Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner certificate

The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Certificate prepares graduates for advanced practice registered nurse roles by developing knowledge and skills in areas of mental health promotion, mental illness prevention, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and patient education. The PMHNP certificate program will equip the advanced practice nurse (APN) with the expertise and skills to diagnose and treat individuals with psychiatric and mental health disorders as well as work with a team of professionals in a collaborative approach.

A PMHNP is a reflective practitioner who is able to use concepts of leadership, servant leadership, technology, inter-professional collaboration, cultural diversity, political involvement, research/EBP, critical thinking, holistic health, ethics, and education. The PMHNP is able to practice using knowledge and skills mastered in the program to deliver care, develop health care systems, or educate individuals, families, and communities.

Program requirements include 21 graduate credit hours and a minimum of 630 faculty-supervised clinical hours.



Successful completion of the PMHNP program will enable students to:

  1. Diagnose and treat individuals and families with psychiatric disorders in a wide variety of settings.
  2. Critically analyze advanced pharmacology, physical assessment, physiology/pathophysiology and psychotherapeutic modalities of assessment and diagnosis across the lifespan.
  3. Meet the needs of individuals and families through group therapy.
  4. Critically examine, understand and prescribe pharmacological regimens, incorporating concurrent use of medications with psychotherapy.
  5. Analyze the indications and uses of different treatment modalities including electroconvulsive therapy and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).
  6. Develop plans of care that provide individual support, psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral psychotherapies (both long-term and brief therapy), in addition to including family, couples, group and other evidence-based psychotherapies.
  7. Practice psychiatric consultation regarding complex mental health concerns in a variety of medical and surgical settings.
  8. Provide psychiatric care and treatment for the chronically and acutely mentally ill with appropriate psychopharmacologic, psychotherapeutic and psychosocial rehabilitation support.
  9. Participate in interdisciplinary integrative teams to provide treatment across the lifespan to individuals and families with multiple complex mental concerns.
  10. Recognize signals/symptoms and provide mental health promotion by addressing children’s mental health needs who are victims of family violence, which can include physical, emotional and sexual abuse and neglect.
  11. Participate in policy development at the local, state and national levels.
  12. Provide leadership for assessment and development of community resources.
  13. Participate in servant leadership functions.


Admission to the PMHNP program will be competitive and limited to candidates capable of performing on the graduate level. Applicants to the program must submit the following:

  1. Current unencumbered RN license
  2. Current FNP certificate
  3. Masters or Doctorate in Nursing as an advanced practice registered nurse (NP) from an accredited nursing school (e.g. ACNE, CCNE, CNEA)
  4. Official transcripts from all previous college/university work
  5. Minimum career GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale)
  6. Documentation of at least 2000 hours of FNP experience (equivalent to one year of full-time clinical experience)
  7. A Personal Statement of Goals and Objectives (two pages, APA format)
  8. Three recommendations (two professional, one personal)
  9. Current resume/CV
  10. In-person interview with School of Nursing
  11. Prerequisite Courses: Diversity, Advanced Health Assessment, Research Evidenced Based Practice, Health Policy & Finance, Advanced Pharmacology, and Advanced Pathophysiology P
  12. Satisfactory current drug and background screen results

The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate (PMHNPC) program at Bluefield College is pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).