Nursing: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (D.N.P.)

Nursing: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (D.N.P.)
Nursing Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Our Post Baccalaureate Doctor of Nursing Practice PMHNP program is designed for registered nurses with a baccalaureate degree to gain leadership and innovation skills with eligibility to sit for board certification as a nurse practitioner in Psychiatric Mental Health Care. We prepare students for leadership with evidenced-based clinical and management competencies to transform healthcare delivery.

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  Credit Hours: 80   |     Program Length: Customizable |    Tuition Cost

Why get a Post Baccalaureate Doctorate of Nursing Practice: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner?

Our nation's complex healthcare environment ahs created a great demand for innovated nurse leaders with specialized knowledge and advanced nursing practice expertise.  The post-baccalaureate Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a doctoral degree that prepares nurses for the highest level of advanced nursing practice.   Students in the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program has the opportunity to fast track through masters level courses and complete PMHNP specialty didactic and clincal courses and practicum experiences.  Upon successful program completion, graduates will be eligible to sit for the ANCC board certification for Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Across the Lifespan (PMHNP-BC).

Why choose UNH's Doctor of Nursing Practice program?

This online post baccalaureate DNP is designed for nurses with a bachelor’s degree who wish to pursue academic preparation as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) while completing a terminal Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Students benefit from the focus on enhanced leadership, evidenced-based clinical and management skills, and development of advanced competencies for transforming healthcare delivery and practice. A dedicated UNH faculty advisor will help you balance the workload and manage your academic schedule. With minimal campus visits, small class sizes, and dedicated expert faculty, our asynchronous program offers flexibility, a great option for working professionals. Begin in the spring or fall terms and complete the coursework full or part-time.

Potential Careers

  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Clinical Nurse Manager
  • Clinical Nursing Faculty
  • Director of Nursing
  • Director of Inpatient Services
  • Director of Quality & Safety
  • Healthcare Innovation Officer

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Briana White, UNH DNP Graduate



Briana White, Doctor of Nursing Practice '22G and participant in the prestigious Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellowship from 2019 to 2022 (sponsored by the Center of Creative Leadership, Johnson & Johnson and Nurse Approved), was eager to make an impact in the ever-changing nursing industry.

Thrilled to be involved in a program that nurtures a spirit of innovation intended to change the landscape of healthcare through the triad of education, mentorship, and leadership, she used her current home care management experience to sculpt her DNP scholarly project. Her fellowship project implemented these principles to create a first-in-nation model of care for home health. Learn more here >  

Curriculum & Requirements

The online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares nurses for the highest level of specialized nursing practice. DNP graduates are innovative leaders prepared to translate evidence into practice, improve systems of care and measure health outcomes in diverse settings. Students are required to plan, implement, and evaluate a quality improvement project customized to support their unique aspirations.

The Post Baccalaureate DNP (PB-DNP) program is for nurses with a baccalaureate degree in nursing who are seeking leadership development and certification as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.  This program will prepare the experienced Registered Nurse (RN) with the knowledge, skills,and competencies to assess,diagnose, and manage mental healthcare patients across the lifespan. Foundational core coursework to prepare the advanced practice nurse is completed prior to transitioning into specialty content.

Courses are competency-based, founded on evidence-based approaches to care management and learning strategies with commitment to student success and continuous quality improvement embedded within the process. Synchronous, asynchronous, low and high-fidelity simulation,virtual and on-campus intensives,and clinical immersion will reinforce didactic content and afford the student the opportunity to transition to an active member of a collaborative mental health care team.

Upon successful program completion, graduates will be eligible to sit for the ANCC board certification exam for Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Across the Lifespan (PMHNP-BC).

Admission Requirements

  1. Registered Nurse licensure: An unencumbered registered nurse license in the United States
  2. Letters of recommendation: Three letters of reference pertaining to academic ability, professional competency, and personal character are required.
  3. Updated resume
  4. Professional statement: The professional statement must include a written essay responding to each of the following:
    1. Discuss the DNP PMHNP program, what experiences have contributed to your interest and how do you visualize yourself in this role after graduation?

    2. How will a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from the University of New Hampshire help you attain your professional goals?

    3. This is a graduate program that requires a high cognitive load, explain in detail how you are going to prepare yourself and manage throughout the program.

  5. Interview: After initial review of the application, applicants may be contacted for an interview.

Degree Requirements

Clinical Hours: 750*

Required Courses
NURS 812Advanced Pharmacology and Therapeutics3
NURS 814Advanced Health Assessment Across the Lifespan3
NURS 816Health Promotion Theory and Population Health3
NURS 818Foundations of Evidence Based Practice3
NURS 820Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan3
NURS #900Foundations of Scholarly Writing & Professional Communication3
NURS 910Genomics & Ethics3
NURS 911Diagnosis & Management - Diagnostic Reasoning3
NURS 915Leadership, Role & Collaboration3
NURS 917Biostats and Epidemiology3
NURS 977Neurobiology of Mental Disorders Across the Lifespan2
NURS 978Psychopharmacology of Mental Health Disorders Across the Lifespan I2
NURS 979Psychopharmacology of Mental Health Disorders Across the Lifespan II2
NURS 983Foundations of Psychiatric-Mental Health Practice and Assessment3
NURS 986Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Practicum I2
NURS 987Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Practicum II3
NURS 988Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Practicum III3
NURS 989Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Practicum IV3
NURS 990Mental Health & Special Populations3
NURS 991Diagnosis & Management of Mental Health Disorders Across the Lifespan I3
NURS 992Diagnosis & Management of Mental Health Disorders Across the Lifespan II3
NURS 964Information Systems and Technology Improvement3
NURS 967Evidence Based Practice Methods3
NURS 969Health Systems Policy, Economics & Financial Planning3
NURS 973Quality & Safety3
NURS 980Doctoral Scholarly Project I3
NURS 981Doctoral Scholarly Project II3
NURS 982Doctoral Scholarly Project III3
Total Credits80

