DNP- Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner


A PMHNP is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who provides mental health care to families, individuals, and populations across the lifespan. The PMHNP works primarily in hospitals, psychiatric facilities, outpatient clinics, substance abuse programs, and private psychiatric or mental health practices to diagnose conditions and prescribe treatments. Behavioral telehealth is a growing area, offering patients accessible virtual mental healthcare no matter where they live. Some psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) specialize in specific patient populations, such as pediatrics or military/veterans.

Why Choose PMHNP?

Students should choose the PMHNP track if they enjoy working with diverse communities and focusing on mental health across the lifespan. As a PMHNP, the student will learn how to deliver family-focused care in diverse settings to patients from different backgrounds, including underserved and vulnerable populations. PMHNPs provide diagnostic services, treatment, and other care for those struggling with mental health problems. Our PMHNP track strongly emphasizes the comprehensive preparation necessary for psychiatric and mental health practice throughout the life cycle.

Sites of Practice

Graduates from our PMHNP track practice independently and serve as valued members of larger health care teams. Our graduates practice in a range of settings and with diverse populations, including:

  • Correctional facilities
  • Community health centers (urban and rural)
  • Home health agencies
  • Inpatient settings
  • Veteran’s facilities
  • Integrated primary care and behavioral health settings
  • Outpatient clinics (community mental health, private practice)
  • Schools/Universities

Our PMHNP students are prepared to:

  • Partner with patients, families, and multidisciplinary teams to promote and support optimal mental health;
  • Perform physical, psychological, and psychiatric assessments, including ordering and interpreting psychiatric related diagnostic testing;
  • Provide evidence-based care to patients with psychiatric and mental health conditions such as mood disorders, schizophrenia spectrum disorders, anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dementia, and substance use disorders;
  • Establish differential diagnoses, provide psychotherapies, interventions, and manage psychotropic medications; and
  • Advocate for nursing and the role of the PMHNP

Available Pathways

Post Master's NP to Psychiatric Mental Health DNP

*Each student’s plan of study may vary based on evaluation of transfer credits upon admission


Our DNP program prepares the learner for an advanced practice role and to capably apply evidence to nursing practice consistent with improved patient outcomes. The DNP program’s academic (didactic) curriculum and required clinical hours provide each student with a solid foundation to become a leader in the advanced practice nursing profession. Each student will have the opportunity to work with nationally recognized faculty for their clinical practice, research, and health advocacy work. Additionally, students will gain hundreds of hours of hands-on clinical experience within diverse organizations with expert clinical preceptors across the country (but local to the student).

By combining advanced practice nursing skills and knowledge in evaluating evidence-based research, students are empowered to become more capable and effective practitioners.

Program by Year

Year 1

Year one of the DNP program is offered online and requires no campus visits. Students will complete core DNP academic classwork with peers across all DNP tracks in the College of Nursing. Content of year one courses includes:

  • Leadership and DNP role transition;
  • Appraisal and application of evidence to advance practice;
  • Health equity, health systems, and policy;
  • Wellness and health promotion; and
  • Population-specific care modalities.

Year 2

The second year includes track-focused classes, seminars, and clinical experiences. The DNP courses comprise distance learning methods but now also include more intensive clinical experiences and Objective Clinical Skills Exams (OSCE) [these will be administered via a technology format].

Year 3

Students will work with faculty to complete an Evidence-based Quality Improvement DNP project/product based on AACN’s The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice in collaboration with a clinical agency or organization local to the student.

In the program’s final year, students will continue intense clinical training and complete all required online course content. Learners will come to the FSU campus for a final Project Exposition; students will also complete an evaluative OSCE and comprehensive exit exam prior to graduation.

How to Apply

*States where we can and cannot accept students

Complete the Florida State University Graduate application. Upload all required admissions documents and video interview to the application.


July 1st

Florida State University Graduate Application


Application Requirements

1. Hold an MSN in a Nurse Practitioner track and be a nationally certified APRN with a graduate grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Applicants that already hold an MSN degree must submit proof of clinical hours completed for the MSN program (Send summary of clinical hours from Typhon or contact the institution that awarded the MSN and have them email a letter to the College of Nursing stating the total of clinical hours completed for the program)
2. Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.
3. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score or Miller Analogies Test (MAT).*
4. Unencumbered and unrestricted APRN license.
5. Psychiatric Mental Health Certification
6. Three (3) letters of recommendation.
7. Current CV or resume.
8. Essay (Writing Sample) answering the following questions:

  • Tell us about your professional work experience as a nurse and other relevant professional experiences. Include leadership activities such as serving on committees, leading projects and involvement in professional associations.
  • What are your career goals and how will a DNP degree help you with your goals?

9. Record a video answering the questions below. The video should not be more than 5 minutes long answering all the questions. 

  • Tell us about your previous clinical or volunteer experiences? When have you had a direct impact on a patient’s life? Please include activities such as patient advocacy, involvement in professional associations or an instance you were a change agent to improve quality care delivery.
  • What patient population are you most passionate about? Why? What are your thoughts about any health disparities affecting that group? As a  DNP prepared nurse practitioner, how might you contribute in finding solutions to these issues? 
  • What is your research interest for your Doctor of Nursing Practice evidence based practice project?

 GRE/MAT Waiver Criteria

The GRE requirement will be waived for outstanding applicants meeting ONE of the following criteria:

  • A completed master’s degree with a 3.0 or better GPA from an accredited institution.
  • A completed BSN (60 hours of nursing or RN to BSN courses) with a 3.5 GPA from an accredited institution.

GRE/MAT waiver request form

Applicants must provide evidence to satisfy the criteria being applied.  
Applicants with a competitive GRE or MAT score will still be able to apply to the program and will not be held to these additional criteria.
For those accredited institutions that are competency-based (no GPA assigned) the applicant must submit a GRE/MAT score.

For more information on Graduate application process, contact Carlos Urrutia
For information regarding Tuition and Fees, visit

National Certifications

After completing the PMHNP track, students are eligible to sit for the PMHNP certification exams through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).



Track Coordinator

Dr. Theresa Winton