University General Course Catalog 2021-2022 
    Jun 25, 2022  
University General Course Catalog 2021-2022

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Advanced Graduate Certificate

The Post- Master’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) certificate program prepares those with a Master’s of Science in Nursing to care for individuals and families with behavioral and mental problems. The program has two tracks: 1) for those who are not nationally certified and licensed as an APRN, and 2) for those who are nationally certified and licensed as an APRN.

This advanced practice role prepares graduates to assess, diagnose, intervene (e.g. psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy), and provide follow-up to facilitate ongoing levels of wellness. The PMHNP is prepared to provide psychiatric and mental health care in a variety of treatment settings (e.g. hospitals, jails, home care, and outpatient clinics) and participate with other members of the health care team. With a shortage of mental health professionals and increasing demand for expert mental health care in rural health settings, the PMHNPs scope of practice brings critically relevant skills needed to care for persons experiencing the full range of psychiatric and mental health problems.

Note: Students who are enrolled in this program solely are not eligible for Federal Financial Aid.

Contact Information

Stephanie S. DeBoor, PhD, APRN, ACNS-BC, CCRN
Associate Dean for Graduate Programs
Assistant Professor
(775) 682-7156

Dr. Cameron Duncan DNP, MS, APRN, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC
Assistant Professor

University of Nevada, Reno
Orvis School of Nursing
1664 N. Virginia Street MS 0134
Reno, NV 89557

Program Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Integrates scientific findings from nursing, biopsychosocial fields, genetics, public health, quality improvement, and organizational sciences for the continual improvement of nursing care across diverse settings.
  2. Provide advanced, ethical, evidence-based nursing services for multi-cultural and ethnic individuals, families, aggregates, and select populations.
  3. Apply patient-care and communication technologies to deliver, enhance, integrate, and coordinate care.
  4. Collaborate with other professionals and members of the community to provide optimal health care to individuals, families, special populations, and communities with an emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention.
  5. Respect diversity and address complex health care needs of persons, including the unserved and under-served, populations and communities, in the role of nurse leader, educator and/or advanced practice nurse.
  6. Participate in the ethical organization, management, and policy negotiations of health care delivery systems to use advocacy strategies to influence health and healthcare.
  7. Participate in the application of safe patient care and quality healthcare practices.
  8. Participate in the development of nursing as a science, through the use of theory, research, and scientific processes while acquiring a foundation for doctoral study.

Admission Requirements

This is a two-step process, wherein the applicant must first complete the Graduate Special application as well as the Orvis School of Nursing post-master’s application. Both schools must receive all application materials on or before March 1 for consideration for the fall semester.

  • Have an overall undergraduate grade-point average of at least a 3.0.
  • Successful completion of a Master’s of Science in Nursing degree from an NLNAC, ACEN, or CCNE accredited nursing school.
  • Have verification of current, unencumbered licensure to practice as a registered nurse in the United States. Students must be eligible to practice as a registered nurse in Nevada.
  • Submit a statement of intent to the graduate program director of the Orvis School of Nursing.
  • Provide three letters of reference to the graduate program director of the Orvis School of Nursing.

An interview may be required.

I. Program Requirements (23-38 units)

The total of required units for completing the certificate varies according to the previous coursework and successful completion of the 3 P’s (Advanced Physical/Health Assessment, Advanced Pathophysiology, and Advanced Pharmacology). The minimum number of required units for completion of the Post-Master’s PMHNP certificate is 23-38 units.  With graduate advisor approval, Post-Master’s PMHNP students may apply more than 3 S/U units to the units required.

Applicants who plan to apply graduate-level credit earned at another university to the University of Nevada, Reno may be able to satisfy specific course requirements in the nursing program. Applicants must provide specific course information for review to determine if the transferred courses are equivalent to university requirements. If approved, such courses may be included in the official program of study.

Program of Study

First Year, Fall Semester (3 units)


*Providing review of transcripts represents completion of core coursework (“3 Ps”) from Full-time plan of study. Otherwise students will complete NURS 717 and NURS 750 the first year fall semester and NURS 716 the first spring semester.

Full-Time Program of Study

Part-Time Plan of Study

II. Total Units (29 units minimum)

The Post-Master’s PMHNP certificate is a minimum of 29 units and requires the completion of 720 clinical hours.