Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, MSN

Significant advancements have been made in recent years in our understanding of neuroscience and human behavior and the effective treatment and prevention of mental illness. Yet, despite this progress, mental health issues are often minimized, mishandled, and insufficiently treated, shrouded in fear and shame. There is disparity in treatment across many populations, and a critical shortage of skilled mental health professionals that limits the ability of patients to get the care they so deeply need. Confounding this is a lack of diversity among health care providers who may not adequately understand cultural barriers to seeking care. This is something we are striving to change.

In our program, you’ll benefit from a holistic approach that blends neuroscience with psychotherapy and psychopharmacology. You’ll work alongside faculty and mentors to advocate treatment of the whole person, blending mind and body in the context of the patient’s psychosocial environment.  You’ll learn biopsychosocial assessment and diagnosis as well as medication management, all while deepening your skills in psychotherapy, including therapeutic approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy, group/family therapy, and more.

We use a three-semester clinical practicum, with the program placing students in settings that allow for exposure to a variety of psychiatric populations. Onsite preceptors will supervise your work, and you’ll share experiences with other students through weekly small group seminars on campus.


Core Courses
NURS 6080Advanced Pharmacology and Therapeutics for Nursing Practice1
NURS 6240Pathogenesis of Mental Disorderrs and Psychopharmacology Across the Lifespan1
NURS 6560Professional Role Issues for Nurse Practitioners1
NURS 6570Advanced Physical Assessment and Clinical Decision Making1
NURS 6070Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology1
NURS 6370Introduction to Research Methods and Design 11
or NURS 5470 Scientific Inquiry for Evidence-based Practice
Theory Courses
NURS 5260Child and Adolescent Mental Health1
NURS 5320Cognitive Behavioral Strategies in Health Care1
NURS 6250Clinical Modalities Across the Life Cycle in Advanced Practice Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing1
NURS 6260Family and Organizational Systems Across the Life Span1
NURS 6280Mental Health and Aging1
Clinical Courses
NURS 7050Advanced Practice Nursing Practice: Psychiatric Mental Health NP I1
NURS 7060Advanced Practice Nursing Practice: Psychiatric Mental Health NP II1
NURS 7070Advanced Practice Nursing Practice: Psychiatric Mental Health NP III1
Total Course Units14

The alternate course, NURS 5470, is a graduate-level research methods course approved for Penn BSN students only.

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2022 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.