Clinical hours are completed through the following required courses: NURS 986, NURS 987, NURS 988, NURS 989.

The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner builds upon the skills of the baccalaureate prepared generalist nurse. 

At the completion of the DNP Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program, the graduate student is prepared to:

  • Serve in a healthcare leadership and change agent role as part of a diverse, complex, and patient-centered health care system.
  • Act as a practice scholar to design, direct and evaluate system changes to promote safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable and patient-centered care.
  • Use data analytic methods, information systems and technology to evaluate, integrate and apply knowledge that will improve programs of care, outcomes of care and care systems.
  • Use translational science and analytic methods to develop, identify, implement, and evaluate best practices to improve health care and health care systems.
  • Design and implement health promotion and clinical prevention strategies across the health/illness continuum to optimize health and disease management.
  • Systematically use improvement methods to monitor and evaluate care processes and outcomes and applies data for continuous improvement and safety
  • Advocate for social justice through policy, professional and political engagement.
  • Applies leadership principles that support inter-professional practice.

In addition to the Outcomes above, the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner graduate will:

  • Utilize advanced practice knowledge, skills, and competencies to assess, diagnose, and coordinate and manage mental health care patients across the lifespan
  • Recommend and prescribe evidence-based developmentally appropriate treatment modalities to manage psychiatric conditions in patients across the lifespan defined by shared decision-making and patient concordance within state and federal scope of practice regulations
  • Engage in professional, bias-free, quality, safe, collaborative, and ethical, evidence-based practice across all mental healthcare practice settings

Apply now


Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: June 15
  • Spring: December 1
  • Summer: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Online

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence Form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission, or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH or Granite State College (GSC) after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester, UNH Non-Degree work and GSC. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must upload a copy (PDF) of your transcript in the application form. International transcripts must be translated into English.

If admitted, you must then request an official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions must be submitted and applicants must disclose any previous academic or disciplinary sanctions that resulted in their temporary or permanent separation from a previous post-secondary institution. If it is found that previous academic or disciplinary separations were not disclosed, applicants may face denial and admitted students may face dismissal from their academic program.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.


A current resume is required with your submitted application.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

The professional statement must include a written essay responding to each of the following.

  1. Describe a clinical experience that demonstrates your critical thinking and readiness to enter doctoral study.
  2. Explain how you use a nursing theoretical/conceptual lens to improve care.
  3. Tell us about a U.S. policy or health issue you are passionate about and why.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program-specific application questions.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.


Experience excellence in nursing with New Hampshire's first DNP Program. Nurses with expanded expertise have the ability to shape care at many levels, from improving care for patients and families to reducing health disparities in their communities to leading positive, systems-level change in their organizations.

Licensing Requirements

Applicants who intend to pursue licensure after completing UNH's online Nursing: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (D.N.P.) should become familiar with their state's licensure requirements. To assess if UNH licensure programs meet the requirements in your location, visit the Professional Licensure Disclosure Information webpage.

Learn more

Explore Program Details

Students participate in an online synchronous orientation to get them started in the program and they have one on one access to faculty mentors and their advisor for project development. Students are encouraged to come to campus to present their final DNP project during the DNP scholarly symposium.

While in the online Doctor of Nursing Practice program, students are required to successfully complete all DNP coursework, have 1,000 documented advanced practice clinical hours (including up to 500 clinical hours earned in the master's program), produce a publishable scholarly paper, and successfully present their DNP Project.

DNP projects are designed in consultation with faculty and content experts. This allows DNP students to develop knowledge, skills, and strategies for a quality improvement project.  Students assume the role of leader of their DNP project team in interdisciplinary collaboration, consultation, and partnership as they plan and implement their project. The DNP project proposal is developed in NURS 980, Doctoral Scholarly Project I; the project is implemented in NURS 981, Doctoral Scholarly Project II; and then evaluated and disseminated during their final course, NURS 982, Doctoral Scholarly Project III.

Tuition & Fees:

The University of New Hampshire’s online graduate tuition and fees information is available on the UNH Business Services Website. Program costs and technology fees are subject to change.

Course Fees: Specific courses may have additional course fees. Visit the course schedule for more information. 


Financial Aid:

Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans are a form of federal financial aid available to Graduate Students. To apply, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).


UNH Online courses are taught by full-time faculty with excellent practical and pedagogical experience.

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Our Nursing Department embraces scholarship, innovation, integrity and sustainability. We offer the leadership education you need to transform today’s healthcare delivery.
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