies. A Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner assesses, diagnoses, and treats people with psychiatric disorders or the potential for such disorders. Students have clinical experiences with psychiatric mental health practitioners in the community and are supervised by faculty who maintain active practices themselves.

Two pathways are available:

Post-baccalaureate to DNP-PMHNP
Post-master’s to DNP-PMHNP

View WSU’s Course Catalog for course descriptions.

Multiple Campus Locations

The program is offered at WSU Spokane, WSU Tri-Cities, and WSU Vancouver.

Program Delivery

The program is considered “hybrid” with most of the instruction offered online, and required attendance in scheduled classroom time on your campus of registration. In-person class sessions are scheduled so that students can attend each of their courses in a 1-2 day block. Classrooms are available on campuses at WSU Spokane Health Sciences, WSU Tri-Cities, WSU Vancouver; some classrooms are available for some courses at sites in Yakima, Walla Walla and Puyallup. Some classes have lab skills time required in addition to online and classroom-based instructions. In addition, you will complete clinical course requirements working in various health care settings across Washington, north Idaho and north Oregon. Clinical placements are arranged based on site/preceptor availability with input from student requests. All students, nurse practitioner students in particular, will be required to travel at times outside their home community for clinical placement. Lastly, the program may require additional attendance on a campus for specific events that promote the outcomes of the program.

Flexible Scheduling

Full and part-time study options are offered allowing for maximum flexibility for the working nurse. If you are a bachelor’s-prepared student attending full-time, you will complete the program in about 3-4 years. If you attend part-time, you will likely complete the degree requirements in 4-5 years.

Admission Criteria

Please visit the DNP Admission Requirements page.

Research and Teaching Assistant Opportunities

Research and Teaching Assistant positions are available. Contact an advisor at your site.

Career Settings

  • Private mental healthcare practice
  • Inpatient mental health settings
  • Community-based counseling services

Certification & Licensure

Graduates of the DNP-PMHNP program are eligible to take the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner examination offered by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center to become certified and then state-licensed.