Online psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) programs provide graduates with the specialized knowledge and competencies required to serve patients facing acute or chronic mental health concerns. These professionals offer inpatient and outpatient services, including assessments and treatment plans, appropriate medications, ongoing care services, and referrals to other mental health specialists. They can work with patients across the lifespan but usually focus on a particular population, such as acute primary care.
Finding an online PMHNP program appeals to working nurses, who can continue their employment while furthering their education and opening up new career paths. Each school in the list of online psychiatric nurse practitioner programs below holds proper accreditation. View our ranking methodology and then check out the ranking of the best online PMHNP programs for 2020.
Top 5 Best Value Online Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Programs 2020
|1.||Stony Brook University|
|3.||Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis|
|5.||Frontier Nursing University|
What to Expect From an Online Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program
Online psychiatric nurse practitioner programs introduce learners to academic and clinical studies. Common topics include advanced health assessments for the psychiatric nurse practitioner, population-based mental healthcare across the lifespan, advanced psychopharmacology, and theories of individual and family psychotherapy. Throughout enrollment, students also participate in clinicals to accrue required practice hours.
These programs typically take between 2-4 years to complete, with actual timelines varying based on previous education and enrollment type. State licensure requirements vary, so degree-seekers should contact their local boards to learn about specific licensure exams and meeting the minimum number of clinical hour requirements. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners provides an interactive map with information about individual state laws.
Career Outlook for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners
PMHNPs work in many different healthcare and medical settings, including hospitals and clinics, inpatient and outpatient care facilities, physician's offices, and counseling centers. Their training allows them to serve patients of all ages, but some may decide to focus on a particular age group or mental health concern (e.g., anxiety and depression, eating disorders).
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that nurse practitioners (NPs) earned a median salary of $115,800 in 2019. Factors affecting actual pay include type of employer, level of education, amount of experience, and place of residence. The BLS projects NP employment to grow by 26% from 2018-28. Reasons for growth include increased access to mental health services and higher rates of mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.